Can leg lifts cause lower back pain?

Answered by Willie Powers

Leg lifts can indeed cause lower back pain for several reasons. One of the main reasons is the position of the back during the exercise. When performing double leg raises, the legs are raised while lying on your back. This position inevitably leads to a curved or arched back, which puts a significant amount of pressure on the spine.

As the legs are raised, the weight from the legs presses down on the spine and grinds it into the floor. This can cause discomfort and strain on the lower back. Even if you use cushioned mats or exercise equipment, the pressure on the spine can still be felt.

Additionally, leg lifts can also put strain on the muscles of the lower back. The muscles in the lower back, such as the erector spinae and the multifidus, are responsible for stabilizing the spine and maintaining proper posture. When performing leg lifts, these muscles are engaged to support the weight of the legs and maintain balance. However, if these muscles are weak or not properly conditioned, they can easily become strained, leading to lower back pain.

Furthermore, leg lifts can also place stress on the hip flexors. The hip flexors, including the psoas and iliacus muscles, are responsible for flexing the hip joint and lifting the legs. When performing leg lifts, these muscles are constantly engaged and can become tight or overworked. This tightness can pull on the lower back and contribute to lower back pain.

Personal experience: I have personally experienced lower back pain from performing leg lifts. Initially, I did not pay much attention to my form and focused solely on lifting my legs. However, I soon realized that my lower back was bearing the brunt of the exercise and was experiencing discomfort. After consulting with a trainer, I learned the importance of maintaining proper form and engaging the core muscles to support the lower back during leg lifts.

Leg lifts can indeed cause lower back pain due to the pressure placed on the spine, the strain on the muscles of the lower back, and the stress on the hip flexors. It is important to pay attention to proper form, engage the core muscles, and listen to your body to avoid or minimize lower back pain during leg lifts. If you experience persistent or severe lower back pain, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified trainer for further guidance and evaluation.