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Train your legs in the gym with the press: a routine to avoid overloading your back

This is a problem that makes us leave the leg aside and that is why we in this post want to give some solution about it.

For many of us, low back pain when making legs is a constant, so we must find solutions to not stop training the leg. It is important that we work every week the muscles that make up the legs. To solve it we want to propose a routine that we can only carry out with the press , working each leg muscle group.

 The backrest in the leg press is essential to support the back and keep it completely secure throughout the exercise

The press is a device that is presented in different ways in the training rooms. In spite of all the presses have a common conductive thread, which is the seat that allows us to support the back and thereby protect it. This support makes the lower back more collected and therefore we do not divert tension to this part .

Some tips to correctly use the leg press

In spite of everything, we want to give a series of tips before starting. The press is a good alternative, but it is not infallible if you don’t have a series of cares in mind. First of all, it is necessary that before using the press we know how it works. We just have to sit on it, fully support the back, and let the legs do all the work.

We must always take into account a series of care. As we have said, the back must rest completely on the back of the machine. Once supported it is necessary that we take into account, that when lowering the load, never the part of the pelvis or the lower back area is separated from the backrest. This will depend a lot on the flexibility of each one, to avoid it we can adjust the backrest, as it has different positions.

The legs should always be placed on the platform, and the feet must be fully supported on this platform. In this way, we will get the muscles that make up the legs that do the job. We need to keep this in mind, as the legs will be the levers to perform the movement and lift the load.

When lifting the load with the legs, we should never block the knees. As we have seen on previous occasions, the knees can suffer greatly when training the legs and the press is not infallible in this case. Therefore, it is necessary that when lifting the load, we do not fully stretch the legs so that the knees are not blocked. That is, the ideal is, at the end of the tour, let the knees stay slightly bent. In this way, we will never divert tension to the knee.

Making mistakes when training our legs in the press can cause us to hurt ourselves, so it is important to prevent these failures

It is also important that the load we choose is adequate. We must never overload, because in this way what we will achieve is to have other parts intervene, such as the back. In many cases, we commit some traps such as helping us with our arms to lift the load. That is, the arms, in this case, do not serve as a lever when it comes to lifting the load. They should be placed on the sides or on the chest, but never as a lever to help the legs to propel themselves. If we cannot, it is better to lower the load and let the legs really work.

Once we know some of the mistakes we usually make when using the press, we need to keep in mind that the press will help us train our legs. But, we must not forget that it is a machine, so the weight we are going to use will never be free, nor will it allow us to make a series of movements that are not the ones that the machine itself marks.

Traditional press machine press. Ideal for quadriceps and hamstrings

As the first alternative for this training routine press, what we propose is a traditional exercise of press releases. To carry out this exercise, we must sit in the press resting our back completely on the backrest and the legs will place them parallel on the platform. The toes should protrude a little in front of the knees. The feet will be placed parallel and the legs slightly apart.

In this posture, which is the traditional and the usual one that we usually do in the leg press, what we will do is work mainly the quadriceps and hamstrings, affecting the gluteus to a lesser extent. It is important that all the exercise be done slowly, especially in descent, to make the muscles involved work the way we seek.

We must place the feet resting on the platform in a parallel way and slightly apart

For the realization of this exercise, what we will do will be four sets of 12 repetitions each. It is necessary that throughout the exercise we take into account the importance of not separating the lower part of the back from the backrest. When working in the press with both legs, the weight we are going to lift will surely be greater than in other exercises. This is because both legs intervene. But this should not make us the mistake of overloading ourselves since this will cause us to perform the exercise badly.

Press with feet forward and supported on the heels only, to work the back of the legs

Secondly, the exercise we are going to perform will also be carried out in the press, with the feet advanced and supported on the heels. On this occasion, what we are going to do is work mainly on the part of the hamstrings and the buttocks. For this, the placement will be the same, the back fully supported on the backrest only that on this occasion the position of the feet will vary since we are going to support them in a parallel way but only posing the heels at the base.

By supporting only the heels at the base, what we will do is divert all attention to the muscles of the back of the legs. In this way, what we will achieve is to work the legs differently. It is important that when we lift the load, the tips of our feet are pulled out. In this way, we will be giving much more emphasis on the movement and influencing much more on the worked muscles.

The feet will be placed forward and supported by the heels. The toes will advance and turn to give more emphasis on the movement

In this case, we will also perform four sets of 12 repetitions each. The load we are going to use is much less than the previous one since the support of the feet on the platform is much smaller. It is important that we control all the movement and that we make descents and ascents slowly and totally aware of the muscles with which we are going to work.

Press with legs and feet together to work the outer part of the quadriceps

As a third option, we will stop in another exercise that we will also carry out with the leg press. In this case, the placement of the legs will vary the rest. The rest of the body we will place, as usual, resting the back completely on the backrest and in this case, we will place the feet in the central part of the platform and together just separated by a span.

In this way, we are going to influence the quadriceps part and the adductors part much more. The movement will be exactly the same as the previous times since it will consist of raising the load through the action of the legs. Only that by varying the position of the feet, in this case, we will be working other muscles that we have not previously worked directly.

We will place the legs and feet together to work the quadriceps in a more concentrated way

As in the previous exercises, we will recommend performing four sets of 12 repetitions each. It is important that in this case the load we are going to use is also controlled. This load control is due to the fact that in this case, we will work in a much more concentrated way in the quadriceps part, and therefore the weight that we are going to lift cannot be so great. To perform the exercise correctly it is necessary that we be aware of each movement and that we make, both ascents and descents, in a controlled and slow way.

Side press to work the buttocks

As a fourth alternative, we are going to highlight an exercise in which we are going to focus mainly on the work of the buttocks. This is a more complex exercise than the previous ones since we are not going to sit on the platform, or with our back fully supported. In this case, what we are going to do is to be placed laterally on the platform, taking part of the body out. The leg that is furthest from the platform will lift it and it will be the one that we will rest on the platform completely.

With the leg that is more stuck, what we will do is bend it by the knee, and left-leaning against the seat. When we take a half body out of the seat, we will lean forward, and with the arm closest to the ground, what we will do is support it. In this way, we will be supported laterally, and at an angle where only the part of the buttocks will work.

In this position, what we will do is lift and lower the load with one leg. To do this, the weight we are going to use will be much less than what we used in the previous exercises. Let’s not forget that all the thrust is going to concentrate on the buttocks part, and therefore we must perform an isolated and controlled movement at all times.

We will be placed laterally with one leg, which will be the one that elevates the load at all times

We recommend performing four sets of 12 repetitions each. As in the previous exercises described, it is advisable at all times to control each move up and down. With this control, what we are going to achieve is that we perform better muscular work in the part where we want to influence the exercise.

With this simple press routine, what we want is to give you alternatives so as not to leave your leg training. It is one of the best alternatives for all those who usually hurt their backs due to poor execution of squats and other traditional leg exercises. In addition, this routine is a good alternative to train the legs in another way.

It is a good way to alternate a traditional and more conventional leg training with a different one. Let’s not forget that alternating different types of training will help us work the muscle fibers from another perspective. In this way, what we will achieve will be to influence much more in good muscular work.

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