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Lower Back Pain and Quad Exercises

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  • Lower Back Pain and Quad Exercises

    Hey guys. I've got an old back injury that is interferring with my ability lift heavy in the traditional mass building moves for legs. Doing quad exercises has been challenging to find something that doesn't go and piss it off because after 3-6 weeks it always starts to pop back up. I just want some general feedback on ideas I'm working on to keep it in check enough where I can still make consistent progress. At this point as fast as possible is pretty much out and I'm more worried about consistent growth.

    Here's some stuff I've been tinkering with and I'd appreciate any critique or suggestions.

    1) Hacks as the only "squat". It takes a lot of pressure off the low back and I can focus on tempo more and reduce weight.

    2) Cable Leg Press. It's one where the seat moves rather than the plate so I can control the depth a little better and seems to feel a little better on the back and still beats up quads. Just doesn't go as heavy as some of the other leg presses.

    3) Trap Bar Deads. I was trying to do these with the bar upside down where I could get another 3 inches of depth but that got my back pretty good today. I'm considering just doing it from the regular position where it wont stimulate legs as much but it wont put so much strain on the back too.

    As for other ideas I'm trying to work on hamstrings, core, and flexibility.

    1) Hamstring/Glute kick back machine. I can load this up pretty heavy and work each leg independently. It should help offset any hip deviation thats starting to creep in from not recruiting glues/hams enough recently.

    2) Higher volume hamstring RP sets. Heavy would start to see lower back arching as the sets got on. I've reduced weight and upped the rep range to focus on getting everything firing properly rather than solely pursuing weight.

    3) Working more trunk stability/lower back with body weight exercises. Strengthening up somewhat without enough weight to piss it off.

    I'm getting pretty damn frustrated with this thing. I don't want the surgery. My grandfathers on both sides have hip/knee replacements and lower back fusing surgeries and both swear that they'd live with the pain if they could go back. I'm happy sticking at 220-230 and not powering up to 250+ if it means being able to walk and play with my daughters but I don't want to just quit in the gym to do that.

    Any input is very appreciated.

  • #2
    Lower Back Pain and Quad Exercises

    Try the rear foot elevated split squat in the smith machine.

    Also the laying hoist leg press is easy on the lower back too.
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    • #3
      It sounds like any movements that need a core support would be out. So that'll leave things where the core is not supporting and instrumental. So I'm thinking anything machine like.
      Vertical leg press, maybe?
      I'm guessing with any of the movements, the minute you go heavy, it'll tweak in the back. So as you stated, it might mean a lot of tension with slower cadence and a lighter weight as option for a cycle or two.


      • #4
        Vertical hack squat could work


        • #5
          Are you stretching any after your workouts? Might help some...
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          • #6
            I had similar issue this past year and found out it was a glute imbalance/immobility issue; took a few weeks to strengthen back up and get stretching done but helped out big time


            • #7
              Sissy squat and lunges.

              Don't laugh - I have hurt my back previously and these are my go to rehab exercises.

              Especially lunges after Sissy Squat or lunges after leg extensions (pre-exhaust if you will).

              Do your lunges as stepping back for a set of 10 all on one side then swap to the other. Next set do them stepping forward. The back stepping again. Holding Dumbbells to up the weight.
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              • #8
                Probably a silly question but have you seen a really good PT with experience working with bodybuilders? Former pro at our gym was all set for back surgery until a PT said 'give me 3 months to fix you - if it doesn't work you don't pay'. Just a thought...


                • #9
                  Super Squats Hip Belt squats are f-ing anamzing for quads. I recommend straddling a barbell. I see pictures of a single dumbbell and that's way too light. Also, heels on a length of 2x4 or 25lb plates.

                  Do 15-20 rep sets, works great as RP sets too!

                  I started these at about 17 years old (I'm almost 47 and I use the same belt!).

                  I distinctly recall my girlfriends mom say "you're legs touch while you walk!"


                  • #10
                    Bulgarian split squats are a good idea as mention. The belt squat is another great movement. You need to look into doing the Glute/Ham raise and the Reverse Hyper. The reverse hyper, if done properly, could do wonders for your back. Just go to youtube and search for reverse hyper and the belt squat if you're not familiar with them.
                    Its not the size of the hammer, its the size of the man holding the hammer.


                    • #11
                      Austin, do you have access to belt squats or something similar? That would allow you to load the weight on your hips instead of your shoulders, which should be easier on your back.

                      Not a lot of gyms have that, though... I'm not sure if there's a safe way to improvise a belt squat. I'm imagining some horrible accident involving a couple of plyo boxes and a dramatically-overloaded weight belt.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thundergod View Post
                        Bulgarian split squats are a good idea as mention. The belt squat is another great movement. You need to look into doing the Glute/Ham raise and the Reverse Hyper. The reverse hyper, if done properly, could do wonders for your back. Just go to youtube and search for reverse hyper and the belt squat if you're not familiar with them.
                        Do you load the reverse hyper? Or is body weight good enough to keep the low back healthy?


                        • #13
                          I have lower back pain also. Reverse hyper and stretching help me. For quads I generally do Front Squat, Zercher squat (for light weight/pump sets), Hip belt squat, every kind of lunge...

                          For hams, single leg RDL, Hip thrust, sumo DL, fetal curls are good too.

                          Hope this help.


                          • #14
                            Some solid advice in this thread. I'm having the same issue. Looking forward to implementhing some of this stuff into my routine.


                            • #15
                              Somersault squats in the smith? The bar rests on your thighs so there's zero lower back involvement.