Phase IV Remodeling Phase- Rotational work/Power Development
Week 6 milestone. Six weeks is the suggested time for soft tissue damage from a surgery to heal. In the very general protocol this is when one can return to bending, lifting, and twisting with less caution. With the previous phases mechanical stability of the spine should permit and control movement, carry loads, and protect the recovering spine and nerve roots. This is passive ligaments, active muscle tendons, and neural control. With mechanical stability, one can handle axial loading and you could even argue that doing so (if strength is not a limiting factor) it can aid in alignment, organization, and cross-linking of collagen fibers within discs and positive cell reorientation (scar tissue). Full dynamic rotation movements, and utilization of the transverse plane will replace volume that was targeting isometric work. Bracing should be a habit at this point and the ability to correct the spine into neutral alignment with load or controlled multiplanar movements is a requirement. This phase will include SSB squats this bar creates a more anteriorly loading pattern compared to the back squat which will be smarter choice to maintain a neutral spine as the body adapts to linear compressive loads.
Keyword and emphasis will be frequency. Every other day SSB Squats will be the first strength exercise. Mobility, pre-hab, activation, and rpr will still initiate the session. The plan will be to use 6-8 sets to work up to heavier weight each week. The tempo will have a 3 second eccentric, 1 second pause at the bottom, and powerful/controlled concentric. By week 10 I wish to be at 60% loading of pre-surgery bar.
SSB PRx 60%= 198
BS PRx 60%= 228
Wk 1 day 1-135
Wk 1 day 2-160
Wk 1 day 3- 175
Partial RDL/Rackpull exercises will be alternated each session and range of motion will increase to eventual floor positioning.
Eccentric Pit shark sumo deadlift/ Seated deadlift I love both of these to work on control and positioning in the sumo position. The starts on the box also force you to initiate the drive with your lowerbody/glutes rather than back.
BB Loaded glute bridge after this phase I plan to comfortably bridging 10×225 with glute activation driving the start of every rep and not hamstring/lowback.
Walking Lunges high volume light load (bw, vest, db, bb) making sure my hips stay square and in line and no compensation occurs. For me the surgery side psoas is extremely tight which rotates the pelvis to tighten the hamstrings that are already working very hard to alleviate the damage in l4/l5 nerve root.
Week 7 After 3 successful weeks of floorpress I went to the standard benchpress movement. Things felt great and trying to maintain technique, but not over arch to where the spine feels any compression.
Pressing and rowing movements will also be unilateral at times or split stance to challenge the body in different planes to maintain neutral spine. Stability and core will be built by getting creative with my positioning. Volume will be high and load will be less than more traditional isolation variations of the upperbody, because of the increased challenge for the core. Notice my split stance is in a straight hip/foot alignment. This forced greater hip stability than a traditional wider left to right leg split stance.
Prior to all sessions front plank, side plank, deadbug, birddog, and glute bridge variations will be used to ensure the body is firing correctly and ready to brace movement in the lift.
New addition is tsunami walks. Similar concept of a farmers walk, but way more challenging to balance. I also feel the axial loading is specific to what I want to improve on.