The incline leg press is a very effective compound exercise which builds muscle and strength in the leg muscles. Now, the primary muscle worked is the quads but the hamstrings, glutes, and calves also get receive heavy stimulation as secondary muscles used during the exercise.
So, the leg press is a great exercise for working the entire lower body and is a great alternative to the squat or deadlift if it works better for you overall. The incline leg press is suitable for anyone at any level of training experience and should be the main lift in your leg workout routine for maximum gains.
But beginners should always start light and practice good form by pressing through the heels before using a heavier weight. This ensures optimal knee safety and exercise effectiveness.
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Quadriceps
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Leg Press Machine
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Lie on the leg press machine and set the platform so you can comfortably train with a full range of motion. Position your feet on the upper half of the platform so that your heels are aligned with your knees.
- Then, grip the sidebars and push the leg press platform with your feet until your legs are straight.
- Push the side levers down so you can lower the platform with a free range of movement.
- Now, slowly lower the weight down until your knees are almost touching your chest. Inhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Then, press the weight back up with your heels and midfoot until your legs are straight but don’t lock out your knees. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- Try to use a full range of motion by lowering the weight until your knees almost touch your chest. But don’t lock out your knees at the top to prevent injury.
- Never allow your knees to go higher than your feet as this is very dangerous for your knees due to a lack of support.
- Keep your back against the padding at all times for optimal performance and safety.
- The leg press is a great leg exercise alternative and substitute for squats, deadlifts, and even lunges.
- The incline leg press is an excellent muscle and strength builder for all of the leg muscles which include the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.