Squats are an ideal form of exercise for your legs. However, doing the wrong can do more harm than good. The best way around squats is to use a leg press machine which you can use at your favorite gym or a home gym. It helps you build your leg muscles to enhance support as you walk. It targets several muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. 

Using the machine can be a bit challenging if you're a beginner, therefore, ensure you work with a trainer for the first few days. Here's how you take your workouts to the next level with a leg press machine. 

How to Use the Leg Press Machine

There are different leg press machines, but most gyms use the traditional horizontal type. It's slightly inclined to enhance comfort as you work out.

When you sit on the machine, ensure your head and back are comfortable on the padded support. Next, place your feet on the footplate, ensuring they form a 90 degrees angle at the knee. 

Once you're comfortable, push the platform away using the heels and forefoot, ensuring the heels remain flat on the plate. Also, your back and head should remain on the support, and don't lock your knees. Once you're at the top of the movement, pause for a few seconds before releasing the plate back to the starting point. To release the plate, bend your knees gradually to avoid sudden movements. 

Repeat the movements until you achieve three sets of 10-leg presses if you're a beginner. After that, you can increase the sets as you build strength. 

Benefits of Leg Press Machine

  • It offers great exercise if you're looking to build leg muscle and strength. 
  • The exercises target various groups of muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • It offers a wide range of motion with lower chances of injury. 
  • It may also help increase balance and stability, especially for beginners preparing you for other exercises such as weightlifting.

Precautions When Using the Leg Press Machine

  • Don't Lift excess Weight: Ensure you don't lift too much weight. The primary focus of the exercise is control and form, not the amount of weight. Therefore, only add the weight once you gain control and proper form.
  • Buttocks should remain flat on the seat: ensure your buttocks are comfortably placed on the seat to avoid cramping your legs.
  • keep hands off the knees: always hold the assist handles to keep hands off your knees. 
  • Don't raise your head and back: your head and back should remain comfortably on the support. If you find yourself raising your head, you might be using too much weight. 
  • Practice Breathing: ensure you inhale and exhale as you push and release the footplate.
  • Don't try any modifications without a trainer.

The leg press machine is an ideal powerhouse for fitness enthusiasts. It works your lower body muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. While you can work at home and the gym, ensure you work with a trainer if you're a beginner.