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Leg Press Lower Back Pain


So as I was adding weight for my warm up sets on the 45 deg leg press today, I noticed a numbing/dull sensation in my lower back. As far as I know my form is good, I keep my back against the pad, hips snugged into the seat the entire time, legs descend to 90 degree. The lower back pain only occurs when I stand up after a set to stretch, and not during the set. I'm speculating it has to do with the angle of the seat since I adjust the seat to its lowest ("most horizontal") setting so that I wouldn't be crushed if I reached failure. I'm still clueless as to how leg press can cause this.


its hard not to let your back round over....here are some thing i do to help:

-Make sure your aren't pushing through the weight with your low back
-Squeeze the Shit of your glutes
-Experiment with proper foot placement
-Arch your back as much as you can
-tight core, push stomach out

I even retract my scapula which seems to help me hold better position.


were you doing lower-back taxing work earlier in the week withen a few days of the training? certain leg sleds are worse than others at stressing the lower back, the height of the seat also matters.

maybe you should raise the seat a notch or two, i know everyone thins you arent hardcore unless u have at the bottom but sometimes it can do more internal damage than external rewards.


Good tips. I used to have problems keeping my ass on the seat since my lower back would start rounding at the bottom of the movement (this was a problem even with really light weight). What I did was move my feet down to the middle of the pad (used to place them very high up), and it helped me tremendously.

One leg press question: do you spread your knees out at the bottom (to increase the ROM), or do you try to touch your chest with your knees? I seem to have a problem doing the latter (doing so will result in my ass coming off the seat).


I always have lower back problems/issues with the leg press whenever I go over just 4 pps. I now am doing only 1 legged leg press and it seems to help relieve most of the lower back pressure (of course the fact that I am using very light weights helped). You can try one legged version if so inclined, maybe it will help just because you will be forced to use way less weight - maybe just for variety?


If you grab the handles (there is always handles), pull your ass into the seat. If you pull yourself towards the seat, you'll keep your body tight, keep your back arched and less likely to have something out of wack.

I know when I first stared I used the handles to just squeeze, and I would be all contorted in positions that was not good for my back/hips. After I saw (I don't remember where) a lifter pull himself tight into the seat, I tried it and added two plates to my leg press that work out. I think it was Dave Tate for some reason.

  • Brother


I'd like to second what some others have said about placing your feet lower. When I place the seat high, put my feet low on the platform and pull myself down with the handles I get awesome leg press workouts.


I second the one-legged press. Also squeeze the fuck outta the handles and really concentrate on keeping your arch. If you have lower back pain it might also be a good idea to use a shorter range of motion.


I third this. I have back issues and the only way I can leg press any amount of weight is single legged. But its ALOT harder. You're not going to be able to do half the weight and one leg will probably be noticeably weaker then the other.


Doing mine single legged, will max the machine out on my 2nd DC blast... I hope.


That's insane! How many plates does it hold?


Three, total.

Also guys remember, not only squeeze the handles but pull yourself with them. It locks your back into a nice arch.

  • Brother


If you follow these guys advice about technique and the back pain still persists, you may have a bit of a core strength problem. I'd try some farmers carries and a few different (lightish) oly lifts to help out.

Or maybe its a crappy machine. I used an older one at golds that wobbled a bit and suffered from a stiff back every time.


Leg press can actually cause unatural compression of the lumbar spine, so back issues with the leg press are pretty common. Like they said, keep your ass down, grab the handles, pull yourself into the seat. Don't rock.


Realy? Like..REALY??? Try to position yourself exacly how you leg press, when standing...now imagine squating like that. Leg press is one of the worst machines ever made IMO...unless your 2meters + tall


Lol @ one-year-later scolding


Another tip for those who tend to round during the LP:

  • Put a rolled up towel at the point of natural curve at the end of your lumbar spine.

Like an ergonomic chair, this will help keep your spine neutral.




I read that in one of Paul Chek's articles and works great for me


Some great tips in the last few posts!

If you feel pain when you 'stand up after a set' it could possibly be tight Rectus Femoris. Remember your body is in an angled position in the leg press and the rec fem (hip flexor) is maximally contracting but your hips are failing to fully extend! When you stand up the tension generated during the press will stay in the rec fem on both legs, pulling down on your pelvis (AIIS) causing discomfort in the lower back. Try a static warrior lunge stretch for each leg after each set' this may help


BTW a good leg press will allow you to distribute the pressure from the pressing movement into the 'whole' of the back pad and not just through the hip area! So angle the seat to allow you to do this, pulling yourself down with the handles and staying tight throughout!