The leg press is a great exercise for strengthening and growing your leg muscles, despite it being considered as much easier than squats.
A 45 degree leg press machine has a seat in which the body reclines at an angle and the leg press is in an upward diagonal direction using a sled mechanism. This version of the leg press is more for working on getting a nice sweep in the quads (vastus lateralis).
Assume a wide stance and turn your toes out in a frog-style position. Allow your knees to come down outside of your body, so you’ll be sort of pushing your knees out as you lower the platform.
The concentric portion of the lift should be done explosively. Ideally your leg press will have stops that will allow you to perform rest-pause reps. Set the stops relatively high and let the weight rest for 2 seconds before blasting it back up explosively.
Even though this exercise is meant to mostly work the quads, by squeezing your heels together on the movement up you will involve the hamstrings and inner thighs, and if you bring it low enough your glutes will say HI as well (never miss a chance to work on your glutes!)
- Set up for the wide stance 45 degree leg press by loading the weight plates you want to use on the leg press machine.
- Sit down on the leg press machine and position your feet further than shoulder width apart, one on each edge of the foot plate.
- Extend your legs to take the weight off the racks, and release the safety stops. Your knees should be slightly bent at the start of the movement, as this will ensure the weight is on your quads.
- Slowly lower the weight down until your legs are just past a 45 degree angle.
- Push through your heels and extend your legs to move the weight back up to the starting position.
- Repeat movement for desired number of reps.
- Your knees should not be locked out at the any point during this exercise.
- When moving the weight up, push through your heels and squeeze them towards each other.
- You can involve the glutes more in this exercise by going deeper (lower).
- Always be sure that the safety stops are locked securely when finishing the exercise.