Blog Training Workouts

Leg Workout for a Tender Back and Knees

I had a good workout today and I just wanted to share it with you. As someone who has some tender spots in my back and a few twinges in my knee training my lower body can be a constant frustration. Not only do I love training legs I also feel like a great lower body session does wonders for keeping me lean. A good leg day is time well spent.

As I am north of 40 (and getting closer to the big 50!) I’ve had to tweak, modify, and constantly change the way I train for the simple fact that I don’t want to stop and take up golf. So heavy back squats are off the table. I needed to find effective training without the aftershock of pain and discomfort.

I recently did a great lower body session that was easy on my knees, didn’t load my spine, and felt great. Here we go.


10 minutes on elliptical machine
1 set x 20 reps on seated leg curl, leg extension machine, and Romanian deadlifts with dumbbells



Standing calf raise: 3 x 10-15

Seated calf raise: 3 x 10-15

Superset: Seated leg curl 3 x 10-15 with walking lunge 3 rounds

Superset: Leg extension machine 3 x 20 with Romanian deadlift with dumbbells 3 x 10-15

Bulgarian split squat: 3 x 10-15

Leg press: 1 x 30-50


*Thoroughly stretch after training and done.


And that’s it! All sets are done deliberately and with as close to textbook form as possible. Happy lifting!


By Brad Borland

Cancer Survivor, Military Veteran, University Lecturer, Strength Coach, Natural Drug-Free Bodybuilder, Husband, Father

2 replies on “Leg Workout for a Tender Back and Knees”

Fantastic post — as a 50+ year-old who still likes to work out, you’ve covered the two limitations I have — some back issues and tender knees from an ACL reconstruction! The only part of your workout that I probably shouldn’t do is the leg extension as my physiotherapist says it can create some sheering force. Any recommendations for a substitute to a leg extension? Again, nice to see posts that deal with issues and limitations!

Hi David,

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah I get it, leg extensions can potentially hurt some knees. That’s why I go light, 20 reps or more, and squeeze at the top of each rep. But, you make a good point – one that I’m sure others will have. I would simply replace them with leg press or simply do the first three exercises as a circuit before moving on. Nothing too complicated.

Thanks for the comment and let me know how you do.

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