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How To Use The Leg Press Machine

How To Use The Leg Press Machine

If you want to build some serious strength and muscle in your lower body, the leg press machine is a great choice.

But before you start pumping out reps like a pro, you need to know how to use it properly. In this blog post, I'll show you how to set up and perform the leg press exercise safely and effectively, with some pro tips and tricks.

How to Use the Leg Press Machine

Here are the steps to correctly using a leg press machine. First of all, you need to make sure you're using the right machine.

1. Find & Adjust the Leg Press

Some gyms have a hack squat leg press combo machine, which can be adjusted for either exercise. If that's the case, you need to set it up for the leg press mode.

Usually, this involves moving the backrest pad and folding down the hack squat station. Ask a staff member at your gym if needed.

2. Position Your Body

Next, you need to get into position. Sit on the seat and place your feet on the footplate, about shoulder-width apart. Your toes should point slightly outward and your knees should be aligned with your ankles.

3. Setting the Safety Catch

Some leg press machines also have a safety depth selector, which is a knob or a pin that lets you adjust how far the footplate can travel. This can be useful if you want to limit your range of motion or focus on a specific part of your leg muscles.

4. Push Platform & Disengage Safeties

Now comes the most important part!

Push the platform away with your feet and disengage the safety side handles by turning them (usually) outwards. The handles are levers that release and lock the footplate in place.

5. Leg Press

Now, slowly lower the footplate until your desired range of motion.

If desired, you can pause for a second at the bottom. Then, push the footplate back up until your legs are almost straight again. Don't lock out your knees completely.

Repeat for as many reps as you want!

6. Re-Engage Safeties

When you’ve completed your set, pause at the top and pull the safety handles inwards.

You can now bend your knees gently until the platform rests across the safety stoppers.

Final Thoughts

The leg press machine is a powerful tool for building lower body strength and size, but only if you use it correctly.

Remember to keep your core tight and breathe properly throughout the exercise. Also, don't forget to warm up before and stretch after your workout.

So go ahead and give it a try! You'll be glad you did.