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.
For training all of the large muscle groups in the legs, you can’t beat leg presses. They’re also one of the few mass-building exercises where you can safely use a lot of resistance without joint stabilization.
Legs (quads, glutes, hamstrings)
Lie on your back on a sled leg press machine, with your feet about hip-width apart and your hands lightly grasping the handles for balance. You should have enough engagement through your leg muscles that you can engage the weights throughout the exercise, never completely releasing the resistance (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, push strongly with both legs to press the foot plate away from you. Come all the way to a full extension, with your legs straight. To focus the work of this exercise in your quads, press the plate with the balls of your feet. To focus on your glutes and hamstrings, press more from your heels (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the extended position, bend your knees to return to the starting position (see Photo 4).