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Leg Press Machines

Strengthen your lower body with a leg press machine

Using a leg press machine is one of the best ways to tone and strengthen your lower body. But to the uninitiated, leg press machines can seem a bit intimidating. Here's how to get the most out of your leg workout.

Using a Leg Press

Leg press machines look a bit odd, but they are actually quite simple to use. First, you'll need to sit in the machine and place your feet on the foot plate. Relax your head and shoulders against the support behind you. Make sure that you are seated securely and that your knees are lined up with your feet. Adjust the leg press if you are not able to seat yourself comfortably in that manner.

With your hands on the handles, push the foot platform firmly away from your body. While doing reps by pushing the foot platform, make sure you're not locking your knees, pushing hard on your toes, or lifting your head off the support. Eventually, you'll increase the amount of weight you can lift on a leg press, but do so gradually, to prevent strain on your body.

Improving Your Leg Press Workout

The leg press weight machine is a great way to strengthen much of your lower body, including your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. But how can you improve your leg workout and get even better muscle definition? One way is to use a reclining or 45-degree leg press machine, which is designed to force you to push not only against the weights, but against gravity as well. The extra resistance will push your muscles for more growth. If you have back or neck problems, you might also find that lying flat or sitting at a 45-degree angle will be more comfortable.

Another way to improve your legs workout is to use a machine that combines leg presses with another exercise. Some specially designed machines let you do an upper body workout as you perform leg presses, or perform multiple functions by simply reconfiguring the machine's settings. Used leg press machines and multifunction machines are often roughly the same price, so shop carefully and compare prices to get the best deal.

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