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Building legs/butt after back surgery.

gdreeves1774gdreeves1774 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
I had L5-S1 discectomy and laminectomy in February 2019. I was warned to avoid back weighted squats and deadlifts. Been back in the gym 8 months and dropped the weight I gained and am doing good with machines and some body weight or light weight exercises for legs/glutes. But I really need to lift that booty. I'm doing light 20-30lb dumbell / kettle bell deadlifts and squats (learned proper form) and bridge thrusts with a 30 lb bar across my hips. But need other exercises to help lift the booty.... Has anyone had this surgery and found exercises that help and don't hurt?
edited September 30

Replies

  • SModa61SModa61 Member Posts: 358 Member Member Posts: 358 Member
    I really cannot give good advice on this, but I have seen members refer to something called Strong Curves. Maybe there is something in that program that would be of use. In my quick internet search, there is a reddit thread on this, there is a book to purchase, aa well as people on MFP. I see it sometimes referred to as simply SC on MFP.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,638 Member Member Posts: 8,638 Member
    Are there any current restrictions by your medical advisors on specific lifts?

    What equipment do you have available?

    What is your definition of proper form for a squat in relation to your surgery and who has taught you this?

    What lift, ROM, stance, volume can you tolerate pain?
  • gdreeves1774gdreeves1774 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are there any current restrictions by your medical advisors on specific lifts?

    What equipment do you have available?

    What is your definition of proper form for a squat in relation to your surgery and who has taught you this?

    What lift, ROM, stance, volume can you tolerate pain?

    I have a full gym at my disposal. Trainer at the gym taught me correctly. I was trying to do crossfit back in the day but was going too fast and with improper form. I also got thrown from a horse which didn't help the back.

    Right now I'm using the abduction/adduction machines (130 lbs), seated leg press (70 lbs), leg extension/curl (50 lbs), cable machine for kickbacks, kettlebells and dumbells for modified (I don't bend as far) squats/deadlifts (only about 30 lbs). I'm trying to do more HIT and use the TRX system as well. I cannot do alot of impact (box jumps/running) so i'm using more elliptical/stairmaster.

    I'm doing more yoga/pilates too to help with stretching of ligaments and muscles so that I don't lock up. Cannot do any single leg movements - that causes pain
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,638 Member Member Posts: 8,638 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Are there any current restrictions by your medical advisors on specific lifts?

    What equipment do you have available?

    What is your definition of proper form for a squat in relation to your surgery and who has taught you this?

    What lift, ROM, stance, volume can you tolerate pain?

    I have a full gym at my disposal. Trainer at the gym taught me correctly. I was trying to do crossfit back in the day but was going too fast and with improper form. I also got thrown from a horse which didn't help the back.

    Right now I'm using the abduction/adduction machines (130 lbs), seated leg press (70 lbs), leg extension/curl (50 lbs), cable machine for kickbacks, kettlebells and dumbells for modified (I don't bend as far) squats/deadlifts (only about 30 lbs). I'm trying to do more HIT and use the TRX system as well. I cannot do alot of impact (box jumps/running) so i'm using more elliptical/stairmaster.

    I'm doing more yoga/pilates too to help with stretching of ligaments and muscles so that I don't lock up. Cannot do any single leg movements - that causes pain

    Ok.

    Again what is your definition if proper form in relation to your surgery?

    How do you measure the stress and pain if any specifically?

    What is your schedule of current overload and how is it dosed?

    Any video of your deadlift or squat?
    edited September 30
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,710 Member Member Posts: 5,710 Member
    Goblet squats?

    I do hip bridge in the smith machine, allows me to use much heavier weights because you don’t have to balance it over your hips. Scoot a bench over. Pad the bar and go for it, making sure not to hyperextend your back.

    Also, I’m wondering if, since single leg causes pain, it would help to start by doing pistol squats onto a chair. You basically start by falling back into the chair, progress to lowering down in a controlled fashion, then getting up using just one leg. It would enable you to go gradually as you improved.
    edited September 30
  • gdreeves1774gdreeves1774 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    Goblet squats?

    I do hip bridge in the smith machine, allows me to use much heavier weights because you don’t have to balance it over your hips. Scoot a bench over. Pad the bar and go for it, making sure not to hyperextend your back.

    Also, I’m wondering if, since single leg causes pain, it would help to start by doing pistol squats onto a chair. You basically start by falling back into the chair, progress to lowering down in a controlled fashion, then getting up using just one leg. It would enable you to go gradually as you improved.

    I was trying to do a leg program using bodyweight only and a chair and that's how I found the pistol squats hurt. I don't have all my strength on my left leg back and wobble so I have to be VERY careful. The Smith machine is good but neurosurgeon said NO shoulder weights pushing on the spine. I only have 25% of my disk left at the L5-S1.

    I think i'm going to have to settle with increasing hand held kettlebells, barbell and cable machines for now.

    As far as form. I cannot go past parallel from knees to hips in a squat. If i dip below that, it strains to the periformis muscle. I have to build that for stability.

    I'm going to do some more TRX/Ball work to build the hamstrings and periformis
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,999 Member Member Posts: 1,999 Member
    Goblet squats?

    I do hip bridge in the smith machine, allows me to use much heavier weights because you don’t have to balance it over your hips. Scoot a bench over. Pad the bar and go for it, making sure not to hyperextend your back.

    Also, I’m wondering if, since single leg causes pain, it would help to start by doing pistol squats onto a chair. You basically start by falling back into the chair, progress to lowering down in a controlled fashion, then getting up using just one leg. It would enable you to go gradually as you improved.

    I do these because I have a cruddy knee and it does help (the assisted pistol squats with a chair). Steps work well also.

    Another suggestion is bridges on an exercise ball. I would start them with ankle on the ball, then foot, then just toe and do like 30 single legs.

    You mentioned the Stairmaster. I skip steps on that and do wide forward lunges. Very easy on the back but great for building glutes. Walking backward on the Stairmaster is great too.

    Instead of using the plyo box for jumps, use it for step ups. Side step ups are great too.

    You also might look into Barre. Great for working legs (at least for toning).
  • gabrielcurran2243gabrielcurran2243 Member Posts: 29 Member Member Posts: 29 Member
    Bulgarian lunges
  • SilkysausageSilkysausage Member Posts: 539 Member Member Posts: 539 Member
    Bulgarian lunges

    Certainly not Bulgarians or lunges due to single leg exercises being written off by OP.

    No one here is qualified to give you such advice and would recommend you see a professional who can refer to GP not some PT in a local gym.

    edited October 4
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,508 Member Member Posts: 1,508 Member
    What are you doing for your core beyond the glute focus? It's hard to talk about progressing and worrying about shaping your butt if your core isn't rock solid. Protecting your back needs to be your #1 priority.

    I'm not sure it's really safe for strangers on the internet to be suggesting a training program for you. Great physical therapists are hard to find, but the one I go to is a back specialist who rehabilitates athletes. His office has a full gym. In your shoes, I'd do some research and see if 1) your doctor would give you a PT prescription and 2) if there's a knowledgeable physical therapist you could see for 4-8 sessions who could work with you on your goals.

    (I have DDD in L4-L5 and L5-S1 and am probably looking at surgery in the near future, and have been doing the conservative care route for 6 years now. Back problems suck.)
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,696 Member Member Posts: 3,696 Member
    NO ONE here is qualified to give the OP any "advice."

    It's something that should ONLY be discussed w/the OP's orthopedic surgeon and his/her designated PT in developing a suitable exercise plan.
    edited October 19
  • gdreeves1774gdreeves1774 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    Bulgarian lunges

    Certainly not Bulgarians or lunges due to single leg exercises being written off by OP.

    No one here is qualified to give you such advice and would recommend you see a professional who can refer to GP not some PT in a local gym.

    I was hoping to get advice from people who had back surgery. I called my PT and they gave me some modifications I can do with machines. I can also do Hip thrusts / Bridges with light weights.
  • gdreeves1774gdreeves1774 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    What are you doing for your core beyond the glute focus? It's hard to talk about progressing and worrying about shaping your butt if your core isn't rock solid. Protecting your back needs to be your #1 priority.

    I'm not sure it's really safe for strangers on the internet to be suggesting a training program for you. Great physical therapists are hard to find, but the one I go to is a back specialist who rehabilitates athletes. His office has a full gym. In your shoes, I'd do some research and see if 1) your doctor would give you a PT prescription and 2) if there's a knowledgeable physical therapist you could see for 4-8 sessions who could work with you on your goals.

    (I have DDD in L4-L5 and L5-S1 and am probably looking at surgery in the near future, and have been doing the conservative care route for 6 years now. Back problems suck.)

    If I feel any discomfort or pain I stop. I have a pretty good core (once I burn the fat you can see some abs outline) I work on my core a lot. Variety of pilates/yoga, Planks, crunch machine, hanging crunches, etc.
  • SModa61SModa61 Member Posts: 358 Member Member Posts: 358 Member
    What are you doing for your core beyond the glute focus? It's hard to talk about progressing and worrying about shaping your butt if your core isn't rock solid. Protecting your back needs to be your #1 priority.

    I'm not sure it's really safe for strangers on the internet to be suggesting a training program for you. Great physical therapists are hard to find, but the one I go to is a back specialist who rehabilitates athletes. His office has a full gym. In your shoes, I'd do some research and see if 1) your doctor would give you a PT prescription and 2) if there's a knowledgeable physical therapist you could see for 4-8 sessions who could work with you on your goals.

    (I have DDD in L4-L5 and L5-S1 and am probably looking at surgery in the near future, and have been doing the conservative care route for 6 years now. Back problems suck.)

    If I feel any discomfort or pain I stop. I have a pretty good core (once I burn the fat you can see some abs outline) I work on my core a lot. Variety of pilates/yoga, Planks, crunch machine, hanging crunches, etc.

    Hope your recovery goes well!
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