Do you feel Lower Back Pain after Leg press?

Lower back pain after leg press

The leg press is one of the most important workouts, especially if you’re looking to build or strengthen your lower body.

However, it is unusual that people suffer lower back pain after leg press due to poor form or performing incorrectly.

In this article, let’s discuss about the causes of lower back pain after leg press, common mistakes that contribute to lower back pain, Techniques to prevent lower back pain during leg press, Strengthening exercises and stretches for the lower back, Alternative exercises to leg press and went to seek medical help.

Understanding the Causes of Lower Back Pain from Leg Press

Biomechanics of the Leg Press Exercise

The leg press workout is a compound exercise that targets our Quadriceps, Hamstrings and glutes. During this exercise, you’ll be sitting on a machine with your back against a padded backrest and push the weighted platform away from you using your legs. The movement involves bending and extending your knees and hips, which places a significant load on your lower body muscles.

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Improper Form or Technique and Lower Back Pain

One of the leading causes of lower back pain from leg press is improper form or technique. Poor form can be because of pushing excessive weight, placing the feet incorrectly on the footplate, and rounding the lower back during the movement. These mistakes can result in the transfer of excessive stress and strain onto the lower back, leading to pain and potential injury.

Techniques to Prevent Lower Back Pain During Leg Press

The importance of proper form and technique

Good form and technique can help you eliminate lower back pain while performing leg press. It’s necessary to maintain a neutral spine during the exercise to prevent the lower back from rounding or arching unnecessarily. By maintaining a neutral spine, the weight can be evenly distributed across the lower body, reducing the pressure on your lower back.

Step-by-step instructions for the correct leg press form

To perform the leg press exercise with the correct form, follow these steps:

  • Adjust the seat and footplate to a comfortable position.
  • Put your feet shoulder-width apart on the footplate and lay back on the backrest.
  • Bend your knees and lower the weight until your knees form a 90-degree angle.
  • Press through your heels, extending your legs until they are almost fully straight.
  • Pause briefly and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
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Significance of Warm-up Exercises and Stretching

It is important to warm up properly before engaging in leg press workout. Try to do running or cycling to improve blood flow and warm up the muscles.

Additionally, perform dynamic stretches targeting the lower body, such as leg swings or hip rotations, can help prepare the muscles for the leg press and reduce the risk of lower back pain.

Incorporating static stretching exercises for the lower back, such as the child’s pose or seated forward fold, can also be beneficial in relieving tension and improving flexibility.

By incorporating warm-up exercises and stretches, the muscles are adequately prepared for the leg press, reducing the likelihood of lower back pain.

Stretches and Strengthening Exercises for Lower Back

Stretches for lower back mobility and flexibility

Stretching the lower back can improves mobility and flexibility, relieves stiffness, and reduce the risk of lower back injury. Some effective stretches include:

Cat-Camel Stretch

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Child’s Pose

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Strengthening Lower Back Muscles

Strengthening your lower back muscles is important to maintain a healthy back. The following exercises that target your lower back can help improve your strength and stability. 

Superman Exercise

Credits: XHIT Daily

Bird Dog Exercise

Bird dog hold

Hip Bridge Exercise

Hip Bridge

Instructions and Precautions

When performing these stretches and exercises, it is important to follow certain instructions.

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercises and stretches.
  • Pay attention to your body’s limitations and avoid overexertion or forcing positions.
  • Maintain proper form and alignment throughout each exercise and stretch.
  • If you have any past back injuries, consult with a Physical therapist before starting a new workout routine.

Alternative Exercises to Leg Press for Lower Back-Friendly Workouts

Alternative Exercises for Lower Back-Friendly Workouts

If you experience lower back pain during leg press workout, there are alternatives that target the same muscle groups without straining the lower back. These workouts can help you strengthen your lower body with minimizing the risk of hurting your lower back.


Credits: Davis diley


Credits: MedStar Health


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Variations and Benefits of Alternative Exercise for leg press

Squats, lunges, and step-ups offer several benefits beyond targeting the lower body muscles. They enhance overall lower body strength, promote better balance and coordination, and increase functional movement abilities.

These exercises also allow for various variations, such as adding weights or incorporating different equipment, to add variety and challenge to your workouts.

By adding these alternative exercises into your routine, you can continue working on your lower body without worrying about your lower back pain.

Always maintain proper form, start with lighter weights or body weight, and gradually progress as your strength improves. Remember, If you have any past lower back injury, consult a Physical therapist or a certified fitness trainer to ensure that these exercises are suitable for your specific needs and abilities.

Final Thoughts

Lower back pain during leg press can be a result of improper form, technique, or muscle imbalances. Understanding the causes and implementing preventive measures is crucial for a safe and effective workout routine. 

Proper form and technique, along with warm-up exercises and stretching, are essential to prevent lower back pain during leg presses. 

Strengthening exercises and stretches targeting the lower back can help improve flexibility, relieve tension, and enhance overall lower back health. 

In addition, alternative workouts like squats, lunges, and step-ups can deliver efficient lower-body workouts. These exercises target the same muscle groups without placing excessive strain on the lower back.

It is important to follow proper instructions, progress gradually, and listen to your body when performing these exercises and stretches. If you have persistent lower back pain or underlying conditions, seeking professional help is advised. 

Consult with a Physical therapist or a certified fitness trainer for personalized guidance. 

By prioritizing proper form, incorporating alternative exercises, and seeking professional advice when needed, you can reduce the risk of lower back pain and enjoy a rewarding and pain-free workout routine.

Thanks for reading.

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Why does the leg press hurt my lower back?

Improper form and excessive weight can cause lower back pain during leg presses. Rounding the lower back or incorrect foot placement strains the back. Strengthening the lower back and maintaining proper form can help alleviate the pain.

How do you do leg presses without hurting your back?

To avoid back pain during leg press, focus on proper form. Keep a neutral spine, avoid rounding your back, and use manageable weights. Strengthen your lower back and warm up before exercising.

How do I stop my lower back from rounding in leg press?

To prevent rounding of the lower back during leg press, focus on maintaining proper form. Start by positioning yourself correctly on the machine with your feet flat on the footplate. Engage your core and keep a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Avoid excessive weight that compromises your form. Strengthening your core muscles and practising proper form consistently will help prevent lower back rounding during leg presses.

Is leg press better than squat for lower back pain?

Whether leg press or squats are better for lower back pain depends on the individual and their specific condition. The leg press can provide more support to the lower back due to the seated position. Squats, on the other hand, engage more muscles and require greater stabilization, which can benefit overall lower body strength. Consulting with a physical therapist or a certified Fitness trainer is recommended to determine the most suitable exercise for your specific lower back condition.

Gurushankar (Fitness Trainer)

An Ex-Cricketer, Fitness Trainer and Content Creator.

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