How to Do One Leg Leg Press Properly

One leg leg press is a unilateral workout that is very effective in building and strengthening the muscles on the leg.

Most body parts that come in two are not identical when it comes to size, and the legs are no different. One leg is usually bigger or stronger than the other. On some rare occasions, this difference is very visible to the eye.

When training, we always aim for balance and symmetry. To achieve this, it is important to first identify the leg that is weaker and work towards balancing both legs in terms ot strength and size.

There are very many leg training exercises with very good results. However, such exercises that train two lesg at the same time are not very good when it comes to developing individual strength.

To do this, you will need to train each leg independently consistently, and one great exercise for doing this is the one leg leg press workout.

If you go to the gym often, you have probably integrated with the leg press already. This is a machine made for the purpose of building the muscles in your legs.

The leg press machine comes in two types, the first is the standard horizontal press. The second type is the 45-degree leg press which has a reclining feature activated when you press your legs upward in a diagonal direction.

Both of these machines work spectacularly when it comes to building muscles in the leg and the glutes.

When you observe a person working this machine, you might quickly conclude that this is a simple exercise and even dismiss it if you are a sucker for more exerting forms of exercise.

However, this is very good exercise, more so when you pay attention to the right form,

HOW TO DO ONE LEG LEG PRESS

If you are new to the leg press machine, take time to find out how to sit and position yourself on it. This machine has padded support against which your back and head should rest.

It also has a footplate for placing and supporting your feet. For this exercise, place your feet about hip-width apart and make sure your heels are flat.

Make sure the level of your feet is moderate, neither too high nor too low, as raising them too high will strain your glutes, and placing them too low will also strain your knees.

Do not raise your bottom on the seat of this machine. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle in preparation for this exercise.

Align your knees to your feet and take care not to collapse them inward or outward. Maintain this alignment for the rest of the exercise. There is an assist handle to help with support and keep your spine and head neutral.

Once you are all set:

  • Tighten your core and push the platform away using the heels and balls of your forefeet. Keep your feet flat on the plate and do not engage your toes when it comes to using the platform forward.
  • Breathe out and while doing so, stretch your legs and keep your head and back flat against the seat pad. The stretch should be slow and deliberate as opposed to jerky and explosive,
  • Hold that position.
  • Breathe in and return the footplate to the starting position by bending the knees slowly.
  • Do as many reps as you wish.

TIPS FOR DOING THIS EXERCISE

Keep your feet flat throughout this exercise and resist the urge to use the tips of your toes.

Start with a few reps and get used to the form if you are a beginner, then progress as time goes by and you gain more strength.

ONE LEG LEG PRESS BENEFITS

RECTIFIES IMBALANCES

Imbalances are common among people who engage in all sorts of physical activities. It is not easy to point them out when doing bilateral training but they reveal themselves better during unilateral training.

By changing up the position the feet, you can work on different areas of the leg muscles and resolve imbalances, such as when you have more developed hamstrings that quads.

BETTER CONTROL

The regular leg press has been criticised for being too weight-intensive and not being safe. The single-leg variation put you in more control over the weight you will be using.

It also allows you to use less weight so you can focus entirely on the exercise and hitting the right spots.

BEGINNER-FRIENDLY

One of the reasons why this exercise gets a lot of criticism is that it seems simple. But it is this simplicity that makes it great for beginners.

Machines are great for beginners because they help with stability and maintaining the right form.

ONE LEG LEG PRESS ALTERNATIVES AND MODIFICATIONS

BULKING UP ON WEIGHT

This exercise is less about the amount of weight you carry and more about the correct from. Reduce the weight if you are struggling to do the movements properly.

RUSHING THROUGH THE EXERCISE

This workout is very effor-intesive without a doubt. However, effort is very different from speed, and just because you are doing something fast does not mean you are doing it the right way.

Be in total control and hit every spot with deliberateness and keep your form throughout the exercise.

RAISING THE BUTT OFF THE SEAT

If your butt is raised from the seat, it means you have lifted the legs too high. Move the seat back a little bit to address this.

ONE LEG LEG PRESS ALTERNATIVES AND VARIATIONS

Did you know you can diversify this exercise simply by switching up the position of your feet? Place the feet wider if you want the feet to focus on the inner thigh muscles, and narrow them to work the muscles outside the thighs.
Position the footplate high to tagert the glutes and hamstrings, and lower to work the quadriceps. Take care not to strain you knees while doing this.

CONCLUSION

If you ever feel some pain when doing this exercise, get a fitness trainer to review your form when doing it.