STARTING POSITION: Sit in the machine, with your back and sacrum flat against the machine's backrest. Place your feet on the resistance plate, and adjust your seat and foot position so that the bend in your knees is at approximately 90 degrees with your heels flat. Knees are parallel and your toes are lined up with your knees. Lightly grasp any available handles to stabilize your upper extremity. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Do not allow movement in your low back throughout the exercise.
Slowly exhale while pushing the resistance plate away from your body. Keep your heels flat against the resistance plate and avoid any movement in the upper extremity.
Continue to straighten your legs until the knees are straight but not locked. The heels should still be pressed firmly into the plate. Do not round the low back, lock-out your knees or allow your butt to lift off the seat pad.
Pause briefly then slowly return to your starting position in a slow, controlled manner. Do not allow your upper thighs to compress your ribcage. Repeat the movement.
Exercise Variation: Single-leg press.
Repeat the same exercise, but use each leg independently
Improper technique can lead to injury. Control the extension phase by keeping your heels in contact with the plate and avoid locking out your knees. During the return phase, control the movement and avoid compressing your upper thighs against your ribcage.