Exercise Directory [Legs]


See Exercises For - Abdominal - Arms - Back - Chest - Legs - Shoulders

Squat (Smith-Machine Barbell)
Target Muscles: Gluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Lower back, Adductors, Hip flexors.
Starting Position:
1. Position the bar across the upper part of your back so it is resting on your trapezius muscles (not your neck).
2. Firmly grip the bar, with your hands almost double shoulder-width apart. As you lift the bar off the rack, keep your shoulder blades together and chest up, and ensure there is a normal (stable) curve in your lower back.
3. Position your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider), toes angled out at 30°.
The Movement:
1. Begin lowering by bending at the hips, then knees.
2. Keeping your head up and your trunk erect, slowly lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the ground; it is not wise to go any further than this. Keep your knees aligned over your feet, pointing in the direction of your toes. Hold for a count of one.
3. From here, press the weight up, pushing hard through your feet and keeping your body erect as you return to the starting position.
Tips:
• You should maintain the natural curve in your back throughout the movement.
• If you lack ankle flexibility, it's better to work on your ankle flexibility to improve your range of movement rather than to use a board under your heels. This is potentially dangerous for the knees because it moves the knees forward over the feet and can actually reduce your flexibility.
• Breathe in as you lower the weight, allowing your chest to expand and pulling your tummy button in towards the spine. Exhale as you push upwards.
• Keep your eyes fixed on a point in front of you at about eye level.
• Make sure you do not bend forwards exces­sively or curve your back as this will stress your lower back and reduce the emphasis on your legs.
• Keep your hips under the bar as much as possible and your knees tracking over your toes as you rise.
• Do not rely on a weight belt unless you are using maximal weight or it could result in a weakening of the abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall should be drawn in towards the spine rather than pushing out against a belt when lifting.
Variations:
Wider stance: Placing your feet just over shoulder-width apart (but not too far or you may lose stability) and taking the squat slightly deeper than parallel places more emphasis on the gluteus on the upward part of the move­ment. Make sure you practice perfect form and control the squat - you will have to reduce the weight on the bar, since going deeper can put greater strain on the knees. You'll find this technique will not only increase your overall strength but also better shape your gluteus!
Smith machine squats: Squats performed using a Smith machine; are less effective than barbell squats and may increase injury risk when you are not using a machine as it does not develop the stabilizer muscles. Since the bar travels in a straight line, this alters your natural movement, taking much of the emphasis away from your all-important stabilizing muscles. If you must use a Smith machine, position your feet so that your heels are' directly under the bar.


Squat (Machine Hack)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Lower back, Adductors, Hip flexors.
Starting Position:
1. Position yourself in a hack squat machine.
2. Place your feet firmly on the platform with your heels at least six inches above the bottom edge. Your legs should be fully extended and feet hip-width apart. Release the safety catch.
The Movements:
1. Press the platform away from you as far as possible.
2. Bring your knees down as far as possible. In a perfect world they would make it into your armpits.
Tips:
• Do not hurry the reps or bounce up from the bottom.
• Stretch your hamstrings fully at the bottom of the movement - your heels should be lower than your toes.
• Keep your legs slightly bent at the top of the movement.


Squat (Smith-Machine Barbell Jefferson Lift)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Lower back, Adductors, Hip flexors.
Starting Position:
1. Position the bar on the floor standing with one leg on each side of it.
2. Firmly grip the bar, with your hands almost double shoulder-width apart. As you lift the bar off the floor, keep your shoulder blades together and chest up, and ensure there is a normal (stable) curve in your lower back.
3. Position your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider), toes angled out at 30°.
The Movement:
1. Begin raising yourself up, and do not lock your knees.
2. Keeping your head up and your trunk erect, slowly lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the ground; it is not wise to go any further than this. Keep your knees aligned over your feet, pointing in the direction of your toes. Hold for a count of one.
3. From here, pull the weight up, pushing hard through your feet and keeping your body erect as you return to the starting position.
Tips:
• You should maintain the natural curve in your back throughout the movement.
• If you lack ankle flexibility, it's better to work on your ankle flexibility to improve your range of movement rather than to use a board under your heels. This is potentially dangerous for the knees because it moves the knees forward over the feet and can actually reduce your flexibility.
• Breathe in as you lower the weight, allowing your chest to expand and pulling your tummy button in towards the spine. Exhale as you push upwards.
• Keep your eyes fixed on a point in front of you at about eye level.
• Make sure you do not bend forwards exces­sively or curve your back as this will stress your lower back and reduce the emphasis on your legs.
• Keep your knees tracking over your toes as you rise.
• Do not rely on a weight belt unless you are using maximal weight or it could result in a weakening of the abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall should be drawn in towards the spine rather than pushing out against a belt when lifting.


Squat (Dumbbell Single Leg)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Lower back, Adductors, Hip flexors.
Starting Position:
1. Grasp two dumbbells one at each side.
2. Place one foot up on a bench toenails down.
3. Keep your other foot directly in front of your foot that is up on the bench toes angled out at 30°.
The Movement:
1. Begin lowering by bending at the hip, then the knee.
2. Keeping your head up and your trunk erect, slowly lower yourself down until your thigh is parallel to the ground; it is not wise to go any further than this. Keep your knee aligned over your foot, pointing in the direction of your toes. Hold for a count of one.
3. From here, press the weight up, pushing hard through your foot and keeping your body erect as you return to the starting position.
Tips:
• You should maintain the natural curve in your back throughout the movement.
• If you lack ankle flexibility, it's better to work on your ankle flexibility to improve your range of movement rather than to use a board under your heels. This is potentially dangerous for the knees because it moves the knees forward over the feet and can actually reduce your flexibility.
• Breathe in as you lower the weight, allowing your chest to expand and pulling your tummy button in towards the spine. Exhale as you push upwards.
• Keep your eyes fixed on a point in front of you at about eye level.
• Make sure you do not bend forwards exces­sively or curve your back as this will stress your lower back and reduce the emphasis on your legs.
• Keep your hips under the bar as much as possible and your knees tracking over your toes as you rise.
• Do not rely on a weight belt unless you are using maximal weight or it could result in a weakening of the abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall should be drawn in towards the spine rather than pushing out against a belt when lifting.


Deadlift (Barbell Standard)
Target Muscles: Gluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Lower back, Adductors, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominals
Starting Position:
1. Stand in front of the barbell with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your legs until your hips and knees are at the same level, keeping your rib cage up and your head level. Your back should be straight, at a 45° angle to the floor.
3. Grasp the bar, with your hands just over shoulder-width apart, one overhand, the other under. This will facilitate better balance and keep the barbell in the same plane.
The Movement:
1. Using the power of your legs and hips, and keeping your arms straight, lift the bar from the floor until your legs are straight. The bar should be against the upper part of your thighs. Hold for a count of one.
2. Slowly return the bar to the floor, keeping your torso erect, arms straight and head up, eyes looking forwards. Your chest should be slightly forwards and over the bar.
Tips:
• Keep your back straight - i.e. in its normal position - throughout the movement. Do not lean forwards.
• Keep the bar as close as possible to your legs throughout the movement.
• Make sure your knees travel in line with your toes - do not allow them to travel inwards.
Variations:
On a Block: Stand on a low, sturdy block or platform so that the bar is at the same level as your feet. This increases the range of motion and therefore it benefits your body more.


Deadlift (Smith-Machine Barbell)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Lower back, Adductors, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominals
Starting Position:
1. Stand in front of the barbell with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your legs until your hips and knees are at the same level, keeping your rib cage up and your head level. Your back should be straight, at a 45° angle to the floor.
3. Grasp the bar, with your hands just over shoulder-width apart, one overhand, the other under. This will facilitate better balance and keep the barbell in the same plane.
The Movement:
1. Using the power of your legs and hips, and keeping your arms straight, lift the bar from the floor until your legs are straight. The bar should be against the upper part of your thighs. Hold for a count of one.
2. Slowly return the bar to the floor, keeping your torso erect, arms straight and head up, eyes looking forwards. Your chest should be slightly forwards and over the bar.
Tips:
• Keep your back straight - i.e. in its normal position - throughout the movement. Do not lean forwards.
• Keep the bar as close as possible to your legs throughout the movement.
• Make sure your knees travel in line with your toes - do not allow them to travel inwards.
Variations:
On a Block: Stand on a low, sturdy block or platform so that the bar is at the same level as your feet. This increases the range of motion and therefore it benefits your body more.


Deadlift (Dumbbell Standard)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Lower back, Adductors, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominals
Starting Position:
1. Stand between two dumbbells with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your legs until your hips and knees are at the same level, keeping your rib cage up and your head level. Your back should be straight, at a 45° angle to the floor.
3. Grasp the dumbbells, with your hands at your sides, palms facing inward. This will facilitate better balance and keep the dumbbells in the same plane.
The Movement:
1. Using the power of your legs and hips, and keeping your arms straight, lift the dumbbells from the floor until your legs are straight. The dumbbells should be parallel to your thighs. Hold for a count of one.
2. Slowly return the dumbbells to the floor, keeping your torso erect, arms straight and head up, eyes looking forwards. Your chest should be slightly forward.
Tips:
• Keep your back straight - i.e. in its normal position - throughout the movement. Do not lean forwards.
• Keep the dumbbells as close as possible to your legs throughout the movement.
• Make sure your knees travel in line with your toes - do not allow them to travel inwards.
Variations:
On a Block: Stand on a low, sturdy block or platform so that the dumbbells are at the same level as your feet. This increases the range of motion and therefore it benefits your body more.


Deadlift (Dumbbell Single)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Lower back, Adductors, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominals
Starting Position:
1. Stand in front of the barbell with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your legs until your hips and knees are at the same level, keeping your rib cage up and your head level. Your back should be straight, at a 45° angle to the floor.
3. Grasp the bar, with your hands just over shoulder-width apart, one overhand, the other under. This will facilitate better balance and keep the barbell in the same plane.
The Movement:
1. Using the power of your legs and hips, and keeping your arms straight, lift the bar from the floor until your legs are straight. The bar should be against the upper part of your thighs. Hold for a count of one.
2. Slowly return the bar to the floor, keeping your torso erect, arms straight and head up, eyes looking forwards. Your chest should be slightly forwards and over the bar.
Tips:
• Keep your back straight - i.e. in its normal position - throughout the movement. Do not lean forwards.
• Keep the bar as close as possible to your legs throughout the movement.
• Make sure your knees travel in line with your toes - do not allow them to travel inwards.
Variations:
On a Block: Stand on a low, sturdy block or platform so that the bar is at the same level as your feet. This increases the range of motion and therefore it benefits your body more.


Deadlift (Barbell Stiff Leg)
Target MusclesHamstrings, Gluteus, Lower Back
Starting Position:
1. Grasp a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip.
2. Stand up straight, looking directly ahead.
The Movement:
1. Keep your back flat and legs nearly straight.
2. Bend forwards from the hips until your back is parallel to the ground. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. As you bend forwards, your hips and glutes should move backwards and your body should be centred through your heels.
3. At the bottom of the movement, do not allow the weight to touch the floor and don't round your back.
4. Hold for a count of one then forcefully contract your gluteus and hamstrings to raise your torso back into the erect starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your back flat. Rounding your back will increase the risk of injury.
• Do not lower the bar too far. The bar should be hanging at arms' length below you. Going below this point hyper flexes the spine, putting it in a vulnerable position and increasing injury risk to the lower back.


Deadlift (Dumbbell Stiff Leg)
Target MusclesHamstrings, Gluteus, Lower Back
Starting Position:
1. Grasp a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip.
2. Stand up straight, looking directly ahead.
The Movement:
1. Keep your back flat and legs nearly straight.
2. Bend forwards from the hips until your back is parallel to the ground. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. As you bend forwards, your hips and glutes should move backwards and your body should be centred through your heels.
3. At the bottom of the movement, do not allow the weight to touch the floor and don't round your back.
4. Hold for a count of one then forcefully contract your gluteus and hamstrings to raise your torso back into the erect starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your back flat. Rounding your back will increase the risk of injury.
• Do not lower the bar too far. The bar should be hanging at arms' length below you. Going below this point hyper flexes the spine, putting it in a vulnerable position and increasing injury risk to the lower back.


Deadlift (Smith-Machine Barbell Stiff Leg)
Target MusclesHamstrings, Gluteus, Lower Back
Starting Position:
1. Grasp a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip.
2. Stand up straight, looking directly ahead.
The Movement:
1. Keep your back flat and legs nearly straight.
2. Bend forwards from the hips until your back is parallel to the ground. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. As you bend forwards, your hips and glutes should move backwards and your body should be centred through your heels.
3. At the bottom of the movement, do not allow the weight to touch the floor and don't round your back.
4. Hold for a count of one then forcefully contract your gluteus and hamstrings to raise your torso back into the erect starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your back flat. Rounding your back will increase the risk of injury.
• Do not lower the bar too far. The bar should be hanging at arms' length below you. Going below this point hyper flexes the spine, putting it in a vulnerable position and increasing injury risk to the lower back.


Leg Extension (Machine Seated)
Target Muscles: Quadriceps
Starting Position:
1. Sit on the leg extension machine, adjusting it so that the back of your thighs are fully supported on the seat.
2. Hook your feet under the foot pads. The pads should rest on the lowest part of your shins, just above your ankles.
3. Hold on to the sides of the seat or the handles on the sides of the machine to prevent your hips lifting as you perform the exercise.
The Movement:
1. Straighten your legs to full extension, keeping your thighs and backside fully in contact with the bench.
2. Hold this fully contracted position for a count of two; then slowly return to the starting point.
Tips:
• Do not allow your hips to raise off the seat.
• Try to 'resist' the weight as you lower your legs back to the starting point - avoid letting the weight swing your legs back.
• Make sure you fully straighten the leg until the knees are locked do not perform partial movements.
• Avoid swinging/kicking your legs ­ control the movement.
Variations:
One-leg Extension: You can do leg extensions with one leg at a time. This allows you to concentrate fully on each repetition.
Toes Outwards: Angling the feet slightly outwards places more emphasis on the vastus lateralis.
Toes Inwards: Angling the feet slightly inwards places more emphasis on the vastus medialis.


Lunge (Dumbbell Forward)
Target Muscles: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus
Starting position:
1. Place a bar across the back of your shoulders or hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1. Take an exaggerated step forwards with your right leg, bending the knee and lowering your hips.
2. Lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is at an angle of 90°. Your left leg should be about 3 to 6 inches above the floor. Hold for a count of one.
3. Push hard with your right leg to return to the starting position.
4. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
• Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards as this can cause strain to the knee.
• Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.
Variations:
Step length: A shorter step forward places more emphasis on the quadriceps and a larger step forward places more emphasis on the gluteal and hamstring muscles.


Lunge (Barbell Reverse)
Target Muscles: Gluteus, Hamstrings, Quadriceps.
Starting Position:
1.Place a barbell across the back of your shoulders or hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2.Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1.Drop your right leg behind your body, bending your left leg, lowering your hips and keeping your trunk upright.
2.Lower yourself into a one-legged squat position on your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Your left knee should be at an angle of 90°. Hold for a count of one.
3.Push hard through your left leg, strongly contracting the gluteus, quadriceps and hamstrings to return your right leg into position. Don't push through your right (back) leg
4.Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
•Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards.
•Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.
Variations:
Smith machine reverse lunge: Stand directly under the bar of the Smith machine so that it rests fairly low across your upper back while still allowing you to maintain an upright posture. Hold the bar and lift it from the rack, unlocking the safety catches. Perform the movement as above.


Lunge (Dumbbell Bench Lift)
Target MusclesQuadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus
Starting position:
1. Place a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1. Take an exaggerated step up onto a bench with your right leg.
2. Follow you right leg with your left leg until you are standing upright on the bench.
3. Step back down in the reverse order that you had stepped up.
4. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
• Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards as this can cause strain to the knee.
• Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.


Lunge (Dumbbell Half)
Target MusclesQuadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus
Starting position:
1. Hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1. Take an exaggerated step forwards with your right leg, bending the knee and lowering your hips.
2. Lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is at an angle of 90°. Your left leg should be about 3 to 6 inches above the floor. Hold for a count of one.
3. Push hard with your right leg to return to the starting position.
4. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
• Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards as this can cause strain to the knee.
• Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.
Variations:
Step length: A shorter step forward places more emphasis on the quadriceps and a larger step forward places more emphasis on the gluteal and hamstring muscles.


Lunge (Barbell In Place)
Target MusclesQuadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus
Starting position:
1. Place a bar across the back of your shoulders or hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1. Take an exaggerated step forwards with your right leg, bending the knee and lowering your hips.
2. Lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is at an angle of 90°. Your left leg should be about 3 to 6 inches above the floor. Hold for a count of one.
3. Push hard with your right leg to return to the starting position.
4. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
• Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards as this can cause strain to the knee.
• Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.
Variations:
Step length: A shorter step forward places more emphasis on the quadriceps and a larger step forward places more emphasis on the gluteal and hamstring muscles.


Lunge (Dumbbell In Place)
Target MusclesQuadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteus
Starting position:
1. Hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your body with arms fully extended (palms facing your body).
2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead.
The Movement:
1. Take an exaggerated step forwards with your right leg, bending the knee and lowering your hips.
2. Lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is at an angle of 90°. Your left leg should be about 3 to 6 inches above the floor. Hold for a count of one.
3. Push hard with your right leg to return to the starting position.
4. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat with the left leg leading.
Tips:
• Keep your front knee positioned directly over your ankle - do not allow it to extend further forwards as this can cause strain to the knee.
• Keep your body erect throughout the movement - do not lean forwards.
Variations:
Step length: A shorter step forward places more emphasis on the quadriceps and a larger step forward places more emphasis on the gluteal and hamstring muscles.


Leg Curl (Machine Seated)
Targets muscles: Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
Starting Position:
1. Lie face down on the leg curl or sit upright in an upright machine and hook your heels under the roller pads. Adjust the machine if necessary so that your knees are just off the end of the bench and your thighs are fully supported.
2. Hold on to the hand grips or the edge of the bench for support.
The Movement:
1. Bend your knees, bringing your heels towards your backside.
2. Hold this fully contracted position for a count of two then slowly lower your heels back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your hips and thighs in contact with the bench throughout the movement - do not allow your hips to rise.
• Control the movement on both the upwards and downwards phase - avoid kicking your heels back fast.
Variations:
Toes pointed: Performing the movement with your toes pointed intensifies the work performed by the hamstrings.
Single leg curl: You can do leg curls with one leg at a time. This allows you to focus fully on each repetition.
Using a dumbbell: If you do not have access to a leg curl machine, you can improvise with a dumbbell. Position yourself as above on a bench. Bend your knees to 90° so the soles of your feet face the ceiling. Get your training partner to place a dumbbell securely between your feet so that the plates are parallel to the ceiling. Slowly straighten your legs until almost parallel to the floor and then curl them again, until your hamstrings are fully contracted. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


Calf Raise (Smith-Machine Barbell)
Target Muscles: Gastrocnemius, Soleus
Starting Position:
1. Place your shoulders under the pads of a standing calf raise machine, or place a barbell across the back of your shoulders.
2. Step on to the platform or, if you are using a barbell, use a step or block. Allow your heels to hang off the edge.
3. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointing directly ahead.
4. Straighten your legs as you lift the selected weight clear of the rest of the stack.
The Movement:
1. Rise up on your toes as high as possible.
2. Hold the fully contracted position for a count of two; then slowly lower your heels down as far as they will go.
Tips:
• Keep your legs straight throughout the movement to keep maximal emphasis on the calves and reduce the involvement of the quadriceps.
• Stretch your calves fully at the bottom of the movement - your heels should be lower than your toes.
• Do not bounce up from the bottom - keep the movement smooth and continuous.
• Keep your body straight - do not hunch.
Variations:
Toes pointing out: Angling your feet outwards at 45° places more emphasis on the inner part of the calves.
Toes pointing in: Angling your feet inwards at 45° places more emphasis on the outer part of the calves.
Smith machine calf raise: Place your shoulders under the bar of a Smith machine and step on to a low platform or block with your heels hanging off the edge. Perform the calf raise as above.


Calf Raise (Dumbbell Single Leg)
Target Muscles: Gastrocnemius, Soleus
Starting Position:
1. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your arm hanging down by your side, palm facing your body.
2. Place the ball of the right foot on the edge of a block or platform, allowing your heel to hang off the edge.
3. Hold on to a suitable support with the other hand to steady yourself.
The Movements:
1. Rise up as high as possible on the ball of your foot.
2. Hold the fully contracted position for a count of two; then slowly lower your heel down as far as it will go.
3. Complete the desired number of repetitions; then repeat on the left leg.
Tips:
• Keep your exercising leg straight throughout the movement.
• Keep your body upright.
• Stretch your calf fully at the bottom of the movement - your heel should be lower than your toes.
• Keep the movement smooth and continuous.
Variations:
Toes pointing out: Angling your feet outwards at 45° places more emphasis on the inner part of the calves.
Toes pointing in: Angling your feet inwards at 45° places more emphasis on the outer part of the calves.


Calf Press (Machine Lying)
Target Muscles: Gastrocnemius, Soleus
Starting Position:
1. Position yourself in a leg press machine.
2. Place the balls of your feet on the bottom of the platform with your heels hanging off the edge. Your legs should be fully extended and feet hip-width apart. Release the safety catch.
The Movements:
1. Press the platform away from you as far as possible.
2. Hold the fully contracted position for a count of two; then slowly lower your heels down as far as they will go.
Tips:
• Do not hurry the reps or bounce up from the bottom.
• Stretch your calves fully at the bottom of the movement - your heels should be lower than your toes.
• Keep your legs straight (not locked) throughout the movement.
Variations:
Toes pointing out: Angling your feet outwards at 45° places more emphasis on the inner part of the calves.
Toes pointing in: Angling your feet inwards at 45° places more emphasis on the outer part of the calves.


Calf Press (Machine Seated)
Target MusclesGastrocnemius, Soleus
Starting Position:
1. Position yourself in a seated calf press machine.
2. Place the balls of your feet on the bottom of the platform with your heels hanging off the edge. Your legs should be fully extended and feet hip-width apart.
The Movements:
1. Press the platform away from you as far as possible.
2. Hold the fully contracted position for a count of two; then slowly return your heels to the starting position as far back as they can go.
Tips:
• Do not hurry the reps or bounce back on the return.
• Stretch your calves fully at the bottom of the movement - your heels should be lower than your toes.
• Keep your legs straight (not locked) throughout the movement.
Variations:
Toes pointing out: Angling your feet outwards at 45° places more emphasis on the inner part of the calves.
Toes pointing in: Angling your feet inwards at 45° places more emphasis on the outer part of the calves.


Leg Press (Machine Lying)
Target MusclesGluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Lower back, Adductors, Hip flexors.
Starting Position:
1. Position yourself in a leg press machine.
2. Place your feet firmly on the platform with your heels at least six inches above the bottom edge. Your legs should be fully extended and feet hip-width apart. Release the safety catch.
The Movements:
1. Press the platform away from you as far as possible.
2. Bring your knees down as far as possible. In a perfect world they would make it into your armpits.
Tips:
• Do not hurry the reps or bounce up from the bottom.
• Stretch your hamstrings fully at the bottom of the movement - your heels should be lower than your toes.
• Keep your legs slightly bent at the top of the movement.