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Old 03-22-2010, 11:52 PM   #1
Ian Nigh
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Default squat rehab routine

Hello,
New to this forum, but very happy to have found it. Been doing CF for a while, recent switched over to CF football and just finished reading Greg Everett's book.

My first question is in regards to a recurrent low back issue I have. I have a leg length discrepancy of around 1.3cm, with the right leg being shorter. I have had all sorts of issues with tight hip flexors, piriformis, ilio-psoas, etc. Most of these I have dealt with ART, foam rolling, stretching, etc.

I have brought my back squat up from 90kg to 120kg in the last 18 months, and my deadlift from 100kg to 150kg in the same period. I am happy with these gains, but know I have a long ways to go yet.

During this same periods, I have strained my left lower back/hip area 3 times during maximal squats and/or deadlifts (around every 6 months). This leads me to think my low back/hip is weak, and I probably have some muscle imbalance issues (prolly some technique/form issues too, although I have been working on those).

I have spent the last week doing rehab and rest, and feel almost ready to get back to training. My plan is to continue following CF football, but subbing the strength WODS.

sub for squat:
5x3 Bulgarian split squat
10x3 good morning

sub for deadlft:
5x3 one leg deadlift
10x3 reverse hyper (done on a high bench with bands, no machine at the uni gym here)

The idea is to do these in linear progression for at least 6 weeks before getting back into back squat and deadlift at low weights. I would appreciate any advice regarding whether this is a good idea or not. I have also heard that front squats may be a good sub. Front squats don't seem to aggravate my back and my max front squat is about 15 kilos less than my back squat, maybe I could include these sometimes although I like the split squats for addressing any imbalances.
Thanks for the responses!
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:23 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Have you had yourself evaled by a PT or chiro to see if that leg length is from a problem at the SI joint and/or pelvis? (I hope you know some good chiros/PTs.)

If not, I would get that done.

That's the first place to start. It very rare to have someone with a leg length discrepancy in adulthood s imply because if one leg gets shorter than the other while growing the extra "pounding" the other leg takes makes it grow faster.

If it comes back negative, we'll go from there.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #3
Ian Nigh
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Thanks Steven,
My leg length discrepancy was evaluated with a radiometry, a 3 part x ray of my hips, knees and feet on one image.
The doc them measured with a ruler to determine the difference. My chiro says I should wear my shoe lift or at least place a mat under my right foot when lifting heavy weights.
Nevertheless, I prefer to be barefoot most of the time and lift in vibram five fingers. Also, recently I have started doing so SI self-adjustment techniques and I swear they seem to even out the difference in my legs (as percieved by myself looking at the bony protrusion on my ankles while sitting straight-legged on the floor).
Is it possible that this "radiometry" was documenting a functional LLD and not an actual one?
Why have all 3 Chiros and PT I've seen insisted I wear the heel lift? And why am I still not convinced I need it?
Your help is greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Ian Nigh : 03-23-2010 at 07:40 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:52 AM   #4
Garrett Smith
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Chiros I know say that any leg length discrepancy over 5mm should be treated with a lift.

Whatever you do, do it all the time. Don't wear a lift for school/work, then lift in your Vibrams (I'd say don't squat in your Vibrams either).

My advice would be to keep doing the S/I adjustments yourself, do DeFranco's Agile 8 at least every leg day, find a massage therapist who does fascial work (NeuroMuscular Therapy, Rolfing, whatever), and be consistent in either wearing a lift or not. Also, I don't have any particular evidence for this one, but I'd highly suggest avoiding gluten/dairy/nightshades and any other foods you are sensitive to.

I used to have about a 5mm leg length discrepancy. It has seemed to have gone away (or at least my symptoms I associated with it) about 90% by cleaning up my diet. FWIW.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:45 AM   #5
Gant Grimes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
My chiro says I should wear my shoe lift or at least place a mat under my right foot when lifting heavy weights.

Nevertheless, I prefer to be barefoot most of the time and lift in vibram five fingers.

Why have all 3 Chiros and PT I've seen insisted I wear the heel lift?

And why am I still not convinced I need it?
Because they went to school for years and you're a crossfitter.

The radiometry could have detected a functional discrepancy depending on when they took it. I frequently use a shim when squatting and DL (and sometimes pressing), but I'm doing everything I can to get the LLD worked out.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
Denver Buchanan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
Why have all 3 Chiros and PT I've seen insisted I wear the heel lift?

And why am I still not convinced I need it?
Probably because a significant portion of chiropractic is pseudoscience, and they have very little evidence to support their claims.

That being said, I know some chiropractors that are very knowledgeable and helpful. Still, I would never let them touch my back or neck.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #7
Ian Nigh
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Thanks Garret and Gant (you two should set up a law practice: Garret and Gant, Attourneys at Law).

I have been consistent in NOT wearing a heel lift at all for the past 4 months, and have felt fine aside from the one accute strain, whihc I am happy to say is now pretty much resolved.

That being said, I do want to address the underlying issue, whihc was why I thought some uni-lateral work like I describe in my original post could be of use. Any feedback on this?
Otherwise I am starting today with the Bulgarian split squats at 55kg and good mornings at 3okg.
Cheers!
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:58 PM   #8
Ian Nigh
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So I did my routine last week with the uni-lateral work, 55kg on the bulgarian split squats one day, and 60kg one-legged deadlifts on the next.
Felt great wnd will continue to follow this linear progression, adding 2.5kg every week until I feel I need to de-load. May try squatting again in six weeks, maybe deadlifting before then. Back is feeling good, but still some pain deep in th SI joint on some movements and in the mornings. I suspect it may be the ligament?
Anyways, feedback/advice still appreciated. Otherwise i will just keep posting my results and observations of this rehab method and whether I think it is helping me address muscular imbalances.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:57 PM   #9
Ian Nigh
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Been reading up a bit, and it seems the general consensus is that uni-lateral work like B Split Aquats is not very good for increasing one's squat.

For rehab purposes, would it be useful then to also include a lighter weight squat day in my routine? Perhaps around 65% of my max and focus on speed?

The idea behind my routine is basically to unload the lower back but keep making strength progress. Thanks for the responses.

Also: what are the pros/cons of barefoot squatting?
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
Derek Weaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
Been reading up a bit, and it seems the general consensus is that uni-lateral work like B Split Aquats is not very good for increasing one's squat.

For rehab purposes, would it be useful then to also include a lighter weight squat day in my routine? Perhaps around 65% of my max and focus on speed?

The idea behind my routine is basically to unload the lower back but keep making strength progress. Thanks for the responses.

Also: what are the pros/cons of barefoot squatting?
Only if you can squat correctly. If you don't, then no. If you can squat correctly with a light weight, then no reason not to.

Barefoot squatting is dumb depending on the type of squat, at least in my opinion. A high bar, Olympic style back squat or front squat is going to be restricted by ankle mobility. The raised heel helps alleviate this and aid in achieving depth.

In addition, a shoe with a stiff sole like Chucks or an Oly shoe depending on the type of squatting add more stability than barefoot squatting does.

Eric Cressey makes sense in this post.
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