The narrow stance leg press is a machine-based exercise that will see you targeting the muscles of your legs.
It is a variation of the leg press that requires you to have your feet close together compared to the normal leg press.
During the lower body training, this routine is used as a muscle building movement. Additionally, it can be used as an accessory while doing squats.
Read to get an insight into this amazing exercise.
HOW TO DO NARROW STANCE LEG PRESS PROPERLY
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to perform this exercise with the right form.
You will require a leg press machine. In the starting position, sit in the leg press and put your feet on the foot plate. You can either have your feet together or up to a fist width apart, just ensure you are comfortable.
Start pressing the foot plate away from your torso and release the leg press from its original locked position.
Inhale and then bend your knees and lower the food plate towards your torso until are almost touching your chest.
Exhale and extend the foot plate away from your torso to return it to the starting position. All through, ensure that your knees remain in line with your toes.
Repeat for the desired number of times before returning the machine to its locked position.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES NARROW STANCE LEG PRESS WORK?
The narrow stance leg press mainly works your knees and hip flexors, that is, your quads and glutes. Additionally, it will also exercise your hamstrings, calves and shins.
The main narrow stance leg press muscles worked are the quadriceps, commonly known as quads, located at the front of your thighs.
It is a set of four muscles that are in charge of strengthening your knees in order to help you press the plate away from your torso.
Additionally, they also work to help you control the pace at which you bend your knees.
The closer your feet are to the bottom edge of the foot plate, the harder your quads will work.
Your gluteal muscles, commonly referred to as glutes work in the narrow stance leg press to straighten your hips and stabilise your legs. However, since you will not fully extend your hips in this exercise, your glutes wont be fully worked.
In order to get them more engaged, consider placing your feet to the top edge of the foot plate.
Although to a lesser degree, it also works your hamstrings. The hamstrings muscles are engaged when you bend your knees and straighten your hips during this routine.
The further you have your feet up on the platform, the greater the hamstring activation will be.
CALVES AND SHINS
These lower leg muscles help to stabilise your leg and also act as the connection between your thighs and feet.
If you want to work these muscles efficiently, do not rise up to your toes. Rather, keep your feet flat on the platform all the time.
NARROW STANCE LEG PRESS BENEFITS
BUILDS STRENGTH AND POWER
The leg muscles strengthened by the narrow stance leg press are a set of very powerful muscles in the body. Efficiently working them will increase power output and speed.
This is important for running speed and increasing vertical jump
ALLOWS YOU TO TRAIN AROUND UPPER BODY INJURIES
Compared to most compound exercises meant for your quads and legs, the narrow stance leg press will not need to engage your upper body.
This, therefore, means that you can still perform it without necessarily aggravating an existing upper-body injury.
FRIENDLY ON THE KNEE JOINTS
It is a closed chain exercise. This simply means that your feet are always stationary against the weight that you are moving. This will prevent knee injuries if you have frequent knee issues.
EASES MUSCLE IMBALANCES
Most people report having a strong and a weak side. Long-term, this state can increase the risk to injuries of both sides.
If you have strong and weak sides in your legs, doing unilateral work on both legs can help correct this. However, compound unilateral exercises for the legs, such as squats can be very challenging.
This is where this exercise comes in. It makes the routine easy to manoeuvre.
ISOLATES THE LEGS
As mentioned before in the muscles worked, depending on where you place your feet on the footplate, the narrow stance leg press will allow you to isolate the quadriceps.
Placing your foot lower on the plate allows for more quads activation while having them higher will put more focus on the hamstrings.
You can also isolate your calves by pressing the footplate to full extension without necessarily extending your knees.
YOU CAN MOVE A LOT OF WEIGHT
Most people are able to tolerate a pretty high amount of work while doing the general leg exercises. This is possible because generally, the legs receive a lot of exercise on a daily life activity.
While the stability needed here comes from your spine and core, the stability needed in the narrow stance leg press comes from the machine, therefore allowing you to move more weight and work your muscles more.
NARROW STANCE LEG PRESS ALTERNATIVES
This routine has more exciting alternatives that will see you hitting similar and even more muscles. Below are some of them to help you break the monotony of narrow stance leg press.
UNILATERAL LEG PRESS
This alternative is similar to the standing leg press. The only difference is that here, you will use one leg at a time.
This press alternative will also allow for an extended range of motion since you can slightly twist your body to prevent your hips from limiting the movement of your working quad.
RESISTANCE BAND LEG PRESS
This alternative mimics the narrow stance leg press and is great for beginners who are hesitant to go to the press machine.
COMMON NARROW STANCE LEG PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Avoid moving your spine as this will put it into a suboptimal position, that can stress your lower back.
Avoid pressing with your toes and consider having your feet flat on the platform to avoid injuries.
If you are looking to build your lower body strength in the gym, this is an effective exercise that will help you achieve your target. Just focus on the correct form.