How to Use the Leg Press Machine
This machine may be used to work the leg muscles and is great for working both the front thigh muscles (quadriceps) and back thigh muscles (hamstrings). When performed correctly, the front thigh muscles are worked at a much higher intensity than the back thigh muscles.
Setting up the machine
How to use
- To set up the machine, sit at the machine and position your back properly on the backrest. Bend your knees and keep your feet slightly apart. If there is a lever on the side, you can use it to adjust the positioning until you feel as though you are in a comfortable position.
- Set the desired weight load.
- Place your feet, shoulder width apart on the footplate in front of you.
- Take a deep breath in and bend the knees in a controlled motion, bringing the knees closer to your torso. If there is a lock on the machine, you need to adjust the lever to come down a bit more.
- As you exhale, extend the legs out fully without locking the knees and hold for a count of one, keeping your quadriceps contracted throughout.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Do not let the weight plates touch between repetitions and control the movement throughout.
You can change the positioning of your feet to target the different regions of the muscles at a different intensity. Placing your feet higher up on the footplate generally targets the back thigh muscles more intensity. It is important to not place your feet in an uncomfortable position on the footplate, as this is unnecessary and can cause damage and muscle imbalances.
Your feet should remain flat against the footplate at all times and you should avoid pressing on your toes or on your heels excessively. Widening your stance also places more emphasis on the outer thigh muscles, while keeping your legs closer together targets the inner thighs more intensely.
Author: Dimi Ingle.
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