Women’s Weight Training 101: The Leg Press
Welcome to your first lesson in weight training for women!
You know how in the previous post Why Women & Men Should Weight Train Differently, celebrity trainer Holly Perkins said that every time you change an angle or push weight in a different direction, your body develops accordingly? Well, the Leg Press is a prime example of this.
The Leg Press is a fabulous machine for toning your legs and torching major calories by working some of the body’s largest muscles: the quads and the glutes. But the simple placement of your feet can mean the difference between looking this this:
Or looking like this:
Ok, so obviously I’m exaggerating. But the placement of your feet will determine what part of your leg you’re working, and some parts you may not want to work.
Holly told me that to get the long, lean, leggy actress look, you probably don’t want to build up your inner thigh. While you may think you’re toning that area because it burns, you are really making it more prominent.
This is the area I’m talking about:
Men’s Leg Press:
Men, who want to make their legs look large and more muscular, should place their feet in the center of the Leg Press plate, shoulders width apart, with their toes turned outward.
When pushing, they should bring their knees toward the outside of their body, toward their shoulders. This will target the entire area, helping to build that inner thigh muscle.
The Women’s Adjustment:
Women, who want to streamline their toned-legs, should place their feet higher on the plate, hip width apart, with their toes facing straight upward.
The higher placement of the feet will help target the butt (important in bikini season), and the toe direction will bring the emphasis on the front of the quads. Women should also bring their knees toward their armpits instead of out to the side of their bodies, in order to avoid working that inner thigh.
Watch my video for an example:
Holly recommends that the average woman complete 4 sets of 12 reps using 50-90 pounds. And, as she mentioned yesterday, remember her three rules to avoid bulking up:
1. Technique Trumps All.
2. Focus on a slow negative and an enthusiastic positive phase of movement. This means, push the plate out hard and fast, but release slowly and steadily.
3. Ensure that the last 2 reps are a little lousy, but only the last 2 reps. If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not changing!
Complete the Leg Press the right way, and you’ll look like Cameron in no time.
Stay tuned for the rest of the week to learn four more exercise modifications for women. By Saturday, you’ll have a full body workout!