T Nation

Pre-Exhaust Gone Awry: Leg Press and Glutes

The original Nautilus compound leg machine was one of my all-time favorite machines. Negative-accentuated leg extensions followed by leg presses to failure left me immediately hobbled and sore for days.

But the buttocks are the stronger muscles in a leg press. They should be pre-exhausted with the old Nautilus adduction/abduction machine.
Imagine a proper double leg machine, a adductor/abductor combined with a leg press.

The whole point of pre-exhausting with an extension before a press, is because the glutes are the stronger muscle in a lot of people. As such, the quads, as the usual target muscle, fail to receive adequate stimulation. So by making them even weaker with the extensions, you are able to fully fatigue them.

Heck, most physical therapists and science types Will tell you that a back squat, or most leg presses, are posterior chain exercises anyway.



My ass would agree that they are posterior chain exercises, lol. It’s compounded on me being a long limbed, tall lifter with back squats. Took me twenty years to finally realize why it is so hard for me to get any quad development doing back squats.

I eventually realized that front squats, and pre-exhaust approaches were the only way I was going to have almost decent quads -lol



That’s my current attack, front squats and rear elevated split squats and anything else I feel like throwing in after.

Funny, for me back squats are a quad dominant exercise, and I still get a solid quad pump after a set.
If I want to hit glutes, I have to hit specific exercise to hit them directly.

It’s all structure related imo. Yes performance technique can have a big effect, but I think with the wide spectrum we see in gyms, two people can religiously adhere to the exact same tips yet develope completely differently from the same movement.


Technique matters so much too. We can both say the phrase “back squat” and mean TOTALLY different things.

If you do back squats like Justin Harris, there’s a fair chance your quads will still get lit up

Do them like Jim Wendler and you’re gonna be hitting primarily PC