Leg Press: The Real Reason You Should Never Lock Your Knees

The beauty of the leg press.

With the summer season just a few months away, many people around the world are honestly examining themselves to determine if their “beach bodies” are ready to be put on display when that time comes around.

My body is no where near ready for the beach oh my

— mal (@AmbroseMallory) March 8, 2015

Many people have already started working out vigorously in order to prepare their bodies for the summer months — exercising everything from their arms and backs to their stomachs and legs.

However, as many fitness enthusiasts and personal trainers tell their clients, understanding and sticking to the proper form while doing any exercise is vital.

At first glance, for example, it might seem self-explanatory to successfully use a leg press machine without any prior instruction or experience. It’s easy for an inexperienced person to believe that they just need to sit down and push the weight as far as possible with both of their legs.

On the contrary, maintaining the proper form will quickly show the naive individual that they are completely wrong — especially if they think that locking their knees is part of the routine.

Why You Should Never Lock Your Knees

Several reports confirm that the rule of never locking your knees applies to all leg exercises — not just when using a leg press machine.

According to Bodybuilding.com, locking your knees will shift all of the weight that is being lifted from the muscle directly to the knee joint itself. With all of that excessive stress and pressure, this could quickly lead to unnecessary strain and injury.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a video of a woman using a leg press machine went viral recently after the woman locked her knees and seems to have broken her leg because of it.

By avoiding a knee lock-out, the tension remains where it belongs – on the muscle – which allows you to enjoy the full benefits of the exercise without the risk of injury.

If it seems as if the only way that you can complete a repetition is by locking out your knees, Bodybuilding.com advises you to seriously consider lowering the weight before proceeding.

What is the Proper Procedure?

Before beginning the exercise, your knees should be bent at an angle of about 90 degrees. According to the Huffington Post, you should then move your feet upwards so that your shins remain parallel to the floor.

Trainer Rebecca Woll states that a properly executed leg press should emulate a squat — an important point to remember when focusing on posture. Most importantly, keep your knees soft — never locking them — as you press the weight down through your heels and extend your legs.

[Image Credit: Dollar Photo Club]