T Nation

Squat Substitutes


Since I can't squat for a while ( herniated disc ) I train the quads twice a week. Monday I do leg press 4x15 and Friday I do 3x15 leg extensions and leg press 4x10. I'm hoping that my squat won't plummet by the time I get back but I imagine it will go down. To keep the strength in the quads I'm doing those and hamstring curls on Wednesday. I can't dead lift either and I'd imagine there's no subs for that that won't put any pressure on the lower spine


Didnt you just hurt yourself? Im no doctor, but I'd take it easy for a few weeks with a herniated disk.


I've been going through sciatic pain since late August and I just got told it was a herniated disc. Leg press and leg extensions are what my doc told me to do since they don't put pressure on the low spine. I replaced everything in my workout that pressures my spine until I'm healed


What about lunges? If those are ok for you pain wise might be time to focus on stabilizing your legs with unilateral work. They also make you work a lot harder than leg press (in my experience)


drop the leg press IMO. try pistols, bulgarian split squats, step ups and lunges.


Not so sure about pistols. I have a healthy back and they make my back twinge a little bit. It's just nearly impossible to do them without rounding the back a bit.


Whenever my lower back gets aggravated I switch to Bulgarian split squats, lunges etc, keeping my hips strong makes my whole body feel better.


Any BB squat is a bad idea, Mike. So are most leg presses because the back often rounds at the bottom. You should check out belt squats. Takes the back out completely but still trains the movement.


I'd also suggest strengthening your hip extensors/flexors. If you do belt squats along with isolation movements for your hip/glutes/hams, your squats should be just fine when you're back at it. IF THEY DON'T HURT, try some light/high rep hypers. Stay safe and good luck to ya Mike.


X2 for single leg work, my favorite is split squats with DBs.

The better advice is still "don't aggravate your damn injury more" though


oooh belt squats. love them. but be careful. last time i did those i got the weights swinging around and i lost control and bit it. of course it could be cause i was imitating that scene from eddie murphys raw about the jaimacan guy swinging his dick around.


My vote is in for single leg squat variations.


The leg press has thrown my back more times than any other thing, since I stopped using it my back health has seriously improved overall. That and heavy good mornings. While your recovering I agree with above guys as its what I do when Im hurt, Split/Bulgarian/lunges.


Well I would definitely be doing a ton of leg press if I were you. Have you tried hyperextensions, reverse hypers, or glute-ham raises? Those are the only things I could think of to help maintain some strength on the deadlift.


He has a herniated disk, you ever tried to do a glute ham raise or hypers with herniated disk. Those exercises would injure him further.


That's true but I don't get it, I have absolutely no back pain at any time. The only pain doing squats/deads/ or walking for a long time is the sciatic nerve. I could go in and deadlift right now but the sciatic nerve would hurt, no back. I'm getting an MRI soon to see for sure what's wrong. The guy who's been doing my acupuncture said I have the herniated disc because how long the sciatic pain has been lasting ( since late august )


Hopefully it's not herniated and is something minor or easier recovery. Or you have a serious threshold for pain my friend! Lol


ya hopefully, acupuncture guy said we're getting better. And i don't know about the pain threshold, mine's not bad but i don't think many people can muscle through a disc constantly lol


But aren't they usually done without any weights, though?


Lots of nerves run down our spine. Any of them can be pinched/under pressure when our spine alignment is off. You might feel it in your toe(s). Back problems are a major cause of days off work.