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Leg Press: Hands on Knees?

Resting my hands on my knees allows me to lift more weight in the leg press, but is it a form of cheating? Keep in mind, I’m not pushing my knees with my hands, they are just resting on my knees.

Not if you don’t push.

And if you were to push lightly, it would be cheating only to the extent of the amount of the push.

[quote]Bwick wrote:
Resting my hands on my knees allows me to lift more weight in the leg press, but is it a form of cheating? Keep in mind, I’m not pushing my knees with my hands, they are just resting on my knees.[/quote]

Not sure how you can lift more weight that way if you are not putting a little additional pressure with your hands.

You have to do what works for you obviously. You just need to be honest with yourself. If you are tempted to give yourself a little push when it gets hard with your hands, you are better off breaking the habit and holding onto the handles in my opinion.

How? Nervous system working a little differently, and/or psychological. But if the muscles are made to work harder for these reasons, then that is not a bad outcome.

I was taught that, “only pussies do that” I know it helps but like a beaten dog I flinch when I catch myself trying to do it. Sometimes when nobodys looking I do it.

I feel that the difference is mostly psychological.
Back when i used to barbell bench (and even now when I DB bench) I found I could lift more when I had a good spotter right behind me ready to step in if I was in trouble.

I don’t tend to do this with leg press since I like to keep my hands on the handles in case all hell brakes loose but I DO find it effective to rest my hands on the knees during hack squats. Until recently, I had my hands on the shoulder handles and magically did more weight resting my hands on my knees. It also felt more comfortable. This was actually from watching a really big guy do this on the machine and I followed suit. I won’t go back to that old way anymore.

To be helpful to the OP, I think it’s fine. Mental is a part of the game too.

I personally would try to lift more weight by squeezing the handles on the side of the leg press. Having my hands out and supporting my knees would make me unstable.

Another thing you can try is putting your hands underneath the seat and holding there rather than the handles at the side. This prevents you from rounding your back when you lower the weight but you still get a full ROM.

I put my hands on my knees as a spot just in case.

those handles wont’ do much if the weight is heavy enough you can’t lift it high enough to hook the handles.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I put my hands on my knees as a spot just in case.

those handles wont’ do much if the weight is heavy enough you can’t lift it high enough to hook the handles.[/quote]

This is true. But you can always take your hands off the handles and bench press your knees back up. lol.

If it helps people mentally somehow then thats fine. Either because they feel safer and more confident or because they are physically touching the muscle that is workiing. They should do it.

I just think for me, during a hard set i need to have my arms grabing something tightly. Also, I think when the set gets really hard and its make or break time even taking a few pounds of pressure off with your hands might prevent you from having to dig deeper. Maybe that works better for some people though by doing a few extra reps that they wouldn’t of gotten. Who the fuck knows. Everyone is different.

I don’t have much theory to add, but I will generally always recommend AGAINST putting hands on knees while leg pressing.

I don’t give a shit if you think you are or not, you’re going to help yourself, even if it’s an eensy, teensy bit.

Ruhl does it.

Can we discuss who the girl in your avatar is Bwick? Im not apologizing for this hijack.

i put my hands on my knees, its the only way i can train leg presses

when i do Hack Squats its the only way i can go ATG. its kind of like using wraps because youre just putting a little pressure around the joint. which must just stabilize it because even if you did push you think a little tricep effort its going to matter with that much weight?

[quote]SSC wrote:
I don’t have much theory to add, but I will generally always recommend AGAINST putting hands on knees while leg pressing.

I don’t give a shit if you think you are or not, you’re going to help yourself, even if it’s an eensy, teensy bit.[/quote]

yeah its called giving your knees enough support to handle weight. has nothing to do with making the weight lighter. the plates dont change from 45’s to 10’s just because you put your hands on your knees.

Until Bwick gets back, elusive, my impression is that the girl is CGI, not real. I could be wrong though.

Live, interesting point. That mechanism doesn’t affect me and perhaps may not affect some others, but it makes perfect sense that it would be important for some as well. For anyone that that applies to, sounds like hands on the knees is a method to prefer, at least with relatively heavier weights.

On the amount of involvement that pushing may be: Agreed, if there is substantial weight on the leg press, say 1000 lb or whatever, what importance is 20 lbs of push or whatever from the hands? Which I tend to think is what most do most of the time. Not too many are pushing with 200 lb or whatever though if need be it could be done. So it’s a small percentage of the total weight.

If a person can handle an extra plate per side by putting the hands on the knees but is not pushing with commensurate extra force (which at 45 degrees would be about 64 lb) then the work done by the lower body is increased, not decreased.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Until Bwick gets back, elusive, my impression is that the girl is CGI, not real. I could be wrong though.

Live, interesting point. That mechanism doesn’t affect me and perhaps may not affect some others, but it makes perfect sense that it would be important for some as well. For anyone that that applies to, sounds like hands on the knees is a method to prefer, at least with relatively heavier weights.

On the amount of involvement that pushing may be: Agreed, if there is substantial weight on the leg press, say 1000 lb or whatever, what importance is 20 lbs of push or whatever from the hands?

Which I tend to think is what most do most of the time. Not too many are pushing with 200 lb or whatever though if need be it could be done. So it’s a small percentage of the total weight.

If a person can handle an extra plate per side by putting the hands on the knees but is not pushing with commensurate extra force (which at 45 degrees would be about 64 lb) then the work done by the lower body is increased, not decreased.

[/quote]

exactly. common sense says that if your leg press goes up 45 PPS (Pounds Per Side) after hand-on-knee application and steadily increases 10 PPS per week it isnt your other muscles increasing the lift unless you are somehow able to maximally activate shoulder and tricep strength

(since arms are extended there is no chest drive) therefore you would assumingly have EXTREMELY disproportionately large shoulders and triceps to everything else.

so option A) your hands act as a knee-brace so to speak

or option B) we’ve managed to defy anything previously known about physics and also found the greatest upper body developer known to man - from isometric tension none the less.

I’d credit a lot more to what could be pushed with the hands even if there were no chest involvement, judging from triceps pressdowns, and actually the movement seems to me more in the dip/decline press category, but ORDINARILY it does not seem to me those that use this method apply much force with the hands.

And certainly not, relative to the total weight involved, if their impression, as with the OP, is that they are not pushing at all.

Might help psychologically, like you can go a little lower or stack on a little more weight because if your legs can’t pull it off you can push with your arms, perhaps? Like having a good spotter. The power of the mind cannot be underestimated.