Also take a look at this youtube video performing the exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCQ-FY_bj9E
Happy Monday bloggers!
Today’s blog will be talking about another exercise that I enjoy doing while at the gym, hopefully many of you have tried it and enjoy it as much as I, but if you don’t, that is okay too! The exercise I am talking about is the seated leg press. The reason I like this exercise is because it works different parts of the lower body with the adjustment of the feet, it is easy to use and normally most gyms have it (there are different types of these machines, they don’t all look alike). Nonetheless, I usually make this one of my many “go to” machines when I am working my lower body. Depending on what you are trying to target, you can make it so you are targeting the glutes, hamstrings or quads. I think it is good to work them all if possible, obviously being sure to not over-train. Many people in the gym are always trying to do high weights on this machine, which is quite easy to do, but people need to be sure they aren’t putting strains on their knees intentionally in order to lift more weight. Most importantly if you are new at using this machine, be sure to ask questions and make sure you understand the placement of the body so that you don’t get any injuries. Personally I would highly recommend to anyone who does this exercise, to do a warm-up exercise (leg extentions, dynamic stretching, etc) which will help to prevent injury. I would be most interested in learning who all likes this particular exercise and who all isn’t a fan of it, so share! 🙂 Btw, this exercise can also be good for the calves, depending on the placement of your feet as well.
How to do a leg press?
- Using the leg press machine, sit down on the machine (make sure to adjust the seat to your liking, normally the number 3 is about average), Place your feet on the platform directly in front of you (depending on what you are trying to target, either you will place your feet higher or lower or in the middle of the platform in a shoulder width apart stance) Sometimes people will have a wide base of support or narrow as well depending on what they are trying to target as well.
- Depending on the type of leg press machine you are using, you will lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place, and press the platform all the way up until your legs are extended in front of you (do not full extend them to prevent locking your knees and causing injury, have your knees slightly bent)
- As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90 degree angle.
- Pushing with the heels of your feet, and using the quads, go to back to your starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat the recommended amount of repetitions.
The good things about the leg press:
- Strengthens the leg muscles
- strengthens the knee and hip joints
- Can be used for strength or hypertrophy
- Minimizes your need to balance the weight
- Most machines have something that helps from keeping the weight from squashing you if you are lifting heavy and fail to complete the rep
- The machine provides lower back support
- Makes it easy to strain the knees if done incorrectly
- Back injury can occur if one lowers the knee to close to the abdomen (causes the back to round)
- expensive to purchase for your home gym
- May not translate well to real world activities, or sports (lack of functionality)
- Lacks the need for balance- means it is easy to have one leg doing the majority of the work, causing one leg to be bigger than the other
- False sense to safety if not done correctly, it can cause injury
I would recommend if you do a leg press exercise, then you should also implement more functional workouts as well (i.e lunges, squats step ups). I always do myself so that I can get the best benefits from the exercises, especially if you are noticing some imbalances in your leg strength. It is very important to do this exercise with good technique and form to prevent injuries. I have seen so many people add heavy weights and not do this exercise correctly, which in the long run is not good. I know people love showing off and being able to lift heavy weights, but it isn’t worth your safety, you can do lower weight and higher reps, or just start with 15 lb and work your way up. If anyone has any questions or concerns about the leg press machine, feel free to ask me! Again would love to hear from all of you, your opinion on this machine/exercise. Thank you for reading!
Your Fitness blogger,