The Dangerous Mistake You Might Be Making With The Leg Press Machine

If you're looking to build muscle in your legs, the leg press machine is one of the best ways to do so. This machine allows you to add varying amounts of weight that you press away from your body in a seated position. When used correctly, this machine is safer than many other machines and exercises used to work the legs. However, you can cause yourself serious harm if you use the leg press machine incorrectly. The worst mistake you can use with this machine is to hyperextend your knees (via The Healthy). This refers to when you lock your knees under heavy weight and put strain on the joints.

Hyperextending your knees can cause pain, swelling, and tissue damage (via Healthline). You can avoid doing this on the leg press machine by extending your legs until the point before your knees lock. This will still give you an excellent workout without damaging yourself. You should also avoid using too much weight on this machine, as this can also lead to injury. Always start with a lower weight than you think you'll need and work your way up when it feels appropriate.

The best leg exercises

If you are concerned about using the leg press, there are plenty of other exercises that you can use to build your legs. All exercises come with some risk, so it is important that you master your form before you start to lift heavier weights. A basic squat is an excellent exercise that should be incorporated into the workout plans of most people. "Squats are not inherently bad for the knees at all and are one of the most functional moves we humans perform," Lara Heimann, physical therapist and founder of LYT Yoga, told Byrdie. "From the time we are toddlers throughout our lifetime, we will squat for a variety of reasons and purposes." It is important to keep your head up and your spine neutral when performing a squat.

Lunges are another great exercise for your legs. While this exercise causes some people to complain about knee pain, it should create less knee pain in the long run when performed correctly (via NBC News). To do a lunge, start with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right foot and lower the rest of your body at the same time until your left knee almost touches the floor and your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a second and return to starting position.