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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-12-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
Andrew G Parker
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Squat replacements

Due to injury and on-going degenerative disc problems, Iíve been directed by three independent medical professionals to give up movements that induce spinal compression, shock or shearing stress to the spineólong term. This eliminates a vast majority of barbell work. My coach has already been having me do belted squats. I am looking for suggestions of other things or variations I can do to build and maintain lower body strength within the limits I have. This includes anything that might give some of the benefits of presses without spinal compression.

I am 50. My 1 rep max squat was 302 lbs. a couple of months ago.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
Sean Smith
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Re: Squat replacements

Have you considered Bulgarian Split squats or step ups hold dumb bells? Those always do a good job of making my glutes and quads sore. To hit your hamstrings, how about Romanian Deadlifts? Just my thoughts.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:17 AM   #3
Philipp Lendner
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Re: Squat replacements

Sounds like a really terrible problem. Not sure what it is, so whatever I say, check with your docs first.

Romanian Deads is something you want to avoid. It is going to compress the spine.

Post this question in "Injuries". Maybe someone there has other ideas.

My ideas would be
  • using a Reverse Hyper, as this machine is known to decompress the spine, or performing a similar movement on a GHD with your arms locked in
  • another exercise might be the sissy squat (wfs), but I am not sure here
  • last option: - I am sorry to suggest it - go to a globo or something like that. Isolation training for your lower body is inefficient, not big fun, yet it will not put stress on your spine.

Hope you can recover from it.
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Squat replacements

I can do the Bulgarian split squat, just without added weight. Body weight movements will be fine as I am not loading the spine (anymore than it always is anyway). I believe dead lifts of any kind, besides loading the spine in the upright position, will also add a shear stress--which I have been warned off of. I have been doing reverse hypers and glute-ham raises as well.

I appreciate the input. The more variety I can add, naturally the better the results will be. It is a tough pill to swallow. I loved the weights work, especially olympic lifting. Not worth ending up with a fusion or two over.

Last edited by Andrew G Parker : 12-14-2014 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:15 AM   #5
Alex Burden
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Re: Squat replacements

Rope/band around your waist/hips and pulls some weights behind you... this might help...
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Squat replacements

I have done a few sled pulls. It is a small box and we have lots of snow and ice right now, so not doing much in the way of pulls.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:24 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Squat replacements

Have you considered it might be time to change your goals?

You are 50 with degenerative disk problems. With a little luck you could easily have 35 more years on this planet if you take care of your body. While it may not be fun to hear it sounds like it may be time to change training methods and goals.

Unfortunately there is not a lot of good information out there about how to continue training with a condition like yours. You will have to figure out what works for you.

Think it through carefully. Weight management, pain management (mainly avoiding thing that cause pain), cardiovascular health and just enough strength work to maintain or slow the decline in strength.

It is possible to achieve a very high level of fitness without heavy barbell work, just look at any gymnast.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Squat replacements

DB step-ups. Single leg squatting stuff.

My friend has something going on with her thoracic spine. Even belted squats with a #25 plate irritated it or her hips (something going on there and with her knee too). Mind you, I think she was squatting 100kg+, maybe 110 or 115 as her goal was #300 and it wasn't exactly out of the ballpark (short, with thick legs).

Belted squats just hit the spine less probably but you're loading the spine to some degree.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:24 PM   #9
Andrew G Parker
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Re: Squat replacements

I'm definitely having to rethink my goals. My coach will support me and help with adaptive work in everything, but I noticed even this morning that he is still thinking in terms of we won't do anything if it starts to hurts. I reminded him that we are not just looking to heal, but at prevention too. If what I do hurts the damage is already done. At least the kind of hurt we are talking about.

It is tough to shift. Strength training was my focus. I went to a max squat of 185 lbs to 302 lbs in a year. Now I have to shift from strength building to maintenance in some things and, realistically, loss of strength in others. Its difficult to try to guess how much is too much and how much maybe too little. Realistically, one can't remove all spinal compression from life. I had to help load a plow and frame into a truck today. So I did. So how much do we do in WODS and strength training? Will have to figure that out over time...

Everyone's input is appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:51 AM   #10
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Re: Squat replacements

Hate to say the word..

Pistols....
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