The best exercise for muscle growth throughout the body are considered squats with a barbell . Unfortunately, this force element creates dangerous compression loads on the spine. Therefore, people with diseases of the back are deprived of the opportunity to squat with a lot of weight.
To help in this situation comes the leg press in the simulator. To perform such presses, a special machine is used that has an adjustable back and a movable platform located at an angle of 45 °. Due to its design, the simulator almost completely removes the dangerous load from the back, thereby allowing you to safely perform heavy weight presses.
One of the main advantages of the presses in the simulator is a comprehensive study of the hips. When performing the main load, the quadriceps and, on the reverse side, the hip biceps receive. The buttocks and the muscle responsible for straightening the spine are also being further developed.
To exercise was as effective as possible, you should adhere to the correct technique. We will analyze it in detail:
- We set the back angle to 45 °.
- We sit down in the simulator and firmly press the lower back to the soft back.
- We lean our feet against the moving platform and spread them to shoulder level.
- We straighten the knees, raise the weight and remove the stops supporting the platform to the sides.
- We take the handles, on the inhale bend the knees and lower the weight.
- We strain the muscles of the legs and exhale perform a bench press.
- Having completed the required number of repetitions, we reduce the stops and gradually lower the platform onto them.
- In the upper phase, do not straighten the knee joints to the end. Otherwise, the risk of knee injury increases.
- In the lower phase, lower the platform as close to you as possible, but only until the lower back begins to tear away from the back.
- Lower the back of the head to the seat. This will help keep the spine level.
- Do not bring your knees in and do not tear your heels off the platform when lifting. Otherwise, the risk of sprain of the knee ligaments increases.
- Hold the grip firmly. Otherwise, the body will shift to the sides and the effectiveness of the exercise will drop.
- Control all movements. Lower and raise the weight evenly. It is unacceptable to “toss” the platform with the shocks of the legs.
Subject to the observance of safety equipment and rules, the exercise will bring only benefit.
Influence of different position of the feet
Performing leg presses while sitting, you can accentuate to work out individual parts of the thigh. For this, different options for the position of the feet are used. Let's consider them in more detail:
- Wide setting (wider than shoulders). The load falls on the inner surface of the thigh.
- Narrow setting (already shoulders). The emphasis shifts to the outer surface of the quadriceps.
- High setting (closer to the top edge). This variation allows you to work out the buttocks and biceps of the thigh.
- Low setting (closer to the bottom edge). The main work is done by quadriceps.
The presses in the simulator can also be used to work out the calf muscles. To do this, we press the socks to the lower edge of the platform, leave the heels on weight. We bend our legs and fix them in one position. We perform pushing the platform with socks.
In this exercise, you can also vary the load due to a change in the setting of the legs:
- socks apart - the inside of the calves works;
- socks are reduced - helps to use the outer part of the calves;
- parallel staging - full pumping of the calf.
Presses in the simulator for men and women
The exercise in question is included in many women's fitness programs. The popularity is due to the possibility of working out problem areas (inner thighs), as well as a good load on the buttocks.
Girls are recommended to perform intensive multi-repeat sets (4x15–20). So the target muscles will be qualitatively stretched, and subcutaneous fat burn faster.
Men, for the development of strength indicators and muscle gain, it is recommended to perform slow uniform bench presses (3x8-10). In this case, the weight should be selected so that the athlete performs the last 2 repetitions with maximum effort. Only in this way will it be possible to “break through” the thigh muscles unresponsive to training and make them increase in volume.
Horizontal bench press
It is carried out in the cargo block simulator. Unlike the machine, where the weight rises at an angle of 45 °, here the platform moves in the horizontal plane due to the blocks. This design allows you to pull the hips to the body as close as possible without fear of lifting the lower back and shifting the load on the back. This helps to increase the amplitude of movement and increase the effectiveness of the training.
There are models of horizontal simulators, where the athlete lies on a moving base and kicks off the platform. When doing leg presses while lying on the simulator, quadriceps get the main load. In fact, the “recumbent” bench press variation is similar to hack squats only in the horizontal plane.
Advantages over Squats
We list the main advantages of bench presses in the simulator over classic squats with a barbell on the shoulders:
- Safety for the back. Exercise can be performed even by people who have problems with the spine.
- Great working weight. When pushing the platform does not need to maintain balance, which means you can take a serious burden.
- Simple technique. To master the presses in the simulator is much easier than learning how to squat.
In addition to the above, pushing the platform have fewer contraindications than squats with a barbell. As a rule, it is not recommended to press with legs in case of knee injuries and umbilical hernias. In all other cases, bench presses are allowed (subject to strict adherence to technology).