Leg press exercises and weight bearing
Limited weight bearing of the lower extremity is commonly recommended after lower limb surgery or arthroplasty, and an overloading can lead to delayed healing or non-union. Many rehabilitation protocols commonly include leg press exercises to recover function of the quadriceps femoris, however to date, the loading during leg press has not been analysed.
15 healthy participants performed double and single leg press exercises with 10, 20 and 40 kg. The reference values for the full body weight were obtained by walking trials. All trials were measured with insoles that measured foot loading.
The results showed that double leg press with 10 kg led to a maximum load of 5% of the full body weight, 20 kg led to 12% and 40 kg to a maximum of 26% of full weight bearing.
During single leg press 10 kg lead to 25% of the full body weight, 20 kg to 40% and 40 kg to 67% of the full body weight.
This study showed that double leg presses with 40 kg as well as single leg presses with 10 kg and 20 kg may not even exceed 30% of full weight bearing. When weight bearing up to half the bodyweight is allowed, the single leg press can be increased up to 20 kg. Thus, leg press exercises can be performed in accordance with a given limitation of foot loading.
> From: Wild et al., Phys Ther Sport 19 (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.