If your butt muscles are feeling a little saggy, the incline leg press machine can help. Available in most gyms, this machine offers a compound exercise for the lower body, meaning that it works multiple joints and muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus maximus -- the largest of those butt muscles you want to firm.
How to Use the Incline Leg Press
Before getting into the machine, load the sled of the leg press with weight plates. Some sleds are weighted, so start with small plates until you are accustomed to the exercise. Once the weight is loaded, sit in the machine with your back flat against the backrest. Place your feet flat against the middle of the sled, shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Find the safety release that allows the sled to lower (or rise, depending on the machine). Push through your heels to straighten your legs, lifting the sled, then lower.
To work your glutes even more, change your foot positioning. Placing your feet near the top of the sled will require more work from the gluteus maximus, focusing the activity on the butt instead of the quadriceps. Perform the press with your feet near the edges of the sled with toes pointed slightly outward. To work your butt from a different angle, place your feet together in the middle of the sled, toes lined up with the sled’s top. You might need to reduce the weight for these variations.
Maintain Good Form
When lowering the sled, make sure your knees are bent at least 90 degrees. To increase the workload on your butt muscles, allow the sled to go slightly deeper. Do not go so deep that your butt comes off the seat or your back rounds. Don’t push your legs or knees with your hands -- that’s cheating. Hold on to the handles throughout the exercise. Finally, rest your head against the backrest and look straight ahead to avoid neck strain.
To get the most out of any strength training exercise, be consistent. Train each major muscle group at least once per week, preferably twice. Add cardio to your routine to increase fat burn, allowing the toned, lean muscles you’re training to show through. Including a healthy diet will ensure that you have enough energy to push through your workouts and maximize results. If you have questions about using the leg press machine or any of the variations, consult a fitness professional.
Jennifer Arnett is a writer and editor focused on health and wellness, consumer technology and green living. She has written for several organizations and websites. Arnett holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and writing.