Any advice on training with lumbar fusion


Level 5 Valued Member
Was fused at l5s1 3 years ago. I am cleared to do anything I want- whatever I can tolerate. Low back pain from the hardware and surgery will always be present to some degree is what I was told.
I have been doing core work-
Glute bridge 1set 20
Single leg glute March- 3 sets 5 per leg
Dead bug- 4-5 sets of 8-10.
Bird dog- 3 sets 5 with 5 second pause with leg extended.
Side lying leg abduction- 2 sets 20 per side
3 days per week for all of the above.

I also walk about 3 hours weekly- usually 30 minutes per walk

Any suggestions or experience like my situation?
Thank you!

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Have you tried barbell deadlifting? Have you tried kettlebell swings?



Level 5 Valued Member
I have not tried them. I used to do both regularly, the last time was 5 years ago before I started having the back issues.

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
What about squatting and deadlifting? I would not attempt a swing or ballistic move until you can do a simpler movement, first, like a Squat or deadlift. If you want a strong back, it is hard to beat these 2 exercises. Can you find a variation that is pain free? Start easy, light weights and reduce range of motion.

Squat: Start with a light kbell goblet squat onto a high box. Make sure this is a hip dominant hinge squat (like a low bar squat). Your butt should be punching back to initiate the movement. Over time, reduce the box height until it is just below parallel. Then, over time, add weight. Eventually use an empty barbell on your back. Eventually, add 5 lbs to the bar. Keep going. Just move slow and keep perfect form.

Deadlift: Start with a light kbell sumo deadlift with the bell on a raised platform to reduce ROM. Over time get the raised platform to the ground. Over time, use bigger bells. Eventually, start using a barbell and slowly add weight. Over time, move your feet inward and slowly transition from sump to traditional deadlift.

By the way, if you do these 2 movements properly, the squat and deadliest, as initially described, are essentially the same movement. They look the same. They feel the same.

If this works, don't forget to deload often. Even now, I am healthy and strong and pain free. I deload about every 3 weeks. For example, for my squat session, every 3 weeks I just do 5 singles at 50% of my max.

This is what I did when I recovered from Back issues. But I did not experience surgery, I was able to recover. Also, keeps doing those core exercises. I still do them and I always will. They are important.
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