Machines definitely get a bad rap at the gym, but when used correctly, they can help you improve your overall fitness levels and strength. One machine that's great for increasing your lower-body strength, but can be insanely intimidating if you aren't familiar with how to use it, is the leg press machine.
The leg press machine is hard to miss — it's that big thing sitting in the middle of the gym floor — and this is your guide on how to use it.
How to Use the Leg Press Machine
- Before getting started, add weight to the machine; 25- to 35-pound plates on each side is a good starting point. If this is too heavy or too light, feel free to adjust the weight.
- Sit on the seat, and place your feet hips-width apart on the footplate.
- Once your feet are in place, press the footplate with both feet as you simultaneously disengage the safety latches on the side of the seat with your hands.
- With your feet still on the footplate, bend your knees, letting the footplate come toward your body. Once your knees are at a 90-degree angle, press the footplate up and straighten your legs. Be sure not to lock your knees.
- This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10-12 reps.
- Once you've completed a set, press the footplate and engage the safety latches.