Knowing how to maximize a Powertec Leg Sled boils down to knowing how to perform the two exercises for which this machine was created. These exercises are the leg press and the calf raise. Other information you need to know to maximize a Powertec Leg Sled include seat position, amount of weight on the weight bars, safety handles, feet spacing, and inserting the calf raise bar.
- Start/stop handle. To maximize a Powertec Leg Sled, you need to know how to operate the start/stop function of the seat. Beneath the seat is a bar that, when lowered, allows the seat to move freely. When you are finished with your exercise, raise the bar to allow the seat to latch into rest position.
- Amount of weight. To maximize a Powertec Leg Sled, start out your first time on each exercise with light weights. It’s preferable to start light and adjust to heavier weights rather than go too heavy too soon and risk injury. For the leg press, around 50-60 pounds is a good place to start if you’re a beginner. For the calf raise, you can go a little heavier since the range of motion is so small. Again, you’re looking to maximize the Powertec Leg Sled. Even though you can go heavier with the Calf Raise, be cautious and choose a moderately heavy weight to start.
- Safety handles. For your safety, the Powertec Leg Sled comes equipped with safety handles beside the seat. Gripping these handles ensures that your body will maintain balance and that you will not slide or fall off the machine when in use.
- Feet spacing. To maximize the Powertec Leg Sled when performing the Leg Press, space your feet on the foot platform approximately shoulder-width apart. You can point your toes straight in front of you or slightly angle them out to the side.
- Calf raise bar. The Powertec Leg Sled is packaged with a calf raise bar that inserts into the middle of the foot platform. This bar allows you to gain a greater range of motion on the calf raise exercise by ensuring that your heels cannot touch the platform. By lowering yourself so that your heels break the plane of the calf raise bar, your calves get a bigger stretch and are worked harder.
- Leg Press. This exercise is a stand-in for the squat. To perform it correctly, grab the handles on either side of the seat and push yourself up on the sliding seat using your legs. You will lower yourself by allowing the seat to slide down toward the foot platform. The lower you allow the seat to go, the harder the press will be and the more your quads and hamstrings will be worked. If this is your first time on a Powertec Leg Sled or leg press machine of any kind or if you haven't done squats in a while, it’s a good idea to lower yourself until your legs are bent in a 90-degree angle when in resting position. Repeat for eight to twelve repetitions. When you’ve gained some experience, consider lowering yourself more to gain a bigger stretch.
- Calf Raise. To perform the calf raise correctly, grab the handles beside the seat. Place the balls of your feet on the calf raise bar and push the seat all the way up by extending your legs. Using the top of your feet, push yourself up with the balls of your feet. Lower yourself until your heels are almost touching the foot platform. Repeat for eight to twelve repetitions.