Squatting after an injury

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by eastNYgoon138, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    This thread is open to anyone who still squats and pulls heavy despite serious past and/or current injuries. I want to see what you guys have done to get back into training heavy after a bad injury; how you dealt with it physically and mentally.

    I herniated a disc in my lower back last year and just recently felt ready to start training heavy again. Besides the lack of loading my spine and trying to stay active in other ways like hiking I didn't really do anything for rehab.

    For the past few months I've been squatting twice a week, 3 sets of 5, adding 5-lbs a day. Started with 95-lbs and I'm currently working with 240 x 5 x 3. And that's it, old school linear progression. No special warm up or anything, just squat to warm up for squats. I use a little wider stance and descend a little slower than I used to and wear a belt even with an empty bar. I'm A LOT more focused on bracing my trunk now.

    I obviously don't feel the same as I did when I was squatting 405 x 5 x 5. I feel a little creaky, almost like my back is a Jenga stack at the end of the game, about to break any second. But I guess that's more mental than anything. Still trying to get used to the bros smirking at my measly 2 plates & change lol It's been humbling.
     
  2. ripskater

    ripskater Guest

    You should probably go see a physical therapist. They could give you some rehab. And that would be safer than loading up 225+lbs on your shoulders and have it come crashing down if your back gives way.


    I'm not a professional. But probably squat and reach back laying on a swiss ball.


    Horizontal Wall Squat (at 1:35)



    Also superman laying on belly on the ground, lift one arm forward up, lift one leg back up
    Then on all fours, lift one arm forward, lift one leg back. And switch.

    Good luck, hope it gets better soon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2016
  3. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    The superman exercise is, at least according to Stuart McGill, contraindicated for people with back injuries, and generally not a great exercise choice in general. Interesting that you mention hiking though, as walking or hiking, possibly while wearing a light backpack, is an activity that Stuart McGill mentions as often being therapeutic after a back injury.

    Worst injury I've had was a type two muscle strain to a left adductor. So the muscle was torn enough that there was a visible dent in my leg, but not completely torn, which would require surgery. The recovery process was basically avoiding anything that would damage the clot that forms after a strain for about a week, then starting back with very light squats, light exercises for the injured muscle, and stretching to regain range of motion.

    One of the things that can occur after an injury is hypersensitivity as a protective reflex. So nervous signals that would've have previously been ignored are now interpreted is pain. So with regards to recovery it's actually important to gradually reintroduce the activity that was the mechanism for injury, provided it is safe to do so.
     
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  4. btwrestler119

    btwrestler119 Green Belt

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    I've got a partially torn ACL in my right knee, I worked my way back in a similar way. I started really light with box squats used linear progression and when it got tough I reset to light weight and progressed with regular squats. My knee isn't perfect, but I can lift heavy without any instability now.
     
  5. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    I didn't have a major injury like you, but I did have back issues that kept me from deadlifting for a long time. I actually contemplated never deadlifting again. When I started back up, I had to start really light. At this point, I haven't done a grinding rep in a long time or even a rep with slow bar speed. Basically, just take it slow.
     
  6. JRT6

    JRT6 Black Belt

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    As hard as it may seem you need to get back into not wearing a belt on your warm up and easy sets. From a psychological perspective and a performance one.
     
  7. Aleks Sytsevich

    Aleks Sytsevich Super Saiyan

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    I have a herniated L5/S1, some shoulder issue, a hip issue, a few other things that may affect my lifting. There was a period of about 2 years where I didn't do much of anything and made zero progress.

    I was extremely frustrated during this period, I was losing muscle, gaining fat, getting weak, but I netted some weight loss in the process. I started doing a fuck ton of pull-ups and dead hangs from the bar, also did a fuck ton of lunges and goblet squats, though the goblet squats came much later than everything else. I filmed everything, would review it and delete it. I did this for months. I was moving pretty well, and became very aware of movement.

    Eventually I went back into the gym and started using a barbell again. Light, obviously. I was still weak and fat. I didn't really deadlift or bench press. Mostly just squatting and pressing and the like. I followed a linear plan, similar to TTM and did, quite infrequently, some deadlifting, too. Life got in the way for a while, but my body and its issues were not the cause of any absence.

    I remain very aware of myself. I still film myself pretty frequently, especially if I experience any discomfort. A lot of the time, any issue is a result of driving too much and sitting in a poor position for extended periods. I constantly remind myself to sit back in the seat.

    This was more than I expected to put here. Hopefully some of this is helpful. It's not a "how to", those are highly individual. This is more of a "don't give up, find what you need to do to continue".
     
  8. bad seed

    bad seed Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    beautiful dog in your av. is it yours?
     
  9. JimRussel

    JimRussel Purple Belt

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    That's the Littlest Hobo, bro.

     
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  10. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    No, my dog is a Chocolate Lab.

    The dog from the AV is from "The Littlest Hobo". It's an old Canadian TV show about a German Shepard that wanders from place to place helping people in need.
     
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  11. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Labs are such nice dogs.

    My dad hunts and he trains dogs as well and atm he has 3 Labs. Two of the oldest dogs passed away, so he got 2 puppies a few months ago :) It's very interesting watching them and taking care of them through their life. Sad when they have to go.
     
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  12. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    I had a rib injury (not broken) from a Muay Thai fight. A week later I went back to the usual routine, when I squatted I couldn't go as deep without feeling something. It took a month to recover. I still fine to do sumo deads, so it wasn't too bad on the lifting angle I guess
     
  13. Parrulo

    Parrulo White Belt

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    I torn my meniscus in 2012 playing football ( Soccer).

    With running, weight training, football and cycling the injury got worse and worse and when doing simple things like going up stairs became painful I decided to have a doctor check it out.

    Had an arthroscopy in December 2014 and after 1 month I was back squatting and after 2 months I was squatting 100 Kg 5x5 and dead lifting 120 Kg 3x5.

    I then re-injured the knee and gave up strength training for the lower body for like 6 or 7 months. During that time the knee felt like crap I simply couldn't squat or dead lift at all without being in pain.

    Last October I felt like the knee was getting better (I was doing some therapy) and started to slowly work around the pain. For the first few weeks I would feel pain in my knee while squatting but the pain would go away after a couple sets. Now I barely feel any pain at all in my knee and I am back squatting and dead lifting 2 times per week. Strength is pretty down as I left my lower body untrained for a bit over a year but it's coming along nicely.

    The knee still feels funky from time to time and it was never the same as pre injury but at least I can still squat and dead lift so I guess I can deal with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  14. wufabufa

    wufabufa Brown Belt

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    I had a similar thing happen. I strained an intercostal deadlifting. I was able to squat fine but breaking the bar off the floor gave me a lot of pain on my left side. I was still able to do Romanian deadlifts though so I used that as my main posterior chain movement. I worked round the injury by doing RDLs for close to 3 months just to be sure and not push it too fast. When I went back to conventional deads my 1 rep max increase 50 lbs. Sometimes being forced to switch things up can work in your favor.

    Did you have a meniscectomy(part or all of the meniscus removed) or did you have the tear repaired? Sounds like you had some of it removed if you were able to start squatting again after just one month post op.
     
  15. Parrulo

    Parrulo White Belt

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    I had a part of it removed. It's only possible to repair a tear if it is in the irrigated part of the meniscus, which wasn't my case. Either way, from what I was told by my doctor and read online, repaired tears require a really long and painful rehab and the chance of a re-tear is very high, high to the point where it's just a question of time before it tears again.

    Oh and my surgery was obviously in 2014 and not 2015 like i said, my bad
     
  16. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    I started doing rack pulls today. Basically the same thing right?
     
  17. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    This was VERY helpful Aleks, thanks. We share very similar situations. I also popped my L5/L1, I guess it's pretty common. Th heightened sense of awareness is something I feel too.

    I think the hardest part of this journey was a few months after the injury finally admitting to myself "OK, I need to stop trying to train around this and just take time off until I feel up to this mentally and physically which can take YEARS". But at the same time when I realized that I felt liberated. It was a large weight off my shoulders. And now that I'm back at it basically starting from scratch I'm having a lot of fun. Like starting all over but with all the knowledge that came from past training.
     
  18. JimRussel

    JimRussel Purple Belt

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    You should look up what Jordan Wong just went through.
     
  19. wufabufa

    wufabufa Brown Belt

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    Just curious, did you reinjure your knee playing soccer again or lifting?
     
  20. eastNYgoon138

    eastNYgoon138 Green Belt

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    http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/30842

    This PLWatch interview is awesome. Like I said in the last post, the hardest thing about this was just doing nothing. Just resting. And learning how to walk, pick things up, tie my shoes again etc. Not like I physically couldn't do those things(I wasn't at a 9 like Jordan, more like a constant 7 for months), but I needed to do them perfectly to not exacerbate the injury.
     

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