This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
For these leg presses, you'll choose an amount of weight that presents a challenge, but not so much that you can't add some speed and thrust to your movement. You'll be working to develop speed and power in a single exercise.
Sit at a leg press machine. Put one foot on the floor of the machine and elevate the other foot to press firmly against the foot plate (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend your knee and lower the plate in toward you; keep your toes and foot straight and your knee in line with your foot as you lower the plate (see Photos 2 and 3).
- When your knee is nearly at your chest, reverse direction and press the plate away from you with your bent leg by straightening your leg. Keep your knee in line with your foot and try to distribute pressure evenly across your foot, both from the heel to the ball of your foot and from big toe to pinky. As you press, try to generate some speed and thrust even as you maintain a controlled press (see Photo 4).
- Repeat the number of recommended reps with one leg, then switch legs and repeat on the other side (see Photo 5).