Wednesday, July 11, 2007
A few people have been shocked to find leg presses in a few of the Muscle Gaining Secrets workouts. Some have asked if leg presses are dangerous and others thought I was 100% anti machine. So let me explain...
Leg presses are a great size building exercise that allow you to use a lot of muscle mass and a lot of weight. Sure, it's a machine and has all the negatives associated with it that many machines do but as machines go it's one of the best.
In most situations I would choose a belt squat over a leg press but most people do not have access to a belt squat. If you do, by all means sub it in for the leg presses.
As far as leg presses being dangerous, this is only true if you do them improperly. In many bodybuilding videos you will see the guys lower the weight so far that their knees are in their armpits. This is very dangerous and puts incredible amounts of pressure on the lower back. If you do them properly you shouldn't have a problem. Proper form involves lowering the weight until your knees are at about a 90 degree angle or as far as you can go without your butt coming up off the pad. Once your but lifts up off the pad and your lower back rounds you are in trouble and at high risk for a lower back injury.
When done correctly, leg presses are great for overloading the legs without loading the spine excessively.
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