Seated Leg Press
When you sit at a leg press machine, your body should be in a particular position. Sit on the machine with your back and head resting comfortably against the padded support. Place your feet on the footplate about hip-width apart while ensuring your heels are flat.
Your bottom should be flat against the seat rather than raised. Your legs should form an angle of about 90 degrees at the knees. If your feet are too high on the plate, it will stress your glutes; too low puts unnecessary pressure on your knees. Your knees should be in line with your feet and neither be bowed inward nor outward.
As you press, make sure to keep this alignment. Grasp the assist handles to provide support and keep your spine and head in position.
- Brace your abdominal muscles and push the platform away with your heels and forefoot. Your heels should remain flat on the footplate. The front of your foot or toes should never be used exclusively to move the pad forward.
- While exhaling, extend your legs and keep your head and back flat against the seat pad. Extend with slow control rather than with an explosive movement.
- Pause at the top of the movement. Do not lock out your knees, and ensure that they are not bowing out or in.
- While inhaling, return the footplate to the starting position by gradually bending the knees. Keep the feet and back flat throughout.
- If you have never done leg presses, start modestly with 3 sets of 10 leg presses (Reps). You can advance from there as you build strength.
It is essential to ensure proper form to get the most out of your leg press routine. To ensure you are doing the leg press safely, avoid these errors.
Too Much Weight
One of the most significant factors is ensuring you’re not trying to lift more weight than you should. If you can’t control your movements, you must reduce the weight. Proper form is more important than the amount of weight you’re lifting.
Buttocks Not Flat Against Seat
If your buttocks is raised off the seat, your legs are at too sharp of an angle. You will need to move the seat back until your knees and buttocks are comfortably positioned. You can recognise poor positioning when you feel cramped and your knees seem directly in front of your eyes.
Placing Hands on Knees
Placing hands on the knees is a common mistake that will break your form. Grip the assist handles instead.
Short Range of Motion
Always follow through the entire range of motion without lifting your hips. If needed, adjust the seat and/or lower your weights. This means getting deep into the position with your butt below your hips and your knees wide.
Focus on the position of your head. It should be steady and laid comfortably against the seatback. If you are jerking your head forward, you are using too much weight.
Remember to keep breathing during the effort phase and to avoid holding your breath. If you focus on exhaling on exertion and inhaling on release, your breathing will eventually become automatic.