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Leg Press - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Quads
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes, Calves and Hamstrings

The Leg Press targets the quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. By performing the Leg Press exercise you can overcome the disadvantage to the lower back that squats can cause. It also allows you to lift very heavy weight in order to build mass on the thighs. The Leg Press is a great option for those who may be at the beggining of their fitness development, or have not yet accomplished trunk strength.

Leg Press - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Seat yourself in the Leg Press machine, your feet on the moving upper panel and your back and head resting against the lower bench.
  • Exhale and push up on the plate to unlock the weight rack. Inhale and bring the weighted rack towards you creating a 90 degree angle with your knees.
  • Exhale and drive the weight via the heels back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired rep range.

Leg Press - Tips & Safety

  • Don’t cheat by pushing with your hands on your knees or crossing your arms across your chest to make the exercise easier.
  • Keep tension on the quads by stopping just before full lockout of the legs.
  • Going slightly below 90 degrees may help develop strength throughout the full range of motion, however be careful of the stress on your knees.

Leg Press - Alternatives

  • Muscle focus is determined by the angle your torso makes with your legs. When the angle of the backrest to the seat is at 90 degrees, greater emphasis is placed on the glutes and hamstrings. When the backrest is tilted toward the floor, your torso leans back, placing less stress on your lower back and greater emphasis on your quads.
  • Different leg stance widths will also target differently the inner or outer quads.
  • Hack squats are another suitable alternative.
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