We did front squats today at the gym - the bar barely sits on my fingers at all, half of them aren't even under the bar -- mostly just my index and middle finger. It's on my shoulders.
I have several herniated disc in my lumbar area, but I refuse to give up my squats and deadlifts.
Those two exercises allow me to still train in MMA.
That being said, I did have to compromise. Back squats tend to work the posterior chain and so does standard deadlifts.Becuase of that I can't go too heavy with those.
What I did find through research and trail-and-error, is that the front squat and sumo deadlift nullify the posterior chain.I can easily front squat 225 lbs for reps and sumo deadlift 315 lbs.
For those of you struggling with an "achilles" back, definitely look into these variations.
AND DON'T EVER SQUAT IN A SMITH MACHINE!!!