Bad back

Hi Mike!

I was just diagnosed with a herniated L4-L5 disc and was told I needed to modify my workouts to accommodate this injury. I’m training to be in a figure show next year so this is crappy news.

What do I need to do to not herniate it again? What exercises do I stay away from?


Sincerely frustrated, Robbin

Robbin, Thanks for the question. Well with a lower back injury it is somewhat difficult. Depending on your pain tolerance you can still do most exercises. My suggestion is if you are training legs or any bent over movement is where you would experience most pain. Placing a load on your back such as a bar etc….can have the highest chance of injury. Also your form when you squat is a huge factor in potential injury. I would stick to a smith machine as the angle can be changed so you stay in a more erect position when you squat or even do any bent over rowing movements. Leg press is also an area in which you can cause further injury. Make sure you are not letting the weight come down so far that your hips internally rotate forward and your back comes up off the bench. Control hour depth as you come down. Just go 90 degrees parallel and then back up

Consult with your doctor as well for more on what you can or can’t do.

I’ll do a video soon for you on this as this question comes up quite a bit