How the Leg Extension Can Be Dangerous for Your Back

How the Leg Extension Can Be Dangerous for Your Back

In this post, I wanted to go through how the Leg Extension Machine can be dangerous for your back.

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When it comes to the Leg Extension Machine, a very common exercise you will see people do is straightening out the legs and then lowering their legs back down. This is called the leg extension, which is why the machine is named the Leg Extension Machine. While there are benefits to this exercise, it also poses a risk to some people. Some people lack hamstring flexibility, which changes the curve of the pelvis. If so, your pelvis will tilt back and your back will flatten out. This flattening out of the back exposes your back to undo stress and pressure, which can result in irritation, pain, or full-blown injury.

slide your hand in behind your back

Slide Your Hand Behind Your Back

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Avoid the exercise and do other exercises that work on your legs. There are countless exercises that work your legs. Some exercises that are similar to the leg extension are classic squats and lunges.
  2. Do the leg extension exercise on the leg extension machine, but eliminate the range of what you are doing. Instead of extending your legs all the way, limit how far you go. Do 75% of the movement.
  3. Work on the flexibility in the hamstring. I did another video on what you can do about your tight hamstrings. If you are able to lengthen out the hamstrings, your pelvis will be able to stay in a neutral position. When the pelvis is in its neutral position, your lower back can maintain its natural curvature and you will be at a much lower risk of injuring your back.
  4. Slide your hand behind your back and work on trying to keep the curve in your lower back. Work on not changing the pressure up against your hand and then go through the movement. You want to keep the slight, natural curve in your lower back. Make sure not to over-arch the lower back, as this will also put you at risk for back pain and injury.

So there you go! If you are doing the Leg Extension Exercise and it bothers your back, now you know why. You already know the four different things that you can do when it comes to the Leg Extension Machine exercise to avoid irritating your back or potentially injuring your back.

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Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you are suffering from any kind of back discomfort, then click here to check out the Low Back Pain Solved program.

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