Back in 1999, I was working out at lunch at the physical therapy clinic that I worked at. I was doing a machine circuit, and one of the machines I used was the leg press. It was a heavier day, and I pushed it.
During my second set, I hurt my back. I could not believe it. I hurt my back doing the leg press. Then I went home and researched why I hurt my back on the leg press.
I found out why and explained it in this video.
How the Leg Press can be Dangerous for Your Back
An Inclined Leg Press Machine is excellent in targeting your legs. But when you get to that leg press’s end position, your low back is flattening out.
Inclined Leg Press Machine
With that flattening out, you end up having that changing of the curve in your low back. And with that, changing your curve puts undue stress on your back, leading to irritation, pain, and a full-blown injury.
A better option is going into a Single Leg Press.
Single Leg Press
With Orsy here, she’s doing a single-leg press. What that does is with one leg down, it ends up locking the pelvis, so the pelvis is not going to tilt back and flatten out that low back. With that leg locked, it keeps that curve in the low back.
If she wants to check and make sure, she can always slide her hand underneath her back and ensure that there is no excessive flattening of that lower back.
One thing that is great with this Single Leg work is she works a lot more on the stability in her hip, which is important, and many people end up lacking it.
There you go. Now you know why you get undue stress in the low back when you are in an inclined leg press or a leg press machine. It flattens your back, and that flattening of your back puts your low back at risk.
One little tweak that you can do is going Single Leg. And that will end up locking the pelvis and maintaining the curve in your back. You can double-check things by sliding your hand in your lower back and working on maintaining that low back curve.
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Rick Kaselj, MS.