Stronger 24/7 - Stronger Everyday
Stronger 24/7 Forum
LegsSplit AdviceSquats

Squats and old injuries17938

scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
Long time lurker, first time poster here.

Not new to lifting by any stretch (no pun intended) but due to injuries sustained many years ago I really haven't been able to squat worth a damn since. I was in a rappelling accident way, way back, shattering and crushing my heels and ankles as well as crushing my L4 and L5 vertebrae/destroying those discs among other things. Because of that I don't have a good lower curve to my spine giving me constant low level lower back pain as well as preeeeetty much having no mobility in my ankles. I'm lucky if I have one degree, maybe two, of dorsiflexion in my left and five degrees or so in my right. Plantarflexion on the left is maybe 3-4 degrees and close to 10 for the right. As you can imagine, there's not much there before my left heel is lifting off the ground when squatting forward, and the right heel comes up pretty shortly after.

All that being said, I've been squatting with regular shoes (for the extra heel height) AND have been using ten pound plates on the ground to bump up my heels even more. With the back problems and the heel problems I really can't do a no-shit squat (parallel to the deck) but do the best I can with what I got. I'm about 46, 6' 2" tall, 225 pounds and on my fourth or fifth week of Stronglifts 5x5 (for something different) which puts me at 280# squats today. I use a belt to help with the back but otherwise can get it done - but I can tell it's just not the same.

I guess my question is, do I/should I continue to be hard headed and keep doing my version of squats? Or am I just going to be adding to my woes in another five or ten years (if I'm lucky) by hosing up my knees? (I really don't think I need more woes) Should I drop way back down and attempt to really get ass-to-grass and just call it as good as it's gonna get? I'm already feeling it pretty good in my knees (and by 'good' I mean 'bad' ) so that right there is telling me something, but damn, in this rickety body pretty much everything is telling me something at this point.

Not to belabor the point but my ankles and heels are one big lump of busted up and healed over pieces of bone and the motion I DO have is simply the end of my leg bones grinding over those lumps (thanks Doc for the descriptive terminology). I suppose I should consider myself lucky as I'm fairly mobile and no one looking at me would ever guess how jacked up my body is, AND having once been told I would prrooooobably never walk again without some sort of aid... still... <sigh> In my heart (I hate that phrase); that little voice in my head is telling me I'm letting pride and ego get the better of me and I'm going to cause even more issues for myself down the road, but damn, it's hard to let that go.

Am I asking too much? Am I being stupid? Sorry for the long first post, I appreciate thoughts and advice.

Steve
Post 1 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Too many words.


Can you consolidate your question to a sentence or two? -3X
Post 2 IP   flag post
scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
"I do squats with my heels on ten pound plates due to old injuries. Keep it up and deal with possible knee issues down the road, or cut it out and do something else instead."
Post 3 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
It seems your mobility limitations make squats difficult for more than just your ankles. Since you can't really do full ROM, I'd do reverse lunges, step-downs, TKEs, leg press, split squats, step-ups- there's a host of better choices. I wouldn't continue squats just so that you're squatting. -3X
Post 4 IP   flag post
scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
Okay, cool. I was doing them to increase core strength really so hopefully some of those other ones will help there too. Thank ya!

S.
Post 5 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
For what it's worth, I would never use squats to increase core strength. The literature demonstrates that they're not effective and there are so many more (and better) options. -3X
Post 6 IP   flag post
Rawsteel private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by scauffiel
crushing my L4 and L5 vertebrae/destroying those discs among other things.


I'm curious, how did they fix that? Artificial discs? Fusion?
Post 7 IP   flag post
scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eknight
For what it's worth, I would never use squats to increase core strength. The literature demonstrates that they're not effective and there are so many more (and better) options. -3X

Well, I guess I should say I'm trying to get my girlfriend into lifting heavier (getting away from the "pink weights" ) and using Stronglifts for that - and IT says they're good for core strength. I'll spend some time on the posts you guys have put together here and get a better routine in place as we near the end of SL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawsteel
Quote:
Originally Posted by scauffiel
crushing my L4 and L5 vertebrae/destroying those discs among other things.


I'm curious, how did they fix that? Artificial discs? Fusion?

Actually, they pretty much did nothing (and by "they" I mean the Navy). My vertebrae had crushed downward/flattened which had driven small shards or fingers of bone into the actual spinal canal threatening the spinal cord. So they slapped me in a body cast and I got to lounge around for three months in that while they watched to see how everything would heal (and spent another 6 months in a plastic removable body splint after that). Eventually the bone shards were reabsorbed and the discs were semi-healed; though nothing like normal or healthy they kind of work. It was left up to me if I wanted to go through a fusion and at the time I was young, dumb and full of ... vigor and thought I'd be able to beat all the naysayers so I skipped it. Looking back, I wish I'd done it - being younger then I would have recovered much better and any loss of motion I would have gotten from it, I pretty much got anyway. Not having gone through it then will most likely bone me (no pun intended again) in the long run, but oh well, what are ya gonna do.
Post 8 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
What is IT?

You seem like a smart guy, let me ask you this- what is the function of the "core" musculature? -3X
Post 9 IP   flag post
scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
IT = Stronglifts 5x5 (from what I recall reading)

I'd define the function of core musculature as all those muscles (typically) in the trunk, large and small, that work together towards the stability and overall strength of the body. Basically. Something like that. lol
Post 10 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Ok- stability. Exactly. To stabilize the lumbar spine, specifically. Exercises that properly train the core resist either flexion, extension, or rotation (think planks, Pallov presses, side planks) of the lumbar spine. Squats actually move the lumbar spine into flexion and extension- even if it's only a little. "A little" with tons of weight/reps adds up over time. -3X
Post 11 IP   flag post
scauffiel private msg quote post Address this user
Excellent, thanks a ton for the help!
Post 12 IP   flag post
hangi private msg quote post Address this user
Stability during exercise is key and it is determine by your exercise shoes. So for proper stability get the best exercise shoes to flex your weight better.
Post 13 IP   flag post
340630 13 13
destitute