Also Known As: Machine leg press, seated leg press, machine squat press
Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus
Equipment Needed: Leg press machine
Looking for a great way to build muscle and strength? Use the leg press machine! This machine is perfect for people of all fitness levels and can help you build muscle, burn fat, and improve your overall fitness level. Leg press exercise is an excellent option to work on your whole lower body. It doesn’t matter if you want to work on your quadriceps or the large front muscles of your thigh, leg press has got it covered all.
The leg press can help you build strength and muscle mass both. It can work on hamstrings, muscles opposite to quads at the back of thighs and glutes, and the muscles in the buttocks.
Leg presses are the exercises done on a leg press machine while sitting. It is a powerful compound lower-body exercise.
It targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and other major areas.
If you want to target your knees and hips, then it can help you build strength for the movement of extending them.
Types of Leg Press Machines
You can find majorly two types of different leg press machines in gyms:
- Incline leg press machine
- Horizontal cable leg press
The former is found with the free weights, i.e., barbells, dumbbells, etc. The latter is found with the cable weight machines.
1. The Incline Machine
You sit low on a reclined seat with your feet pressed against a raised platform. You can add weight plates to the platform according to your requirements.
These weight plates are added to adjust the resistance and make it difficult to push the platform up and away.
You push against gravity in this machine, which impersonates functional, machine-free movements you use in real life for high-pressure activities.
Khalife says that this machine allows you to add weight, making it a great instrument for more advanced level exercisers.
Although it is important to take all the safety measures, your body is positioned below the weight, so the machine puts a lot of pressure on the spine. It increases the risk of severe injury if not used properly.
2. The Horizontal Cable Machine
In this, a person sits with the feet pressed against a platform at the same height as the torso. It features a cable-rigged weight stack to select desired weight without getting out of the seat.
It has less functional benefit than the other due to the resistance selected on the machine’s pulley system for working out.
Moreover, it will be less intimidating for people beginning leg press exercises. It allows you to adjust the weight more easily than the other machine.
How to Use a Leg Press Machine
It doesn’t matter which type of leg press machine you use; select a weight you can easily lift considering the desired number of raps. You can always begin with lightweight and then increase the weight.
- To start, sit with your back and head flat against the seat and positioned in a way where it is shoulder-width apart in the middle of the platform. Ensure that your feet are kept neutral.
- Next, keep your core tight, glutes stick to the seat, and your back straight against the seat. Now press through the feet evenly to push the platform away from you and straighten your knees.
- When the legs are extended fully (and not locked), take a pause. Then slowly, with control, bend at the knees to return the platform to its initial position. Make sure you don’t rush and keep your feet attached to the platform.
Benefits of Using a Leg Press Machine
We have already discussed how a leg press machine can help you with your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles.
If you are looking for a way to improve your leg strength and tone, then a leg press machine is the perfect tool for you. A leg press machine targets the quadriceps muscles, which are responsible for the power to lift your thighs off of the ground. This is an advanced form of weight training that can help you increase your strength, endurance, and muscle endurance.
Additionally, a leg press machine is a great way to burn fat, as it helps to increase your calorie burn. So if you are looking for a versatile and effective weight-training tool, then a leg press machine is definitely worth considering!
The leg press is a compound exercise that works for multiple muscle groups at once and is a great way to teach beginners how to work their entire body. Not only that, but a leg press machine is also one of the most effective exercises for increasing strength and power in the legs. If you’re looking to add some muscle on your lower body, a leg press machine is a perfect tool for the job!
The machine’s controlled movement pattern helps beginners and is safe for people trying to do free-weight exercises. It is an excellent option for solo leg days as you don’t need a spotter.
Additionally, it is a great choice for people with any shoulder or back injury as it isolates the lower body. Due to this, it also strengthens the legs.
Common Mistakes We All Do
1. Although it may look very convenient to lift your butt too early, don’t do it. It is a big mistake while you’re pushing heavyweight. It puts strain on the knees.
2. Never put your hands on your thighs while pushing the weight. It will put pressure on the hands, making the legs weak for the exercise.
3. Never form an arch while being on the machine. It may look tough while doing it, but arching your back can strain your lower back.
Safety and Precautions
Avoid the leg press if you have weak pelvic floor muscles as it places a lot of stress on the pelvic floor. Instead, do safer leg strengthening exercises as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. You should not use this machine if you have a knee injury.
If one or both of your knees hurt, do not push through the pain. Pushing through will only cause injury. This exercise can also place stress on your back, so it should be avoided if you have a back injury or back pain.
TRY IT OUT: Benefits of leg Press Exercise