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Thread: Leg press form: Questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member synonymous's Avatar
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    Leg press form: Questions

    Reason for leg presses at the bottom of this post:

    I've been doing leg presses and it was like my lower back was getting hit as well so I knew something was wrong. Leg presses, at first glance, seem like a pretty straightforward exercise, but I guess you can do them wrong.

    1. I tend to put my hands on my knees. I stopped after reading that you are NOT suppose to do that. Is this because you are taking weight off your legs or is this causing your back to go rounded?

    2. Should you be at a particular angle with the seat? And should you keep your head flat against the backboard? I tend to look to my feet to see if I'm getting to 90 degrees or not. I decided not to do this today and felt I got a better workout. Coincidence?

    I tried doing 1 legged leg presses today, lower (Much lower) weight. I managed to use both legs to get into the starting position with ease, then dropping one leg to the ground. Is there as specific location your working foot should be on the end board? Shoulder width? More to center?

    The reason (Everyone likes to squat, here's why I'm not right now) Right now my back is feeling strange and I've decided to take deadlifts and squats out of my routine for now. I go in for an MRI next week to see if anything is funny. After heavy deads or squats, I get this feeling from lower back to shoulders like someone is fulling hairs out. Like little pinches. It stays for a while then goes away. I just don't want to have to rehab a preventable injury. Gym trainers say my form is good. I haven't been given permission to bring a camera in yet, so I can't get the opinion of WBB members right now.
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  2. #2
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Leg presses are often worse for your back than squats. The reason relates to depth of the leg press. You get serious posterior pelvic tilt when leg pressing with a full ROM. That tilt places the lumbar region in a compromised position.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Leg presses can be a great exercise, but the key to do them safely is to not let your hips roll when coming down. Keep your butt on the pad at all times. Going deeper will just lead to back stress, not bigger legs. Save the big range of motion for squats.

  4. #4
    Senior Member synonymous's Avatar
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    Late reply, sorry guys.

    So, basically don't go as deep as you would with squats, keep your but on the chair, especially when coming down.

    I read on Lyle McDonald's site about using 1 legged press. I definitely feel MORE with less weight and I can't go down as far (More limited ROM). I wobbled away and was not feeling anything in my back. Although I still have some discomfort from the previous weeks of something going wrong. MRI Thursday
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synonymous View Post
    Late reply, sorry guys.

    So, basically don't go as deep as you would with squats, keep your but on the chair, especially when coming down.

    I read on Lyle McDonald's site about using 1 legged press. I definitely feel MORE with less weight and I can't go down as far (More limited ROM). I wobbled away and was not feeling anything in my back. Although I still have some discomfort from the previous weeks of something going wrong. MRI Thursday
    You will tend not to go as deep with the one legged hence what you experienced. If you like the one-legged version and experience on discomfort using it then that is just fine.


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    Quote Originally Posted by synonymous View Post
    Late reply, sorry guys.

    So, basically don't go as deep as you would with squats, keep your but on the chair, especially when coming down.

    I read on Lyle McDonald's site about using 1 legged press. I definitely feel MORE with less weight and I can't go down as far (More limited ROM). I wobbled away and was not feeling anything in my back. Although I still have some discomfort from the previous weeks of something going wrong. MRI Thursday

    One legged leg press kill me even with less than half the normal weight of both leg's. I always follow my leg workout up with these and can barley walk afterwards. I have back issues as well but these don't bother me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member synonymous's Avatar
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    @Chris

    Is there anything you can recommend to sub the squats and deads while rehabing a possible back issue (Or something that takes the pressure off the back just in case)? The gym doesn't have reverse hypers. Still would like to hit the legs as hard as possible. Will continue to do the 1 legged press until I feel uncomfortable (Not feeling anything in my back so far...so it seems to be working). I'm always interested in learning more, thus the questions.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    You can do Bulgarian split squats, Step ups, High rep Bodyweight squats (50-100 reps). Don't try and push things to hard until your back is better, always look at the bigger picture.

  9. #9
    Senior Member synonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    You can do Bulgarian split squats, Step ups, High rep Bodyweight squats (50-100 reps). Don't try and push things to hard until your back is better, always look at the bigger picture.
    I did 1 legged press and followed it up with 50 bodyweight squats. When doing the press, I was able to go much deeper with my right leg than with my left. Is this a strength issue? Flexibility?

    During the squats, even just bodyweight, I felt like a little hair was being pulled from my back on a few occasions. I didn't have this with the press. This sound like anything anyone else has experienced?
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    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    It could even be ankle flexibility. I have a great rom in my right ankle then my left ankle.

  11. #11
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    You got access to a hack squat?


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  12. #12
    Senior Member synonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    You got access to a hack squat?
    yes. I do.
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