Leg Press Can Keep You Strong

You never know what scene will require a bit of extra strength



John Amtmann, EdD, NREMT-B | Nathan Kobold | | Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To begin this exercise, start in a seated position with your hips and knees flexed. Extend at the knees and hips slowly until your leg is straight. Pause at top with a “soft lock,” which means your knees appear to be straight, but they aren’t completely straight or “locked out.”

Next, slowly lower the weight back to where you were in the starting position, which should be about 90 degrees at the knee joint. You should take care to make sure your knees don’t extend beyond the plane of the feet, which increases the chance of injury because of excessive stress to the patellar tendon.

Muscles targeted: Hip extensors (gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, biceps femoris), knee extensors (rectus femoris, vastus medialis/intermedius/lateralis)

Note: Your knees should stay in same plane of the feet, and they shouldn’t extend in front or outside the vertical plane of the feet. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Full range of motion is flexing the knees to about 90 degrees, but flexing beyond 90 degrees may increase the likelihood of injury. Your back and spine should be kept in a straight alignment. The leg press can be modified. The exercise can be performed from a standard seated position to an inverted position. The same guidelines will apply to each modification.

Common Mistakes
Poor posture is a common mistake for people when they attempt this exercise. Moving the knee beyond 90 degrees flexion is one of the more common mistakes, which also increases risk of injury. This exercise should be performed slow enough to eliminate momentum, which will safely stress the muscles. When momentum/fast speeds are used, more stress is applied to the connective tissue, such as ligaments, tendons and capsules and can lead to injuries.

Practical Application
Balanced strength, including upper leg strength, is very important to the EMS professional. At times, in order to provide appropriate treatment, patients may have to be carried away from a hazardous situation. Additionally, often we have to carry equipment and/or patients up and down stairs to provide care. Additionally, a balance of muscular endurance and strength may be required, and the workouts described in previous articles can effectively improve both.

Related Links:

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Health And Safety, Provider Wellness and Safety, leg press, John Amtmann, health, fitness


John Amtmann, EdD, NREMT-Bis a professor of Applied Health Science at Montana Tech of the University of Montana in Butte. He’s an EMT with A-1 Ambulance in Butte, an ACSM certified preventive and rehabilitative exercise specialist and an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist. Contact him at JAmtmann@mtech.edu.


What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS


Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Kansas City Woman Thanks EMTs Who Saved Her Life

CPR save highlights community awareness program
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >