Fix These 4 Leg Press Mistakes to Continue Making More Legday Gains
There is a lot of love and hate that surrounds the leg press.
Depending on your body type, the leg press will look different for different lifters. Before starting, adjust the machine to provide maximum safety and comfort for your body.
The beauty of the leg press is that even if you have hip mobility shortfalls or lower back pain, you can do it. Here are a few basic things needed for good leg press form.
Mistakes are not bad. It’s the primary way we learn to do it right; once you know better, you do better. Here are four common leg press mistakes besides ego and too much weight because you know about those two, right?
Going heavy and finding your 1 RM max on the leg press is only something you should occasionally do. Mostly, you should leg press to add muscle to your quads, and the best way to do this is to control all parts of the rep, including the eccentric. The weight is too heavy if you cannot control the eccentric contraction.
Fix it: Focus on tension and control and a little less on the weight on the platform.
The only part of your body you should move and feel is your knees and glutes. That’s it. If your feet are not glued to the platform or your lower back, and hips are not glued to the seat, then you are doing it wrong.
Fix It: Pay attention to your setup. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart in the middle of the platform, and your knees should get to a 90-angle without butting into your torso. If this is happening, change the seat angle to one where all your body parts stay glued to the platform and pad.
Your knees must get to 90 degrees to benefit from the leg press most. It might feel good for the ego to half-rep a massive weight, but it will do nothing for your gains, and your knees may end up hating you.
Fix it: A little less ego and weight on the platform is needed here. Use a weight you can control at a 90-degree knee angle.
This may ruffle some Instagram influencer feathers, but the leg press is primarily a quad exercise with a little hip extension thrown in. Placing your feet higher on the platform to target the glutes and hamstring more is, IMO a waste of time when there are way better exercises to target them than the leg press.
Fix it: No fix for this per se. Use better exercises to target your hamstring and glutes, like hip thrusts, RDL, and hamstring curl variations.