Back Rehabilitation via Weightlifting

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KPj
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Post by KPj » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:12 pm

The whole controversy with the leg press is the stress it causes to the lower back. I guess you could just restrict the ROM, though, if you really feel the need to do it.

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Post by Blue Running Man » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:39 pm

KPj wrote:The whole controversy with the leg press is the stress it causes to the lower back. I guess you could just restrict the ROM, though, if you really feel the need to do it.

KPj
Yes Sir, That it does.

I have been away from the sled for a long time. It's been years. Normally I do my own programing, but I felt the desire to do blindly follow a different persons idea for a change. So I picked a program from John Berardi, and started following it. It calls for lots of machines that I'm not use to. I'm at week 2, phase 2.

I tweaked my back on the sled week one, I tweaked my back on the sled week two.

There is a lot more volume per body part then I'm use to. It was a tough first week, but this week I am progressing nicely.

I think I will have to drop the leg press. I don't think our gym has a trap bar, but I will look. ;

I didn't mean to hyjack this thread, I figured there was enough back threads on the page that we didn't need another one.

This gets me thinking, what are the dangerous exercises that occur in the gym? Does anyone have any statistics?

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Post by Ironman » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:25 pm

I think if you can feel it in your back, you aren't doing it right. I don't see why there is controversy. That's like deadlifting with a rounded back and complaining that the exercise hurts your back. It makes no sense. Butt stays on seat, back stays straight. You lift with your LEGS and glutes. Hence the name LEG press. You lower the weight down as far as your legs go and that's it, you don't curl your butt up to lower it more. It's real easy, do the exercise right. Problem solved. No more controversy.

How about the new skullcrusher controversy I am going to start. It hurts my head every time I do it. I guess you could reduce the ROM and the speed if you want to. But I do it fast right into the forehead. See how silly that is?

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Post by Blue Running Man » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:46 pm

Like I've said before, It isn't the end range of motion that bothers me. Its about 1/2, maybe less of the way down. When the exercise shifts from glute to quad. The hams deactivate and stress is placed on the lower back. The back rounds, but only for that very brief second of loss of activation. Pain is felt, then the muscles contract hard, stabilizing the spine once again.

I can only assume that the reason my hams are deactivating, is because of the linear plane of movement. Effort is focused on force production, not stabilization.

My ass stays in the seat very well, except for that brief moment. My back/core feels strong and contracted otherwise, and I don't feel any stress on my back at all, until the hams lose tension. I try and stay focus on maintaining tension on the hams, but ever now and then it slips, which causes me problems for the next 24hrs.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:09 pm

Blue Running Man wrote:Like I've said before, It isn't the end range of motion that bothers me. Its about 1/2, maybe less of the way down. When the exercise shifts from glute to quad. The hams deactivate and stress is placed on the lower back. The back rounds, but only for that very brief second of loss of activation. Pain is felt, then the muscles contract hard, stabilizing the spine once again..
It's hard to extend the hips when your butt is parked. Bodybuilders like using the leg press to build up their quads because it doesn't build up their butts in the process. But apparently the seated position prevents the hamstrings from assisting the glutes in hip extension.


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Post by KPj » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:45 am

I didn't 'create' the controversy, ya know.

MIke Boyle,

"2) Forget the Leg Press
If you can't squat, please don't leg press. I'd like all of my athletes and clients to front squat, but once an athlete has a history of back pain we will use alternatives. One that we don't use is the leg press. We never leg press. I haven't had a leg press in one of my facilities for over ten years! The leg press is good for only one thing: inflating the ego. There are far better ways to work the lower body if you're unable to squat. They just don't allow you to use huge weights. The only thing worse than a man leg-pressing is a
man leg-pressing with knee wraps."

And cressey has written that he's seen more back injuries from leg pressing than any other exercise, in his article about leg extensions.

Lowering the weight down 'as far as your legs go' will bring your knees/thighs to your chest. I've not seen many people achieve this without rounding the lower back, not to mention how you perform a lower back stretch - lie down, pull your knees to your chest..... I'm sure you can leg press without rounding the lower back, but it's not as simple as just lowering as far as your legs go, it needs a little thought.

In my opinion, bodybuilders or bodybuilder 'types' aside, it's a useless exercise at best.

KPj

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:27 am

I wouldn't say that the leg press is useless for "real" athletes as opposed to bodybuilders. It is the leg exercise of choice for speed skaters, for instance. But like KPj notes, the large amount ofd weight that can be used in leg presses causes a lot of ego lifting . Leg presses can't compete with squats or deadlifts for overall lower body development. But no exercise targets the quads better than leg presses.

The ability of the leg press to develop the quads can lead to leg imbalances, however. Those guys leg pressing with knee wraps usually end their workouts with a couple of sets of leg curls. That won't keep the quads/hams in the desired 3:2 strength ratio.

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Post by KPj » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:54 am

I'm still not so sure. I've read Poliquin say that speed skaters use it. But i've also read him saying that it's not functional for sports. Other than poliquin I can't think of anyone else who like them for anything other than big quads (although it's not like I know of every coach out there....)

Speed skater thing, here - http://www.t-nation.com/article/most_re ... 021706&cr=

Then seemingly contradicting himself, here, http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... august&cr=

I don't know much about speed skaters at all so i'm not in a position to comment but i'm still not convinced that outside of hypertrophy, the leg press is good for anything. For example, a lot of pro football (soccer) players over here have machine based body building style routines... But that doesn't make it any good.... I remember before Ricky Hatton got beat down by Mayweather, there was a documentary on covering his training. His lifting routine was shocking - all machines, again, high reps. Maybe you only seen a snippet but I saw lot's of pressing and not much rowing.... Not to mention leg extensions and curls.

Itwas the same on a similar program for Amir Khan, although, I hear he's fired his trainers and is working with new ones in the states now. (although not much you can do for a glass jaw)

My point there I guess is that speed skaters may use the leg press but until it get's more popular among more athletes and S & C coaches, I would still take it with a pinch of salt...

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:52 pm

Interestingly I just watched a video about Magnus Samuelson, and he uses (or at least used) a leg press. He shows a "mass gain" program he said he used to use to get big.

It's a good video...nice deadlifts, push presses, power cleans, tire flips, etc. and painfully watching him smith machine press and leg press. Oddly, he claims the leg press is a good complement to the front squat because it involves the hamstrings. I don't think that's correct, but I haven't leg pressed since high school, where reps "didn't count" unless you let the press go all the way down. No wonder I kept hurting my knees.

http://www.megavideo.com/?v=NK6LV45L

But I have to think it's the deadlifts, the cleans, the front squats, the tire flips, etc. that are doing it for his hamstrings more than some leg presses.


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