This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The seated one-leg press is a safe and effective way to focus on leg muscles without putting extra stress on the lower back. Leg presses build strength and increase volume in the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and can prepare you for more-intense exercises like the squat. To emphasize the quadriceps, push the weight more with the balls of your feet. To emphasize your hamstrings and glutes, push the weight fully through your heels.
Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes
Start by sitting on a sled leg press machine with your feet a little more than hip-width apart, your arms by your side, and your knees slightly bent. (see Photo 1).
- Use your legs and the balls of your feet to drive the weight up to the top position so that your leg is extended. (See Photo 2)
- Then slowly bring the weight up toward your core to a comfortable lower position, keeping strong resistance in the muscles throughout. (see Photo 3).
- Avoid locking your knee. To keep the concentration in your glutes and hamstrings, use the heels of your feet to push the weight back up. (see Photo #2366).