Dealing with an injury and worried about maintaining your lower-body strength? You’re not alone. The key here is to keep your lifting routine going if possible. However, if conventional exercises like squats and deadlifts are temporarily out of reach, there are alternatives that can help you sustain lower-body mass without compromising your recovery.
If your goal is to promote muscle growth, it’s worth exploring exercises that align with your body’s mechanics and allow for efficient hypertrophy. Skip stressing over squats and deadlifts, as their suitability depends heavily on individual leverages. Instead, consider integrating exercises like hack squats, leg presses, split squats, leg extensions, or leg curls into your routine. These exercises have the potential to sculpt impressive leg muscles while minimizing the risk of exacerbating your injury.
In scenarios where the aforementioned exercises are not viable options, don’t despair. You can turn to sled drags or Prowler pushing to continue fostering lower-body hypertrophy. An advantage of these activities is the absence of eccentric movement, which facilitates quicker recovery. To make the most of sled drags or pushes, think of each 10-meter distance (around 33 feet) as a single repetition. Aim for the hypertrophy-friendly rep range of 6-8 reps per set, accumulating a total of 60-80 meters (approximately 65 to 88 yards). Opt for a deliberate pace, prioritizing tension by focusing on full extension and contraction throughout the movement. Choose a load that challenges you to complete the designated distance effectively.
Remember, the journey to maintaining your lower-body mass during an injury involves strategic exercise choices and a focus on tension rather than speed. If you’re seeking further guidance, consider joining Coach Thibaudeau in his T Nation Plus forum, where you can access daily videos and participate in informative Q&A sessions.