T Nation

Unable to Squat - Alternative Leg Workouts?


Hey all I just made an account and this is my first post on here.
I was diagnosed with a herniated disc under my L5 vertebra about a year ago.. for those who don't know where that is, it's my lower back basically right above my butt crack. Anyways...the dr. said that I can still lift weights, but can't run and cant do deadlifts/squats.
I've been trying to build up my legs but it's difficult. Any other workouts that I could do to get those huge thighs and calves goin??


Try the bodybuilding forum unless you're interested in bench press only competitions. Here, most people's knowledge revolves around getting a bigger squat, bench press, and deadlift.

You could also try the injuries and rehab forum.


certainly sounds like you are looking more to get big than get strong. Anyways, obviously you want to find compound movements:
Leg press
Hack squats (I have one in my gym where the weight rests on your glutes so that wouldn't put stress on your L5 I would think)
Glute ham raises

Other than that the choices are limited as far as I can think. Leg extensions and curls are really garbage exercises in my opinion but if thats all you can do, then push it hard! As far as calves... Well I haven't trained calves in probably 9 months soooo... calve raises? Hahaha anyways. I had an injury preventing me from sq/dl a while ago and I just pushed as hard as I could on everything I could do (mostly curls/extensions) and I managed to not suffer too much.


How to reverse hypers work for you? Some people find that they work very well for a bit of posterior chain work, as well as being therapeutic due to the SI joint movement.


Sam i had the same issue with slippage in l4 and l5. I ignored my doctors advice and still squatted and deadlifted. i used low weight and really dialed in form and making every rep count. as soon as the injury started to flare up real bad i stopped pushing it for the day and over time i was ready to go 100%.


x2, listen to your body, not your doctor. StormTheBeach is a pefrect example of someone who has fractured a disc in half and still pulls 800+ pounds.