I have a number of dodgy discs in the lumbar region. After about 8 months I am starting to be able to include front squats and sldls again but I need to be careful not to go too heavy as it can leave me a cripple for a week after. Doing too many reps tends to make my back become tired then sore the next day aswell, so I can't simply do high reps to ensure a good workout.
A commonly suggested tactic for people with herniated discs is to do single leg movements like lunges and split squats but I find that doing these with enough weight to do anything also leaves me in pain.
So, I am looking for ideas on how I could tire my quads and hams before doing some heavier movements, so that I don't need/can't use, as much weight.
Leg curls/extensions are an obvious option, but there's only so much the knees can take!