Build Your Quads With Leg Press
One of the moves that you might find yourself including in your lower body workout routine is the leg press.
This compound exercise is excellent for working your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, making it great for overall lower body strengthening while also improving the degree of muscle definition you see.
This said, there are some key points that you need to know and remember as you go about this exercise so you can be sure that you are performing it correctly.
Let’s go over some of the main factors to remember to put into action next time you’re in the gym.
Keep Your Back Pressed Down
The first thing that you’ll want to remember is to keep your back pressed down into the bench of the leg press at all times.
If you start to let your back arch as you perform this movement, you’ll be placing a high level of stress and strain on the lower back vertebrae, which may in turn lead to chronic lower back soreness.
One quick trick to help ensure that you are keeping the position you need to be is contracting the abs at all times.
By keeping them firmly contracted, you’ll sustain a neutral position in your spine.
Note Your Foot Placement
The next thing that you’ll want to take into account is your foot placement on the leg press platform.
There is no right or wrong with this one, but how you choose to place your feet will influence the nature in which you target the muscles.
For instance, placing the feet high up on the platform will mean that you experience greater overall glute and hamstring development, while placing the feet lower on the platform will have you feeling it more in your quads.
Furthermore, the closer you place the feet together on the platform, the more you work your quads as well.
And if you really want a quad burner, decrease the weight and press it up using just your toes.
This will place almost all the emphasis on the quads and be an excellent way to develop that outer quad muscle if you wish.
By simply altering how you place your feet when doing this move, you can literally change the entire exercise around.
This makes it ideal for those who may be limited in terms of other equipment they have access to or who can’t perform other moves due to injury.
Experiment With Single Leg Press
The next consideration for your leg press is to experiment every so often with a single leg press.
This is good as it forces each leg to work on its own, ensuring that no strength imbalances present themselves.
Often when doing the double leg press, one leg could be stronger and overcompensating for the weaker leg, so by doing the single leg press, you avoid this from happening.
The single leg press can also be used to bring up a weaker leg if the strength imbalance already exists.
To do this, simply keep the weight constant for the stronger leg and then focus on bringing up the weight for the weaker leg while performing a few more reps and sets for that leg.
The extra volume should help spark some additional strength gains, moving your progress along.
Watch Your Knee Position
Another important tip to know and remember when doing the leg press is that you should ensure that your knee is moving directly over your toes at all times.
If you ever notice your knee moving into or out of alignment, lower the weight and try again.
Allowing the knee to continue moving to the left or right of the knee will put you at a high risk for knee strain.
Don’t Neglect Standing Movements
Finally, the last point to remember when it comes to doing the leg press is that you shouldn’t let yourself neglect standing exercises as well.
Unless you have an injury that prevents you from doing moves such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and split squats for instance, make sure they are included in your program as well.
The one drawback to the leg press is that because your body is supported by the machine, it’s not going to recruit your core muscles to nearly the same extent as you would if you were standing.
Therefore, having these other moves into the program will help ensure that your core does get the workout it needs to help build functional strength and keep that midsection tight.
By keeping these tips in mind when using the leg press, you can ensure that you are maximizing its role in providing you benefits with your workout routine.
Using it once or twice per week as a regular lower body training plan, if you have it available, will prove to provide great transfer benefits to other exercises as well.