Get a How to on the Leg Press

Jun 05, 2009
Get a How to on the Leg Press

Make sure you read this before your next leg routine!

If you don’t train legs you better start soon. If you do, you’re more than likely familiar with the ever so popular and common exercise machine, “The Leg Press.” Many attribute executing this exercise as an alternative to Barbell Squats do to “a bad Back, or bad knees.” Unfortunately more than likely its not the squat that kills their back and knees, it’s their form while squatting. Even though they substitute the leg press for squats there is a certain technique that goes along with this exercise too that if not performed correctly could result in the same outcome.

So what is it?

When performing the leg press it is easy to get a big ego and feel confident in pushing as much weight possible, and or to not fully understand what you must do in order to maximize the muscle emphasized. The first step is to make sure that your feet are properly placed before you start. Depending on the muscles your emphasizing you can change your foot position, however in this case for a standard routine, place your feet just shoulder width apart. Be sure that your feet are even and that they are centered in the middle of the foot plate. As you descend slowly make sure that your heels stay on the foot plate throughout the entire movement. If your heels come up off of the plate, the load puts a shearing force of the knee joint and could potentially result in those “bad knees” that come from squatting incorrectly. Next make sure that as you come down do not let the weight slam against your thighs and produce a “bounce”. Your lower back SHOULD NOT come up off of the seat. If your back does your lower back becomes rounded thus putting all the stress directly on your lower back and erector spinae muscles.

The right way

To execute the Machine Leg Press Properly, make sure that again your feet are evenly placed and you slowly descend down to where your lower leg and upper thigh are at a 90 degree angle. Press firmly back up to an extended position however do not lock out your legs completely as this could result in potential knee injuries. Once you are aware of these minor techniques you should be well on your way to achieving the leg development you want with this great exercise.


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