For a total body workout, you need both cardio exercise and weight training, but you also need to know exactly how to perform each exercise so that you maximize your results.
If you’re trying to build up leg muscles and have chosen leg press machines to accomplish this, one of the things you have to know is how to place your leg press feet placement.
Surprise, surprise – where you place your feet on this sled really does make a difference in the results, so you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the various positions to try.
Leg Presses: The Basics
The leg press is definitely an important way to work out when you’re trying to tone up your legs and thighs, and the exercise involves a lot more than just loading the plates and pressing away with your legs.
You have to know how to properly put your feet on the sled and how to do the presses themselves. The perfect leg press feet placement is crucial to getting the results you desire, but it is also important in preventing pain or even injuries to the leg area.
Simply put, you are going to feel the difference between the proper foot placement and incorrect placement every time. Not only will you be more uncomfortable, but it may also hurt. Of course, even if it’s comfortable that doesn’t mean you’re doing it correctly, and if you’re curious about the many different leg press foot placement variations, keep reading.
Looking for Foot Placement on the Leg Press?
When it comes to proper leg press feet placement, you can place your feet low, high, narrow, or wide, not to mention a combination of these positions. With each position, you get different results because you are changing the muscles that are targeted.
The versatility of leg press machines, therefore, is one of the many reasons for doing this exercise is so popular nowadays, both for professional athletes and for people just wanting to look and feel better about themselves.
Before we go into more detailed information, here are a few brief tips for getting the results you want through your leg presses:
- High foot position on leg press: great for glutes and upper hamstring muscles
- Lower foot placement for leg press: perfect for building up the quads
These are just a few basic leg press foot placement variations you can try, but there are other combinations that can help you get the results you want, and none of them make the exercises more difficult or complex in the end.
In fact, this is the best part about trying different leg positions when you’re doing leg presses because they are all simple to do and won’t add to the difficulty level of the exercise itself.
Leg Press Feet Placement for Quads
The quadriceps, or quads, are large muscles in front of the thigh and is divided into four different parts. If you wish to build up your quads, low foot placement is what you want. What does this mean? It means that on the sled, which is usually quite large, your feet should be placed at the bottom center portion to make the most out of your workout.
Why is this placement effective in building up your quads? Essentially, it is because a low foot position increases the range of motion around the knee area while also reducing the degree of hip flexion and hip extension, which naturally works in the quadricep area.
There is one word of caution, however, if you choose leg press feet placement that is low, and that is the strain it puts on your knees.
Therefore, if you decide to use this position to strengthen your quads, you should not have any pre-existing knee conditions, and if you’re setting your feet low and experience any type of pain, it is best that you cease using this position so the situation doesn’t get any worse.
Leg Press Feet Position for Hamstrings
If you wish to use leg presses to improve your hamstring muscles, there are two main positions you can try. The first is positioning your legs at the very top of the sled while making sure that your legs are together. In other words, use a narrow stance and a high foot position to work your hamstrings.
Typically, you are able to push more weight in this position, and it also works a lot of the muscles in the back of your legs, not just the upper part that contains the hamstrings.
The second of the leg press foot placement variations for improving hamstring muscles is called the sumo stance, and it involves placing your feet at the bottom of the sled as you spread the feet apart and curl your toes outwards towards the sides of the sled.
In fact, this position is perfect for working all of your inner thigh areas, and it isn’t as complex for short people as the first position is. It is also simple and comfortable to utilize.
Leg Press Foot Placement for Teardrop
The teardrop muscle, or the vast medialis, is the muscle found at the top part of the knee. If you’re searching for the right leg press feet placement to build up this muscle, one such placement has been proven to be very effective, and that is the duck stance.
In this position, you simply place your feet at the bottom of the sled and place your heels together. You also spread your upper feet apart so that your toes are facing the outside of the sled.
Of course, when it comes to the teardrop muscle, you can also use a standard upper-area foot position by placing your feet on the top section of the sled and spreading the feet apart slightly as if you’re trying to balance the sled. The feet should be parallel to one another and evenly placed on the sled to get the best results.
Leg Press Foot Placement for Glutes
Ah, the glutes – or the gluteus maximus as it is better known. Let’s face it, everyone wants a nice butt, and if this includes you, there are things you can do to better build up that all-important muscle.
If you’re doing leg workouts, there are a few different leg press foot placement variations you can try, and the first one is the standard leg press position that involves placing your feet square in the middle of the sled and keeping your feet parallel to one another.
This is also one of the easiest positions because it doesn’t put an unnecessary strain on any part of the feet or legs.
You can also try putting more emphasis on pushing with the heels while you’re doing your leg press squat repetitions. In this situation, you can actually feel the glutes being worked on as you do one rep and go to another.
The high foot position, which involves placing your feet at the top portion of the sled, is another position you can use to maximize the glutes and give them a workout.
This is a little more challenging than the standard foot position while you’re doing leg presses, but it works very well and will always build up those glutes and make them extra-strong.