Leg Presses

If you belong to a health club, you probably have access to a wide range of resistance equipment, including a leg press machine that targets the legs (quadriceps and hamstrings) and also works the buttocks. Here is how to perform the movement correctly:

Sit with your back flat against the back of the seat.
Set the seat to provide a 90-degree bend (maximum) at the knee and place your entire feet (not just the balls of the feet) on the foot plate.
Grasp the handles on both sides of the seat for balance and support.
Straighten your legs, pushing the foot plate away from you. Do not lock your knees — instead, keep a slight bend in them.
Return slowly to the start position.
Perform 10 to 15 repetitions, then repeat with your other arm. When you can comfortably do 15 repetitions, increase the weight by the next

smallest increment.
Because there are several different types of leg machines, consult with a fitness professional at your health club to ensure proper form.
Additional Points to Remember

Perform the exercise two to three times per week on non-consecutive days.
Perform in a slow and controlled manner.
Maintain normal breathing and stop if the exercise causes pain.

Always do the movement when your muscles are warm, such as after a cardiovascular/aerobic routine. The weight should be such that it is an effort to complete the desired number of repetitions while maintaining proper form.

As with all exercises, this movement may not be appropriate for people with certain physical limitations. If you are unsure, check with your physician first.

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