FOOT POSITIONS FOR LEG TRAINING
Changing your foot position on leg exercises such as squats and leg press can help you to target a specific area more during your leg workout.
The "neutral" stance (3), is at around shoulder width apart and will target a bit of everything during your exercise. If you are new to training, this is the best foot position for you. As you make progress and want to hit certain muscles more, change your foot position around to suit. That's not to say seasoned weightlifters don't use the neutral stance, occasionally on leg press I will add it in.
If you take a close stance (4), it will target your quads more. However it can also put increased pressure on your knees so if you have any knee problems, be careful when trying this for the first time. You may not want to go as close as the lady in the picture, I usually put my feet around 4-5" apart but this might differ on a squat compared to say, a leg press...have a go and find your sweet spot.
During a wide stance (5), the adductors (inner thighs), hamstrings and glutes will work more. Ladies tend to prefer this to help keep their rear nice and pert...but it is important to work ALL aspects of your lower body for symmetry, strength, balance and health. Taking a wider stance during squats can also help to keep your back straight and lessen the risk of tipping forward.
Another thing to consider is how high or low to position your feet on the leg press or hack squat platform:
Higher up will target more hams and glutes. Lower down will target more quads. Neutral will obviously balance the two.
If you find your knees tend to drive inwards on squats or pressing, more than likely you need to work on your abductor (outer thigh/glute) strength. You can use a band around your knees to help keep them driven out during the exercise, plus make sure you use the abductor machine - this is the one which drives your leg outwards.
ADDuctor - bring thighs together. ABDuctor - take thighs away from each other.
Always make sure you warm up properly before getting into the bulk of your leg workout. Do a steady 10 minutes on a piece of cardio equipment and make sure there is plenty of volume in your first couple of exercises. We tend to start off with a hamstring curl then leg extensions, performing around 4 warm up sets followed by 4 working sets.
Give these a try if you need more leg development in a specific area.
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