I see a lot of people at the gym doing bench with their legs off the ground and crossed. I overheard one guy saying that doing that will put less strain on your lower back. Is that true and do you recommend doing that?
07-23-2008, 11:24 AM #1
07-23-2008, 11:34 AM #2
07-23-2008, 11:51 AM #3
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Some dummies think they are working their core by having to balance their wobbly bench presses without the use of their legs as stabilizers.
Practically speaking, by putting your feet up on the bench you are taking the arch out of your lower back. Yes, this weakens your stability, and sure it will put less strain on your back if you normally drive your butt off the bench, but it flattens out your back and allows you to hit the pecs at an angle perpendicular to the spine, as opposed to 75 degrees or so.
07-23-2008, 12:34 PM #4
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I definitely don't recommend that. Keep your feet solidly on the floor, and your butt and shoulders on the bench.No brain, no gain.
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07-23-2008, 12:54 PM #5
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It does put less sheer force (stress) on the lower back, but it's inherently more stable.
If your lower back doesn't hurt, I'd keep them on the ground. If it does, I'd put your feet on a step bench or some plates stacked where your feet go. This way you get stability, but are able to bring your hips into flexion and take the stress off your lower back.
Best,Dr Clay Hyght, DC, CSCS, CISSN
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07-23-2008, 01:19 PM #6
NOT a good idea at all I did this for a while when I was starting out but only with light weight learning the form of bench. Alot of people will arch their back alot when doing bench if they have their feet on the floor, so just make sure your back is flat on the bench and you shouldnt get much strain anyways.
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06-07-2010, 02:12 AM #7
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he was the lightest guy to ever bench 600 lbs raw in a meet- he did it at 229 lbs. DRUG FREE.
the next heaviest guy ever to do over 600 weighed 240- 11 lbs heavier and in a non-drug tested federation.
Rock Lewis has always benched with his legs crossed and he swears by it. i dont think hes ever been injured either.\
that must count for something
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06-07-2010, 03:00 AM #8
A lot of people jumping in and saying dont do it dont do it. Yet aren't backing up what they are saying.
Legs up, as dr clay said, puts less shear force on the back. Obviously you wont see the heaviest lifting powerlifters do this so often. For those with back issues, its actually a good idea. I've heard people say "they are trying to work their core", 1) no you just don't understand the difference in forces with an arched back and one that is in a decompressed position, and 2) if they are trying to, well they arent so bright
That being said, I wouldnt be doing my 1RM or even weight I find heavy for 5-6 reps with my legs up. Its good for those that have lower back issues, but not limited to.