This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, 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 building the 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 sides, and your knees slightly bent (see Photo 1).
- When you are seated in the leg press sled, use your leg and the balls of your feet to drive the weight away from you so that your leg is extended. Avoid locking your knee (See Photos 2 and 3)
- From the extended position, reverse the motion and slowly bring the sled back toward you by bending your leg, keeping strong resistance in the leg muscles throughout (see Photo 4).
- To keep the concentration in your glutes and hamstrings, use the heels of your feet to push the weight back up. After you have completed a set with one leg, reverse legs and repeat.