Consider this question; why do you use the leg press machine in the gym?
There are, of course, a whole host of reasons, but somewhere in your list is likely to be, to work/tone/target the Glutes (Gluteus Maximus). That is one of the reasons why we love squats, right? We all know that after a great workout including squats we really sense that our Glutes did their fair share.
The reason for this is that during squats, when done properly, the line of force creates balanced workloads between the muscles at the knee (the Quadriceps) and the muscles at the hip (the Glutes). Leg presses might accomplish this too, but not all leg press machines are created equal – some are even designed in a way that takes the load off of the hip, and as a result, deactivates the glutes. This means that your “Leg Press” is actually a predominantly Quadriceps exercise.
Going back to our earlier reason for performing this exercise - namely working the Glutes - in some instances this will not be achieved. Needless to say, we’ve figured this out at Cybex so any of our leg press machines will really target the Glutes. But if you’re using another Leg Press, and not feeling your glutes, consider switching machines or going back to the traditional squat.
Vice President, International Training
Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. As always, be sure to consult a physician if you are unsure of your individual exercise readiness or have a preexisting medical condition. While these programs offer great benefits, there are many considerations that should be weighed before attempting any type of physical activity.