With a similar movement to that of the squat, the leg press recruit's the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteul muscles, and calfs, whilst providing support for the lower back and torso. The leg press also commonly has safety pins set to ensure safety in the case of the trainer failing on a repetition.
Keeping the torso erect and back pressed against the pad, the trainer is advised to push through the entire foot and to stop just short of lock out.
Locking out of the leg press is not needed and will take the stress away from the muscles, instead transferring the resistance down the bones of the leg.
The leg press can also be performed in an isolateral manner, with completing the exercise with just one leg at a time. This can be extremely difficult at first, and a very light weight should be used until the strength and balanced has been reached to complete the movement with confidence. This type of training can build up the supporting muscles of the leg, whilst ensuring equal workload for both legs to minimise imbalances in strength and size.
Performing leg presses
When training for muscular size it is often best to train in a rep range of 6-12 repetitions, although there is often much debate on the optimal rep range. It would be advisable to experiment with different ranges to see which suits you.
- Load machine with correct weight.
- Make sure safety pins are at correct level, if necessary.
- Sit on seat, with the back pressed against pad for back support.
- Place feet on the pressing platform, with a suitable width stance.
- Extend knees and hip to press the platform.
- Twist docking levers, so that the platform is free to travel down rails.
- Control the platform down by bending knees and hip.
- Once platform is brought down so that knees are at roughly 80-90°, press back to starting position by extending at knees and hip.
- Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Leg press courtesy of Fitness Uncovered - Bodybuilding & Fitness
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