Leg Press – Vertex Fitness
Reviled. Despised. Feared. Of course, I’m talking about the Leg Press. This is the exercise most responsible for the famed Vertex Shuffle. But despite its crippling reputation, it is one of the most productive exercises in the studio.
The Leg Press is an exercise that works the muscles around the hip, knee and ankle joints. At the hip joint, the movement is hip extension done by the Gluteus Maximus and Hamstrings. At the knee joint, extension is accomplished by the Quadriceps. The calf muscles do flexion at the ankle.
Because it is a multi-joint movement, you cannot isolate any of the aforementioned muscle groups, however, you can place more emphasis on a group depending on the positioning of the seat and back pad. A more upright back pad will place more emphasis on the quadriceps while a more laid back seat will get more hip extensor involvement.
The Leg Press was developed as a safer alternative to squatting. The debate is still raging as to which exercise is more beneficial. For non-athletes (which is most of us), the leg press offers a way to target a large number of muscles in a safer manner. That’s not to say that you can’t injure yourself on the leg press, you can. But on a properly set machine, using good form, and with the help of a qualified trainer, the chances of injury are dramatically lower.