Posted by: SG | 2009-03-17

Ways to get stronger legs

I have had 2 spinal fusions over the past few years in the lower back and am slowly trying to get back into cycling again.Unfortunately I still get a lot of pain in this area and cannot bend forward much ie I can only touch just below my knees.I am also not permitted to lift anything heavier than my briefcase.
What all this means is that I am not allowed to run to cross train (too sore anyway) and cannot do weight training.The only way forward is to somehow get my legs as strong as possible to allow for other weaknesses which I cannot do much about.
Are you able to suggest what I might be able to do to get my legs stronger as they have got somewhat weak after 4 years of inactivity (taking the above into account).

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I assume you've had some kind of rehab and advice about this? I mean, obviously those people are in the best position to advise you, and it certainly sounds like you've had some advice.

Swimming is probably the best exercise to re-introduce you to training. I know it's not great for building muscle and getting stronger legs, but given the restrictions on how you can load the spine (briefcase is the heaviest you can lift), its' the only one that you can do for now without overdoing it.

So I'd look at some kind of swimming programme as a starting point. Then continue to do rehab to improve flexibility and function, because it's not necessary to be like this permanently. That again is something to do with the people who know your case and a biokineticist who can advise and monitor. I hate to pass the buck, but it would be in appropriate for me to advise on a condition I know nothing about when there are apparently people who do know much more.

Good luck

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