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TonkaBass

Am I missing out?

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I hit the gym on a regular and love to train mostly for the way it makes me look. I dont play sports or anything. Should I be doing deadlift and regular squats in order to help my body get a better base or is the wear and tear on my spine not worth it? I have looked into front squats as a lesser evil. For now I am just doing leg press and weighted lunges up the yin yang. Any advice would be great. What do you guys do?

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Tonkabass, The squat is one of the best compound exercises for the body available but if done right with proper form and if a previous injury prevents you from doing it. The deads are a great exercise for the hams and glutes again if done properly. What do you want out of your training is something I ask most if not all people I train? Are you including leg extensions or curls in your workouts? Do you train legs by themselves or as part of a circuit routine. Squats and deads build great thickness if you want that but I remember you telling us you have come off surgery and maybe you go light with negatives thrown in to start. I've seen way to many backs screwed up with squats when people go too heavy and their form goes out the window. Personally my leg routine consists of squats, hacks, leg extensions, leg curls, weighted lunges and sometimes kettlebell swings to round out things.

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Those are two of the best compound lifts there are. Start light and work on your form, even for a few weeks, train yourself to do the movement right. That said I messed my back up deadlifting. Some will say if you get hurt it was bad form and they might be right but I think my form was good, had deadlifted for over a year and a half without any big injuries from it. One day I was doing one of my first sets, not wore out, but at the top of the lift my lower back just popped I stopped after that rep but dealt with a sore and stiff lower back for a month, no lifting.

I just started hitting the gym again a few weeks ago and dont see myself adding the DL back in. Sucks, I enjoyed the lift but I dont want to mess up my back again. I would like to get back squats back into leg day but havnt done it yet, still a little cautious. Before I did front and back squats on leg day and can still do front squats just fine.

My current leg day is Front squats, leg curls, calf raises, leg press, seated calf, leg extension (drop set to burnout). I dont get the DOMS nearly as bad now as I did when I had back squats in leg day. You can move a lot more weight regular and opposed to front squatting.

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I have always done squats just because I feel like they are necessary at least for me. I go with a wide stance not only to bring the glutes into play more but also because I am taller and its much easier on my knees. Front squats don't work well for me, for some guys they do. I won't do an exercise where I feel very uncomfortable. I don't do deadlifts much any more because of ligament stress in my lower back. I have always done them with strict form but my back is longer too and no matter how strict my form is there is quite a bit of stress on my lower back. If I stay light on these I am fine though. My favorite exercise for legs and glutes is isolated lunges with one foot up on a bench. You don't need to go heavy at all with these, zero stress on my back and they burn like a mother.

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Nice, thanks for the tips. I currently do my legs 1 to 2 times a week depending on the week. Leg press, extensions, curls, calf raises and seated calves, lunges, and also some cable machines mixed in. I am looking for a tapered physique, not bulk. I am hoping I can achieve it without having to subject myself to these two lifts that scare me the most. I dont want to get another spine injury... I noticed that they have a squat machine and was wondering if any of you have ever messed with it (not the smith machine)... It has pads for your shoulders and a back rest as well...

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When I first started to do the dead lift I could not quite get the form down. So I switched to dumbbell dead lifts. It was easier for me to keep my back straight, butt back and load the heals. I also wore no shoes, which also helped me stay on my heals.

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The best I can do with my bad knee is to do them with no weights and hold on to a kitchen chair. Better then nothing. A guy has to do what works for them depending on your body and it's issues. I do them very slow and don't don't go down low.

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