The leg press machine is a standard piece of strength-training equipment in most fitness centers. Although there are variations, the most popular leg press design consists of a reclined seat below a large sled with a rack to add weights. The leg press is a popular piece of equipment that provides many benefits to its users.
The leg press machine is a compound exercise, meaning more than one muscle is used at a time. Leg presses train all of the major leg muscles at once in a natural squatting movement. Compound exercises build strength quickly because they teach the muscles to work in a coordinated fashion to accomplish a goal.
The leg press in particular is an effective strength builder because heavy weights can be used in relative safety. The squatting movement used in the leg press is a fundamental movement used in both everyday lifts and athletics. Building strength in this movement will build functional strength that the user can rely on beyond the gym walls.
The leg press machine does significantly recruit the back muscles to lift the weight. Without being limited by the strength of their backs, most users are able to push their legs past the point where their backs would normally fatigue. This ability results in more development of the lower body musculature.
Because the leg press is a relatively simple machine with few moving parts, most beginners can use the leg press correctly following brief instructions from a trainer. Unlike more complicated free weight exercises, which have a longer learning curve, a beginner can get the benefits of a leg press in their first workout.
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