A leg press machine is a fixed weight machine that helps work the leg muscles by offering a weight load resistance against the legs. This machine is often part of a greater set of fixed weight machines available in gyms for helping users tone arm and leg muscle groups as well as other core muscles. These machines offer a stable way to work muscles, since unlike free weights, these weights are held in place by extensive cable and pulley systems, helping users to push against the weights in a way that’s less likely to cause muscle or joint injuries.
Types of Leg Press Machines
Two different types of leg press machines are common in today’s gyms and health clubs. One is the conventional leg press, where the user sits upright and pushes against a large weight loaded platform. Another type is the vertical leg press that is a gravity aided machine. On these machines, the user sits at an angle and pushes up on the weight loaded platform. On both types of machines, weights are added to the machine, either as weight plates adjusted by a pin or key, or conventional barbells attached to the platform.
Using Leg Press Machines
Regardless of the type of leg press machine that you are using, the major exercise is a simple one. It’s simply an extension of the legs against the weight load. Proper form is important for this machine, so check posted instructions and ask your resident trainer about how to use it if you have any questions. Try to avoid putting the weight load on your back, and make sure you’re positioned so that your legs can handle the weight. It also helps to start out at a very low weight and add weight slowly, to make sure that overloading doesn’t strain your leg or back muscles. If you feel uncomfortable on the machine, it’s possible that your positioning can lead to stress related injuries. This is another reason to start out with a very light weight load, and do more reps at a lower weight rather than fewer reps against a high weight load.
Burning Calories with the Leg Press Machine
Like many fixed weight machines, this machine is not built to burn calories or fat quickly. It is a training machine that helps develop the limbs so that you can do more of the challenging physical activities that will eventually help you to burn fat and slim down. The next time that you go to the gym, look at all of the fixed weight stations and machines available and select several that will help you work your upper and lower body, toning and developing your muscles for greater overall capacity. You’ll probably notice your higher level of overall body power after several weeks on these fixed weight machines when you partake in cardio activities like running, kayaking, biking, climbing or anything else where more powerful muscles will help you achieve fitness goals.