Sissy Leg Press

March 4th 2015 | by Matt Bembridge (AKA Gym Professor)

Very few people perform the Sissy Squat - the up on your toes knees forward version - as it's actually quite difficult, even with little or no weight. The Sissy Leg Press is a nice variation on the theme, placing more emphasis on your quadriceps (thighs) and less on your hamstrings and glutes, compared to an orthodox leg press. It's also far quicker to set up, as you'll require a lot less weight.

Set up the leg press in readiness; make sure the soles of your trainers and the footplate of the machine are dry for a steadfast grip, the safety stopper in place and that a sensible weight is selected. Start by assuming a regular leg press foot position - feet approximately shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward (or ever-so-slightly turned out, depending on what's comfortable). Next, bring your forefoot to the bottom of the footplate with the rear of your feet overhanging the footplate. Assume the load on your forefoot, much like if you were about to perform a calf raise; but, with your knees ever-so-slightly bent, not locked out. Remove the leg press sled catchers. This is your start-position; at this point, you should feel the weight on your calves and thighs. Bending your knees, bring the weight down slowly so your heels end up close to your bottom and your knees by your chest; this is the mid-position. Pause, then, press the weight slowly back up to the start-position (do not lock your knees out). Repeat. I suggest selecting a weight that allows you to perform 10 to 20 repetitions. 

As mentioned in the video, place  your feet near the top of the footplate for greater emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes. The two - Sissy Leg Press and a Hamstring-heavy Leg Press (feet high) - work very well in a superset.

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