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Thread: Need non squat/DL leg exercise

  1. #1
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    Need non squat/DL leg exercise

    Hey y'all.

    Recently I discovered I have a mild curve in my spine therefore I can no longer do any kind of squat or dead lift type of exercise. I do not want to neglect my legs so I have been doing some leg curls/extensions and double stepping up and down my basement stairs (kind of works but not real well). I don't belong to any type of gym so cool leg machines are out of the question. Any suggestions on something I can do to build my legs?

    My gym consists of a standard bench with a 310lb Olympic weight set and a Bowflex for all my cable exercises. Is there a leg lift out there than can work the same muscles as a squat or dead lift with the gear I have? Would a non weighted lunge do anything for me? I basically cannot have any vertical strain on my back.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Lunges

    Go get that spine fixed if you can.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    Lunges

    Go get that spine fixed if you can.
    I'm working on it, it's getting there, in the mean time I may end up with bird legs. I'll try the lunges, thanks!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Wow that sucks about your spine. What do you mean by a mild curve? And does that definately mean no more squats or deads for the rest of your life?

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    i had scoliosis (curve of the spine), my back didnt get better till i started to deadlift and squat more. that is my experience, a doctor might tell you different though.
    i think deadlifting honestly fixed it for me. i say if you dont make it stronger it will just get weaker.
    Last edited by smokinHawk; 12-04-2007 at 02:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    i had scoliosis (curve of the spine), my back didnt get better till i started to deadlift and squat more. that is my experience, a doctor might tell you different though.
    i think deadlifting honestly fixed it for me. i say if you dont make it stronger it will just get weaker.
    REALLY?!?! I'm doing some exercises to strengthen my core muscles but was told to not do squats or dead lift. I may give some light dead lifts a try, right now for my other lifts I just don't do it if it hurts. Tomorrow is leg day for me, maybe I'll do some light lifts and see what happens. How did you start? Light weight high reps? I know that I can't do squats for sure, that hurts me 135lbs X2 reps and I was in bad shape for days. Thank you!


    brihead301- I'm not supposed to do anything until they get me straight again. If/when that happens I should be good to go.

  7. #7
    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    What's the degree of the curvature? Is it lumbar or thoracic? Has your orthopod discussed bracing options with you? Charleston, Boston, etc. scoliosis braces? The last thing you want is for the degree of the curve to get worse, especially if you're still growing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fpr View Post
    What's the degree of the curvature? Is it lumbar or thoracic? Has your orthopod discussed bracing options with you? Charleston, Boston, etc. scoliosis braces? The last thing you want is for the degree of the curve to get worse, especially if you're still growing.

    I don't remember the curvature, it is in the lumbar area. Right now we're trying to free everything up and build strength in that area, which so far has worked, I've already grown almost a half an inch. He doesn't want to brace me at this time, he thinks that with proper exercise and some facy machines I'll be good to go. I'm 32 years old so my growing is done. All I know is my back sure feels better, except for today because I'm thinking about it

  9. #9
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    I know nothing on the topic of curve scoliosis but recently I wrote a research paper on weight training. I came across and article that talks about the benefits of deadlifting and one of the major benefits was it helps to increase bonedensity of the spine. I'm not sure if that's helpful for you or not. I don't have the article on hand at the moment, but I'll try to find it again and post it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dday View Post
    REALLY?!?! I'm doing some exercises to strengthen my core muscles but was told to not do squats or dead lift. I may give some light dead lifts a try, right now for my other lifts I just don't do it if it hurts. Tomorrow is leg day for me, maybe I'll do some light lifts and see what happens. How did you start? Light weight high reps? I know that I can't do squats for sure, that hurts me 135lbs X2 reps and I was in bad shape for days. Thank you!


    brihead301- I'm not supposed to do anything until they get me straight again. If/when that happens I should be good to go.
    well i wouldnt tell you to go against the advice of a doctor, but just telling you what fixed me.
    the curve in my spine caused my right shouder rib cage to be allot higher then my left section, so when i bent down to touch my toes the right side was about 2" higher. and at bad conditions my spine was definatly curved from left to right as one shoulder could be higher then the other.
    i started on squats in my early 20s but not consitantly (not till my mid twenties), but id didnt really do anything to fix my back, i think it was more of deadlifts that fixed it, i think my problem was that my back was flexible and weak. now it is stronger but still flexible. i always stayed away from deadlifts because of my back problems thinking it would make it worse, then i stopped listening to all the bs of it will make your back bad, and started doing it and it got better fast. my back gets sore after a workout but its the muscles being sore, not the hurting of being out of place. My shoulder blades now are even and i havent had a back injury since.

    for my deadlifts i dont do high reps, 5 and under mostly with allot of 2s, 3's and singles, all pretty heavy to, i do them after my squat workout so i start with 315 then go up to like 365, 385, 405, 430 etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    well i wouldnt tell you to go against the advice of a doctor, but just telling you what fixed me.
    the curve in my spine caused my right shouder rib cage to be allot higher then my left section, so when i bent down to touch my toes the right side was about 2" higher. and at bad conditions my spine was definatly curved from left to right as one shoulder could be higher then the other.
    i started on squats in my early 20s but not consitantly (not till my mid twenties), but id didnt really do anything to fix my back, i think it was more of deadlifts that fixed it, i think my problem was that my back was flexible and weak. now it is stronger but still flexible. i always stayed away from deadlifts because of my back problems thinking it would make it worse, then i stopped listening to all the bs of it will make your back bad, and started doing it and it got better fast. my back gets sore after a workout but its the muscles being sore, not the hurting of being out of place. My shoulder blades now are even and i havent had a back injury since.

    for my deadlifts i dont do high reps, 5 and under mostly with allot of 2s, 3's and singles, all pretty heavy to, i do them after my squat workout so i start with 315 then go up to like 365, 385, 405, 430 etc.

    I have a simular problem, my left shoulder is lower than my right and my spine curves to the left. I was going to start dead lifts this morning but over slept and missed my workout, I'll get them in on Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you for you story, I'm certainly going to remember it.

  12. #12
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Some doctors really irk me. I am willing to bet your doctor doesn't know **** about rehab via resistance training. Him telling you no squats or deads etc. just SOUNDS like the common ignorant refrain from doctors.

    Go see a sports med doctor for a 2nd opinion.


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    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    Wow, 32 years old... yeah bracing is definitely out of the question then.... I hope this isn't a chiropractor you're seeing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fpr View Post
    Wow, 32 years old... yeah bracing is definitely out of the question then.... I hope this isn't a chiropractor you're seeing.
    Yes and no, he's a Dr. who decided to become a chiropractor, hated working in the ER. I wouldn't go to just some guy who got his degree from an online class. He does have me 100% better than I was and my spine is getting straighter. I talked to him last night about the dead lifts, he said I can do them but the muscles we're currently focusing on are the smaller muscles around the base of my spin and the abdomin and keep it light.
    He also said squats are ok now but nothing crazy heavy, I won't be doing them anyway because they hurt my back even with light weight. It's not a form issue, its just the pressure on my back kills me.

  15. #15
    Banned markdk86's Avatar
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    I have minor sclerosis and weight lifting improved my posture and back. No more back pain for me .

  16. #16
    Crikey, its a 30 foot ape! Kong's Avatar
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    My training partner had a curved spine but a combination of heavy DL's, stiff leg DL's and some light hyper extensions seems to have solved it
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    The more I read about folks who've had my problem and gotten it solved by deadlifts the more I'm thinking I'll do it. Thank you everyone for you insite.

    Still won't do squat......yet.

  18. #18
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    1 legged squats worked great for me before I had any weights. keep your knee over your toes as you go down, go down as slowly as you can and then back up. I used to only be able to do 5 reps at a time! Do them against a wall to help with balance if needed.

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    lunges : standing, walking, reverse, side ways

    bulgarian squats, step ups, hyper extensions, glute ham raises, leg curls, leg press


    the list goes on...
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  20. #20
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    My fav is the double trip backwards leg drive.

  21. #21
    Work in Progress Lumiel's Avatar
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    I have scoliosis - 20% curvature - "S" curve in the thoracic area. I had massive imbalance in strength and size and started doing unilateral weightlifting. That means unilateral lat pull-downs, 1-arm DB rows, DBs for most exercises, and I used walking lunges for legs as well as unilateral leg curls and weighted step ups. What I did was do as many reps as my weaker side could, and then stop with the stronger side, and give my weaker side, 1 more set. I did this to force it to grow stronger to catch up and balance me out.

    I now have balance in strength and size on both sides and can DL and squat nice numbers for someone who's been weightlifting for only 8 months.

    Doctors usually tell you to NOT DL or squat because most people do them WRONG! If you do this pre-hab routine to balance out your strength and size before hand, it will help a lot in eventually getting you to the point where you can do DLs and Squats.

    Oh, and the weightlifting has made all of my back problems (including frequent headaches) go away.
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