One of the best ways to build your glutes faster is by doing a leg press machine on a daily basis. This powerful piece of gym equipment offers great resistance and targeted training for your leg muscles. But, there’s more to the leg press than meets the eye.
You can use this machine for a variety of leg press exercises that engage different areas of your glutes. Learn about some of Tony Horton’s favorite ways to use the leg press for glutes. And, be sure to talk with your doctor before you start a new workout program.
What Is The Leg Press Machine?
The leg press is an easy-to-use resistance machine that mimics weighted or standard squats. It is particularly useful for beginners who want to use weights to help strengthen their leg muscles. It offers a seated design and features like safety latches that may make it easier to use than a loaded-up barbell.
Different Types Of Leg Press Machines
The two types of leg press machines are the cable and incline machines. The cable machine has built-in weights that you adjust with a pin. The incline machine requires you to add round weights. While they differ in appearance and setup, these kinds of leg press machines do the same thing. You can use either machine for the leg press workouts below.
Potential Benefits Of Leg Presses
Strength training may help support knee extensions and flexibility and balance recovery. That is a lot of great potential benefits for leg muscles from one machine.
The Importance Of Strong Glutes
Your gluteal muscles facilitate your daily hip movement. This makes them hugely important for your mobility. They can also help support a healthy back and healthy hamstrings.
Unfortunately, these butt muscles are often overlooked and underworked. This is especially true if you sit all day for work. In a seated position, your glutes may even weaken over time. Fortunately, occasional lower body training on the leg press may help reduce that effect.
The Importance Of Strong Quads
Your quads can also get a great workout from the leg press machine. That’s good because your quad muscles power any extension or straightening of the knee. When you build quad strength, it can help support healthy cartilage in your knee.
How To Get The Most Out Of The Leg Press Machine
You might be able to do more with the leg press machine than you realize. Your leg press foot placement can target different areas of the glutes. Your foot placement may give you better control over your upper leg growth and development. That’s why Tony Horton compiled some of his favorite different leg press exercises for glutes.
Note: Speak to a doctor before beginning any new heavy lifting on the leg press machine.
Today I want to talk a little bit about one of my favorite machines in the gym: “The Leg Press”. I get a lot of questions about this machine and today I am going to answer them all here for you!
The leg press is a compound machine that allows you to push the weight away from your center of gravity and your feet (hence the word ‘press’).
Compound exercises simply mean exercises that require more than one muscle group to be worked in one movement, which is why the leg press is classified as a compound exercise.
There are 3 main types of exercises in the gym: “Isolation, compound, and stabilization”.
Stabilization exercises are basically your core strengthening exercises- they include everything from crunches to planks so they won’t be included here.
Isolation exercises are exercises that generally only work one muscle group, such as tricep kickbacks or leg extensions.
Compound exercises are the most beneficial to your gym workout- they not only work several muscles at once but also work more than one joint. Examples of compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
Many people think the leg press strictly works your quads, but it also involves your hamstrings and glutes to make sure you are using the correct form.
This machine will allow you to safely move heavyweights as long as you use the correct form and keep your back flat against the pad.
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It is a great way to work on your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings without using free weights.
Last but not least, the leg press is considered a safer alternative than squats for people suffering from knee or lower back problems. Not only does it decrease pain on the joints, but it also allows you to work your lower body without putting too much strain on the spine.
So before using this machine, here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to remember while performing this exercise.
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1. Situate yourself on the machine facing the weight.
You want to be able to push it away from your center of gravity and your feet (hence the word ‘press’). This is what will allow you to move the weight in an arc-like motion away from your body. It is important to know where your center of gravity is, so be sure to situate the seat correctly on the machine.
2. Position the weight where you are comfortable.
It is important to note that because this machine allows you to safely move heavyweight, you should start with a very low amount of weight. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly- I started with only the bar when I first began using this machine! I would recommend starting at 25% of your maximum weight and then slowly increasing from there. Setting up too much weight too quickly can lead to injury, so be smart about it!
3. Dig the pads on your knees into the machine for stability.
This is a great step that many people forget to do- put those knee pads in where they go and get a firm grip on the seat so you can move the weight easily. This is crucial to performing the leg press correctly and preventing injury when lifting heavyweights.
4. Push the weight away from your body or ‘press’ it, keeping your back flat against the pad throughout this exercise.
I know I said that in #1 but it bears repeating- keeping your back flat against the pad will prevent injury. Many people have lower back problems, so this is especially important.
5. Slowly return the weight to its original position.
This should be achieved by pushing through your heels and not rolling or bouncing off of your knees (this can lead to injury). This is called eccentric muscle movement. When you are done with your set, slowly lower the weight (eccentric motion) until you reach the center of the machine before returning to your original position.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 until all sets are complete.
Each leg press will consist of 8-12 repetitions per set. It is important to note that the weight should be heavy enough so you are struggling by your last one or two repetitions.
An example of a leg press would look something like this:
1st set- 80lbs for 12 reps
2nd set- 100lbs for 10 reps (a little bit more than half of my maximum weight)
3rd set- 120lbs for 8 reps (a little bit more than three-quarters of my maximum weight)
4th set- 150lbs for 6 reps (90% of my maximum weight)
5th set- 170lbs for 4 reps (100% of my maximum weight)
Like I said before, the most important thing is to start low and work your way up as you find it necessary. This machine might look intimidating but with the correct form and a little bit of patience, it can be extremely beneficial!
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