I recently injured my back and am anxious to get back to the gym, but I'm used to free-weight exercises and not exactly excited about having to use machines. Are there good options for lower body, free-weight exercises that protect the back?
Edit: My injuries are in the lower back where I tore some soft tissue due to hyperextension. The original injury was years ago, but it is very easy to reinjur and it happened again a week ago. My doctor simply prescribes an anti-inflammatory and to "go easy".