Adjust the seat of the leg press machine until your legs form a 90-degree bend at the knees, as this will promote proper form and prevent you from cutting your range of motion short, which reduces the benefit of the leg press. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your toes straight or pointed slightly wider. Push against the resistance slowly until your legs are nearly straight; don't extend them all the way and lock out your knees, as this can cause injury. Lower the weight in a slow and controlled manner and do not curve your back; keep it in a natural position throughout.
The leg press can be a key exercise selection in a weight-loss workout plan because it involves very large muscles, primarily the quadriceps, a group of four muscles on your thigh. Recruiting large muscles results in a large calorie burn; if you weigh 180 pounds, performing the leg press for 10 minutes will burn 82 calories. By contrast, crunches, which work your abdominal muscles, burn just 41 calories in 10 minutes.
Performing leg presses can also help you efficiently increase you levels of muscle mass. Leg presses target a number of muscles, including you glutes, quadriceps and calves, so incorporating this exercise in your workouts can make them more efficient. Additionally, research indicates that leg presses can help produce a large increase in testosterone production. Testosterone aids in muscle-building, so increased production of this hormone can assist your mass-gaining goals.
The leg press is also beneficial if you play sports, as it may help improve your performance. The motion of the leg press translates well into the motion of the legs during rowing, and because of the muscles it strengthens, the leg press can also aid in any sport that requires jumping and running. Performing sets with a high number of repetitions can help improve muscular endurance, while performing sets with fewer repetitions but heavy weight can help you build maximal strength and explosive power.
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