How to do the Narrow Stance Leg Press? And its Benefits!

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Last updated on September 5, 2022

Leg press exercises are meant to work out your whole leg to increase power and strength. They are a good alternative to squats for those who are muscle building and weight loss. The narrow stance leg press lets you work out the outer thigh muscles, while the wide stance hits the inner thighs. Your foot placement is important, placing your feet lower places more stress on the quad muscles thereby working them more. 


How to go about narrow stance leg press?


1. Get Ready

Sit on the leg press machine on place both legs on the pad of the leg press machine. You should place your legs at a distance less than your shoulder width apart with your toes pointed out. This means that your legs should be three or two inches apart. Keep your head up as you exercise and your back should always lay flat on the platform.

2. Initial set-up

In that initial leg press position, slowly lower the platform and press it with your legs fully extended. When doing these presses, ensure your knees are not locked. In full leg extension position, your legs and your torso should be at a perfect 90degree angle.

3. Do your set reps

Inhale slowly as you lower the weighted pad until your legs are positioned at a 90-degree angle. Push with your heels using your quadriceps until you are back at the starting position. Repeat for the required number of reps; if you are just starting out, repeat for five times on a platform with no weight.

4. Adjust the weight 

Introduce narrow stance leg presses into your workout plan. Start by pushing the unloaded platform and add weights as you get comfortable with the leg press machine. Be sure to use other different variations of the leg press exercise. including the wide stance version. This will help with complete quad development.

Narrow Stance Leg Press Variations

How to do the Standard Narrow Stance Leg Press

How to do the Narrow Stance Low Platform Leg Press

How to do the Narrow Stance High Platform Leg Press

The Importance of Stretching

Scientists have discovered a link between flexibility and strength on the leg press. It appears that a minimum amount of flexibility is important if one is to gain strength normally. If flexibility is poor, strength is not gained as quickly, compared to normal flexibility. For example, research has demonstrated that lack of flexibility in antagonistic muscles may impede the development of muscle strength and size. An antagonistic muscle opposes the action of another muscle. The hamstring muscles are the antagonistic muscle group to the quadriceps.

Lack of flexibility in the hamstrings affects the strength and ability to build muscle in the quadriceps because of the principle of reciprocal inhibition. Reciprocal inhibition is the process by which stimulation of the muscle spindles of the antagonist muscle (e.g., the hamstrings) inhibits excitation of the agonist muscle (e.g., the quadriceps) through a neural process involving the spinal cord.

In a leg press, for example, if the muscle spindles in the hamstrings are stimulated during the pushing phase of the lift, the quadriceps will be inhibited. This prevents exerting full force during the leg press and keeps the individual from becoming stronger in the lift. That means you will not build as much muscle.

Many studies have examined the influence of reciprocal inhibition in limb movement. In the knee jerk reflex, for example, tapping the patellar tendon produces a stretch reflex by the muscle spindles in the quadriceps muscles, which produces quadriceps contraction, inhibition of the hamstring muscles and knee extension.

According to this principle, inflexible hamstring muscles may make it more difficult to strengthen knee extensors. During knee extension, premature stimulation of the muscle spindles in the hamstrings could produce quadriceps inhibition.

Research demonstrates that quadriceps strength tends to be lower in people with less flexible hamstrings. This probably happens because the muscle spindles in the hamstrings “turn off” the quadriceps during the final phase of most lower body motions. Chronic quadriceps inhibition keeps these people from becoming as strong if had they good hamstring flexibility.

How to Stretch 

A short stretching warm up before your workout will make you stronger and allow you to build muscle more readily. However, studies have shown that static stretching, where you hold a stretch at it’s limit, can actually make you weaker and inhibit growth.

After a few minutes of cardiovascular warmup, such as an exercise bike, you should do some dynamic stretching, which involves moving through a full range of motion, such as when doing arm circles and high knees.

You should also make use of traction during your pre workout stretching routine. You can do this by looping a resistance band around an upright post and pulling it in various directions. Doing this between sets during your workout will enhance your muscle contraction on the next set.

After your workout is the time to perform static stretches in order to increase your flexibility. Now your body is already warm and your muscles are fatigued. Static stretches will have the added benefit of reducing your post workout muscle soreness. You should favor closed chain stretches, which place pressure on the soles of your feet or your palms, over open chain stretches.

Stretching is a powerful, though often neglected, part of a weight lifters toolbox. Stretching doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Those few minutes that you do expend, though, can make you stronger in your lower legs and prime your muscle tissue for growth.

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Key Stretching Tips:

  • Do dynamic stretching before your workout
  • Perform traction stretching during your workout
  • Do fascia stretching on isolation exercises
  • Static stretching for flexibility should take place after the workout

To Conclude useful for both women and men health

Focusing on both your upper and lower body muscles is good for your overall fitness whether it is for gain strength or lose fat. We have taken your through how to incorporate the narrow stance on the leg press machine into your workout plan to meet your fitness objectives like muscle growth or weight loss. Doing this as part of your weekly workouts, at the gym or your home workout, you should see results after a short period of time.

Following good nutrition tips such as balanced diet plans are also important to improve workout results and achieve fitness objectives quicker. Some of you may be considering supplements ( e.g. amino acids, fat burners and testosterone booster ) but we would advise you to always speak to your personal trainer and doctor before doing this.   

For this that like to follow visual exercise guides there are plenty of these types of exercise video online, but be careful you are following a proven expert as anyone can upload a video. With the wrong technique you may not be working out your upper legs in general (e.g. glutes and hamstrings ) rather than the targeted muscle (e.g. hamstrings.) 

Steve Theunissen has qualified from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He has over 30 years experience in fitness and nutrition and currently working with famous fitness professionals. He is currently living in New Zealand with is wife and daughter.

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