The leg press is a weight training exercise in which the individual pushes a weight or resistance away from them using their legs. The term leg press also refers to the apparatus used to perform this exercise. The leg press can be used to evaluate an athlete's overall lower body strength (from knee joint to hip and partially ankle extensors as well).
There are two main types of leg press:
The leg press works the following muscle groups:
Varying the angle between the sled and the backrest and/or the position of the feet on the plate puts more emphasis on one or the other muscle group.
Since the leg press stabilizes the lifter and moves weights in a direction that is not vertical, it is possible for strength trainers to press very heavy weights (compared to the weight used for other exercises). Bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman is featured in videos wherein he leg presses 2300 pounds (1 043 kg) for a full 8 repetitions. To compare, the world record for the squat is 1250 pounds (568.18 kg geared), according to Monster Muscle Online.
An AskMen.com article states that it is not uncommon for men to leg press over 500 pounds, with some men going over 1000 pounds using a limited-range of motion. Former US Secretary of State and septuagenarian Madeline Albright claims she is able to leg press in excess of 400 pounds. However, a true leg press requires the full range of motion. Typically a person cannot do much more than double the weight of their standard 1-repetition, full-range leg-press when attempting limited-range strength straining (e.g., if they can do 500 pounds full-range they could do no more than 1,000 pounds for limited range training).
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