The leg press is an exercise that targets the muscles in the legs. It is a variant of the Squat.

It can be used to work both quads and hamstring muscles, depending on the part of the foot that is pushed through.

The leg press is often thought of as an automated version of the barbell squat. Leg press is similar in mechanics, but it does not mimic the exact movement pattern of a squat. It does not work all the muscles that the squat works.

It can be used to complement the squat or to replace the lack of equipment in gyms that are unable to train squat movements.

It is an exercise machine that targets the quadriceps. The leg press is a favorite of lifters who prefer to sit down with the load on their spine rather than standing.

Instructions for Leg Press

  • Sit on a leg press and place your feet on the platform in front of you with a medium foot stance (shoulder width). ( Note In this discussion, we will use the medium foot stance that targets overall development. However, you can choose from any of the other three stances in the foot position section).
  • The safety bars that hold the weighted platforms in place can be lowered. Press the platform up all the way until your legs fully extended in front of you. Tip Do not lock your legs. The torso should be perfectly 90 degrees from the legs. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the platform as you inhale until your upper leg and lower leg form a 90-degree angle.
  • Exhaling, push primarily with your heels and use the quadriceps to return to the original position.
  • Repete the steps as instructed and lock the safety pins once you’re done. Do not let the platform fall on you when it is fully loaded.
  • Caution Check to ensure that the platform is locked securely when you rerack the weight.
  • Variations All variations of foot stance are described in the foot-stance section.

Additional Information

  • Build stronger, more muscular quadriceps
  • Squatting in bad form is more dangerous for your spine than standing up straight.
  • It can handle a lot of weight without a spotter
  • Keep the knees slightly below the lockout to maintain tension in the quads.
  • Push through your heels to emphasize the glutes.
  • Push through the ball of your feet to emphasize the quads.
  • Do not allow your hips to roll or tilt backward.
  • Maintain your low back flat on the pad during the entire movement.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position. Avoid excessive looking up and down.
  • You can self-spot by applying pressure with your hands to the knees. Use only as needed.
  • Toe angle will vary depending on hip anatomy and ankle flexibility. Experiment and adjust according to feel.

Alternates for Leg Press

Leg Press

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