So I blew out L5-S1 almost a year ago and have been doing physical therapy, pilates etc.. and I noticed significant improvement. However since I stopped going to PT and started lifting heavy again, my sciatica has gotten bad again. So I'm going back to PT (I dont want to have surgery at this point) and I need to modify my workout routine. I'm a hard gainer and trying to bulk up, but I think I need to give up squats and deads and any other compressing exercises. My question is what do I replace them with? I'm 27 yrs old, 5'8 160 lbs and in good shape.
What exercises should I avoid and which should I do? I know all core work and flexibliity training is good, but this question is specific to weight lifting. I was doing 4 lifting days, I will list out my current routine and maybe you guys could help me modify it.
Day 1. Chest and Back: all push ups and pullups, for the push ups, I vary grip position and use a 35lb weighted backpack, for pull-ups also varied hand positions with a 10-15lbs backpack.
Day 2: Leg conditioning: I had been doing the following routine all bodyweight exercises
20 squats, 20 lunges per leg, 20 jump squats, 20 jump lunges, 10 burpees. repeated for 3 sets
Day 3: Shoulders and Arms: Various grips of bicep curls, mostly standing up, some seated. Tricep extensions, both on the floor and standing. Laying down tricep rises (bodyweight) for the shoulders, swimmers press, shoulder flies (seated and standing) Shrug/press combos, and pike press with my legs elevated on a chair
Day 4: Legs and Back (heavy day)
Weighted squats, deads, lunges, and calf raises.
for the Back, lawnmowers, heavy pants, pull ups, locomotive, back flies (seated)
Any input would be appreciated, sorry for the long post