Good answers. Certainly, get confirmation from the client’s physician and/or physical therapist that your client is medically clear to engage in an exercise program. Definitely find out exactly which vertebrae were fused, as well as the recommendations followed in the client’s rehab program. While there may some contraindicated exercises unique to this client’s history, I agree with Karin that exercises performed in a standing trunk flexion to 90 degrees, or back extension exercises from 90 degrees of flexion to neutral are ones to avoid.
Pardon me if my post was offensive to you. I was simply sharing information that I learned when I took a course on exercise programming for post rehab clients.
If ever you want additional information you might want to visit the site of Dr. Michael Jones. His website is www.postrehab.com
He also has loads of video content online.
On another note, as you are located in New York, I’d like to invite you and your staff to the American Council on Exercise New York City quarterly chapter meeting which will be held on December 8, 2012 here in Manhattan. You don’t have to be a ACE certified professional to attend.
The venue is:
34th Street & Eighth Avenue
I will be presenting a workshop on the Transtheoretical Stages of Change Model and Motivational Interviewing. I thought this might be of interest to you since you were a psychology and sociology major.
In any case it’d be great to meet you at our chapter meeting.
All the best with your client!
I am sorry to state this and I mean no ill intent. But if your asking the questions you may not be the best option (at this time) for your client. Finding and establishing a relationship with a qualified practitioner in your area is the best advice I can provide.
I noticed you’re in Ohio – try contacting Greg Mack in Columbus. He is one of the most detailed practitioners in the fitness industry. Here is his contact information http://www.physiciansfitness.com/pfnet/staff.aspx
You need the doctor’s clearance; hopefully the person finished physical therapy and can tell you what they did there. By L6 do you mean into the sacrum? Yes, there are only L1-L5.
You also want to stay away from lifting both legs simultaneously. With perfect form, try the plank.
Be careful to take things slowly; starting from the beginning.
Before you start training the client, find out for sure which lumbar vertebrae have been fused.
In your post you put L3-L6. FYI, there are only 5 lumbar vertebrae.
After you find out, I believe it is important for you to understand the function of the entire vertebral column, but more so the limitations your client will have as a consequence of spinal fusion.
Too, don’t forget the muscles that originate and attach on the lumbar spine. You will have to take this into consideration when designing the program for your client.
I hope this gives you a bit of direction.