T Nation

Hernia Prevention - Leg Press vs. Squat?


#1

I had an umbilical hernia 3 years ago and the doctor who repaired it told me the Leg Press was particularly bad for causing hernia's. He said squats are OK. I'm always a bit skeptical about doctor's advice when it comes to weight lifting, especially since he wasn't a lifter himself.

It seems to me that the position of your torso in relation to your legs is similar for both the squat and leg press. Has anyone ever heard of Leg Presses being a greater risk that squats or hack squats for hernia's?


#2

I've never used the leg press so I couldn't comment. I would guess though that the leg press machine seems to compress your legs to torso and constrains everything more than a squat would. I'm absolutely just guessing but maybe he thought internal pressure could be more and abs were less tense during a leg press and hence the danger of reinjury was more.

I've had a hernia before like you about 2 years ago and gave it about 3 months before any squatting. Now I don't give it a second thought. Of all the reading I did it said that if repaired correctly the site of the hernia should be stronger than ever. I would just do whatever you want and not give thought to it's impact on the hernia.


#3

Thanks ozzyaaron! The surgeon was excellent so I'm not so much worried about the umbilical area as I am getting a groin hernia next. But to be on the safe side maybe lighter reps and higher reps are in order.


#4

Yes.
I have always been taught the 45* leg press movement creates the greatest inter-abdominal pressure. Lifters are more likely to overload the leg press than the squat too.


#5

I would stick to squats personally, IMO. If you want to avoid additional hernia episodes, concentrate on soft tissue quality and mobility of the adductor and hip flexor muscles. Google "Mike Boyle hernia" for additional information.


#6

he probably has never seen anybody work hard on the squat. i havent