Spondylolisthesis and lifting weights

Hi all,

I was recently diagnosed with spondy after suffering on and off exercise-induced pain for many years. I generally hurt myself while doing explosive movements like snatches or burpees, after which time I spend around 4 weeks unable to stand up without a lot of pain, which gradually dissipates until I stubbornly hurt myself again about a year later. Now with a real x-ray and diagnosis in hand, I've banned snatches, cleans, and burpees, but my PT also insists I stop doing anything lifts where weight is extended above my head. The logic, she says, is that these movements put strain on the spine. I love my military press, strict press, and wall balls - they form the backbone (no pun intended!) of my workouts - and haven't ever felt like they were hurting me. Has anyone with spondy been advised to avoid these types of exercises?



  • Hi RojL5

    I'll start by saying Im not a medical person so listening to medical advice is the best way forward.

    My spondy was identified when i had my MRI, however the herniated disc was the big problem.  Doctors said the spondy was likely an old injury and many live with it without knowing. 

    Whilst i didnt do the big weights overhead i certainly did weights, lots of cardio, triathlons and martial arts for years.  

    Take care if your back. Do y I u kniw if the spondy is stable?

  • Hi there, 

    My spondy was discovered on my MRI prior to microdiscectomy on L4 & L5. I too was told to avoid overhead lifting - as my spine is not stable and it definitely does add strain to your column. This was advised by two physical therapists and my neurosurgeon. I definitely understand the frustration, my favorite exercises are now off limits to me as well.

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