Reviews Gym Equipment Gym Machines

10 Best Leg Press Machines in 2024

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

Being a go-to exercise for gym newbies and experienced athletes, a leg press workout enables anyone of different fitness levels to build powerful legs to withstand more intensive and challenging training.

Have a look at the list of decent equipment to tone your legs and choose the best leg press machine that will fit your needs.

Optimize your technique and build leg muscles safely without any risk of strain on your knees and ligaments. Pick the model that will be easy for you to use, while being capable to handle enough weight for more advanced training.

Best Leg Press Machines

Top 10 Best Leg Press Machines Reviewed

  1. PowerTec Leg Press Machine – Top Pick
  2. Spart Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine – Runner-Up
  3. GMWD Leg Press & Squat Machine Combo
  4. AnythingSports Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine
  5. BodySolid Compact Leg Press – Best Compact
  6. Titan Fitness Vertical Leg Press Machine
  7. BodySolid SLP500G-3 – Best Horizontal
  8. Syedee Leg Press Machine
  9. Bodycraft Linear Leg Press Machine
  10. Titan Fitness Stealth Leg Press – Best Rack-Mounted Attachment
ProductTotalQualityPortabilityMax Weight
Anything Sports47.
Body Solid46.
Titan (vertical)4699.5999.5
BodySolid (horizontal)459.58.5999
Titan Fitness(attachment)48.59.51091010

1. PowerTec Leg Press Machine

PowerTec Leg Press Machine
  • Item dimensions:79” L x 36.6” W x 54” H 
  • Item weight: 258 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Seat: 4-point adjustable seat
  • Weight loaded type: 2” plate loaded
  • Type: angled
  • Footplate dimensions: 29” x 22”
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: 5 years on moving frame (excludes surface finish), limited lifetime warranty on the frame (excludes surface finish), 1 year on pads, grips, and any other wear/tear parts, 2 years on parts (bearings, spring pins, and hardware)

This leg press machine from PowerTec is our best leg press machine due to its exceptional durability and adjustability. The machine will fit a wide range of athletes between 4’9” to 6’3”.

You’ll get three lock settings on the leg press: 32”, 39”, and 46”. Although, you’d better measure your inseam and check it off against the different height settings to see if you’d be able to achieve a full range of motion.

You can train with diverse weights starting from 60 lb and up to 1000 lb, and adjust a seat and backrest for better comfort and versatility of positions. It goes with dual safety catches on the sides for heavy lifting.

The tool is compatible with 2” plates which makes it a good option for those who ever wanted to take up weightlifting. Besides leg press, you’ll be able to perform calf raises by varying the loaded plates’ weight to target better quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glute muscles.


The PowerTec Leg Press Machine offers a wide range of weight options and adjustable settings for a comfortable and effective leg workout.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Fits athletes of different heights, up to 6’4”
  • Has smooth glide action and sturdy construction
  • Has a large footplate for various feet position

Could be better:

  • You can place plates of limited size on the bottom pegs
  • A challenging assembly

2. Spart Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine

Spart Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine
  • Item dimensions: 83” L x 42” W x 60” H
  • Item weight: 360 lb
  • Weight capacity: 2000 lb
  • Seat: adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: angled
  • Angle: 45 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: 25.6” x 20”
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Here you are a 2-in-1 leg press and hack squat commercial machine made from heavy-duty durable high tensile 14 gauge steel of 50x100 mm, which withstands up to 2000 lb. It comes with an 8.3” sleeve length, and each side of a loading bar can be loaded up to the 6 x 45 lb 2” Olympic bumper plates.

The package includes a universal wrench and 2 bumper clamps. You can adjust the height of the backrest for your best comfort by switching between 5 options by pulling out the spring easily. This leg press & hack squat equipment has 4 additional weight storage holders that fit 1" and 2" bumper/weight plates.

The 45-degree machine can help you to train various muscle groups of the lower body: while leg press exercising you’ll involve quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. You also can change your foot position on the platform to activate other muscle groups.

During the hack squat option, you’ll stimulate the quads more and improve your back squat form during the conventional squatting.

Speaking about the lockout position, it can be easily controlled: you just need to fold in the handrails to lock the carriage bar in place when you finish your workout session.


The 2-in-1 Leg Press and Hack Squat Machine is a heavy-duty, versatile piece of equipment designed for effective leg workouts, offering adjustable settings, comfortable backrest, and additional weight storage holders.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • No wobbling, stiff construction
  • Features rear rods for plate storage
  • Can load up to 6 plates on each loading bar
  • Has 5 options for the backrest height adjustment

Could be better:

  • Quite bulky, won’t fit for every home gym

3. GMWD Leg Press & Squat Machine Combo

GMWD Leg Press & Squat Machine Combo
  • Item dimensions: 95" L x 32" W x 60" H
  • Item weight: 360 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Seat: not adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: angled
  • Angle: 45 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: 39" W (for squats), 22.8" W (for leg press)
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: 180 days from the date of the purchase

This machine is the best leg press hack squat combo and provides users with a combo for performing hip sled exercises, i.e., leg presses and squats due to the 45-degree angled triangular construction.

This hip sled tool is also suitable for calf raises to work out your legs which are the strongest muscles of the body. It’s considered commercial-level equipment made of 50x100 mm,14 gauge. So, it’s pretty sturdy and durable.

If you watch to switch between leg press and hack squat training, you can make it in a moment by adjusting the backrest. The machine has a safety catch with 2 different levels to fit different heights.

A padded backrest of 14” W x 29” L provides enough comfort while exercising. Also, you can store your weight plates in the four weight holders on the rear rods, and adjust them with the help of four strong bearing pins that are included in the package.


The Leg Press Hack Squat Combo Machine offers versatile exercises for your legs, including leg presses, hack squats, and calf raises, with adjustable features and convenient weight storage.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Four bearing pins are included in the package
  • Equipped with a pair of transportation wheels
  • Fits a wide range of heights (ideally 5’7” and higher)
  • There’re rear rods to store weight plates

Could be better:

  • Not for short athletes since they won’t get to 90 degrees
  • Quite a heavy tool that comes in 4 separate packages

4. AnythingSports Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine

AnythingSports Leg Press & Hack Squat Machine
  • Item dimensions: 83” L x 34” W x 56” H
  • Item weight: 325 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Seat: not adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: angled
  • Footplate dimensions: 24” W
  • Color: grey
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty for all parts

leg press machine from AnythingSports is actually a 2-in-1 tool as the previous model that is united into a single piece of equipment both for leg presses and hack squats. With a spring-actuated lock, you can switch between these constructions and choose what you like most.

Made from high-quality steel, it’s quite stable and durable, so you can load it up to 1000 lb. There’s no need to worry about safety when exercising with heavy loads since the machine has three lockout positions you can control throughout your training.

When performing leg press exercises, your feet won’t slip thanks to the feet plate diamond-pattern surface that brings you extra grip.

The machine is also equipped with comfortable cushioning pads that support your shoulder area and lower back. According to some extra specs, this 2-in-1 machine is compatible with the Olympic plates only and will suit users of the height up to 6’5” with fully extended legs.


The AnythingSports 2-in-1 Leg Press and Hack Squat Machine is a durable and versatile exercise tool that allows users to perform both leg presses and hack squats with ease and safety.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Sturdy construction
  • Three lockout positions for a greater range of motion
  • Is good for tall athletes

Could be better:

  • Quite a heavy-duty machine, not perfect for small spaces
  • No option to adjust the backrest position
Best Compact

5. BodySolid Compact Leg Press

BodySolid Compact Leg Press
  • Item dimensions: 67” L x 47” W x 46.5” H
  • Item weight: 229 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Seat: adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: horizontal
  • Footplate dimensions: 19” L x 23.5” W
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty for the frame and all parts (in-home usage); lifetime warranty for the frame and welds, 3 years for pulleys, bushings, bearings, hardware, guide rods, and 1 year for upholstery and grips (for commercial usage)

This heavy-gauge steel leg press machine is the best leg press machine for home gym in our list, which is equipped with a carriage with sealed linear bearing for bringing smooth glide even when loaded with weights. 

It brings you an opportunity to perform both leg press and calf raise exercises. It can be easily stored at home and become a worthy leg press tool for home workouts. The machine also has two 12” chrome-plated weight horns, and its adjustable backrest will fit any height user to bring them a perfect fit and body position while exercising.


The BodySolid Compact Leg Press is a space-saving and versatile leg press machine made of heavy-duty steel, designed to provide a smooth and comfortable leg workout with its adjustable backrest and sealed linear bearings.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • A compact, yet sturdy leg press machine
  • Ideally fits for garage home gym
  • Locking handles and the sled itself work smoothly

Could be better:

  • The foot angle isn’t adjustable
  • Not enough adjustment holes to fix the seat position

6. Titan Fitness Vertical Leg Press Machine

Titan Vertical Leg Press Machine
  • Item dimensions: 38” L x 48” W x 52.5” H
  • Item weight: 94 lb
  • Weight capacity: 400 lb
  • Seat: not adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: vertical
  • Angle: 90 degrees
  • Foot deck angle: 90 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: 48” x 38”
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: 1 year

Here we have a specialty vertical leg press machine that aims to train your leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. While it doesn’t put much pressure on your back and upper body, so it makes it a good training option for people with upper body injuries.

This cheap leg press machine goes with three weight posts to load the needed number of plates, namely, it fits 45 lb Olympic plates. Also, there are three adjustable height settings up to 52.5”, so the machine can fit users of different heights.

Diamond-patterned footplate vouches for no slipping while lifting heavy weights, and rubber grip handles bring extra support for ease of entry and exit out of the leg press machine.


The Titan Vertical Leg Press Machine is a compact and affordable leg press option that focuses on training leg muscles while providing a safe and secure workout experience.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Takes up minimal space
  • Has 3 loading posts
  • Doesn’t bring extra tension on the upper body by targeting legs most

Could be better:

  • A bit wobbly as you extend your legs
  • Would be better if the head pad could adjust for users of different height
Best Horizontal

7. BodySolid SLP500G-3

BodySolid SLP500G-3
  • Item dimensions: 40" L x 80" W x 72" H
  • Item weight: 555 lb
  • Weight capacity: no information
  • Seat: adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: pin loaded
  • Type: horizontal
  • Angle: 90 degrees
  • Foot deck angle: 90 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: 48” x 38”
  • Color: black
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty for in-home usage; lifetime warranty on frames, welds, weight plates & guide rods, 3 years on pulleys, bushing, bearings & hardware, 1 year on cables, upholstery, grips, and all other components (for commercial usage)

Our next model of leg press machines comes with a horizontal modification, being one of the most durable and heavy-duty tools among the reviewed ones. It refers most to commercial machines because of its heavy weight of 555 lb, so it makes it inappropriate for home gym usage, especially if you lack extra space.

The machine itself is equipped with a pillow block and sealed ball bearings for accurate alignment and smooth system movement.

The main frame is of 2” x 4” high-tensile strength steel, 4-side welded, also it comes with an adjustable Durafirm backrest pad with an ergonomically designed two-position press plate that can fit all-size athletes. So, it makes it easier to focus completely on leg and calf workouts.

Such a construction reduces spinal tension and compression while bringing you a full range of motion in a natural biomechanical movement in the lower body. You can manage the resistance ratio: the tools come with a 1.5:1 weight stack resistance ratio (resistance is one and a half times the weight increment selected).

Its stack configuration is the following: quantity (20) x 15 lb plates with 10 lb top plate/selector stem.


The BodySolid SLP500G-3 is a commercial-grade, heavy-duty horizontal leg press machine designed for effective and comfortable leg and calf workouts.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Can change weight resistance with the help of pin adjustment
  • No need to buy weight plates separately
  • Is a sturdy equipment with no wobbling

Could be better:

  • A very heavy commercial machine, not for home gyms

8. Syedee Leg Press Machine

Syedee Leg Press Machine
  • Item dimensions: 94.5” L x 29.7” W x 58.3” H
  • Item weight: 300 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1500 lb
  • Seat: adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: angled
  • Angle: 45 degrees
  • Foot deck angle: 90 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: no information
  • Color: black & red
  • Warranty: 8 months for the frame

This is another heavy-duty high tensile 11 gauge steel frame leg press machine that brings exceptional durability. The peculiarity of this leg press machine is that it has a detachable calf platform on the foot pedal to bring you more comfort and a deeper position while training calves.

It also comes with durable high-density foam padding. To receive more resistance for toning leg muscles, the machine is equipped with 4 resistance band pegs. It also has 4 weight-loading posts under the pedals that add extra weight, and 6 weight storage pins.

The backrest has 4 adjustment stopper positions to fit your height. The machine also comes with 3 gears of starting leg press heights, so you'll be able to select a more suitable starting height. There are 4 additional safety locks you can select to make you feel most comfortable when stopping your workout.


The Syedee Leg Press Machine is a heavy-duty and durable equipment made of high tensile 11-gauge steel frame, featuring a detachable calf platform for added comfort and an adjustable backrest with multiple positions.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Four resistance band columns that enable you to work with diverse resistance for leg press
  • Offers immense weight rack storage
  • Has a detachable foot platform for calf raise
  • Comes with 4 resistance band pegs

Could be better:

  • Requires too much space for storage

9. Bodycraft Linear Leg Press Machine

Bodycraft Linear Leg Press Machine
  • Item dimensions: 82.5″ L x 41″ W x 50.2~59.4″ H
  • Item weight: 411 lb
  • Weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Seat: not adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: angled, horizontal
  • Foot deck angle: 75-135 degrees
  • Footplate dimensions: no information
  • Color: diamond, grey
  • Warranty: residential - lifetime warranty for the frame and parts. Light commercial: 10 years for the frame, 2 years for parts, 6 months for wear items.

Our last model of a leg press machine can meet the users’ needs, despite being one of the heaviest tools there. The starting weight to lift is 75 lb and the machine withstands up to 1000 lb.

This item is highly adjustable for athletes of different heights: the shoulder pads are fully adjustable with 12” of shift and 13 positions. The squat range is 36” at the lowest point and up to 79” at a high.

The upper foot platform can be adjusted for 5 various angles ranging from 75 to 135 degrees. While you can adjust the lower foot platform to 5 various angles. Concerning the leg press range, it ranges from 23” at the lowest point and up to 64” at the high point.


The Bodycraft Linear Leg Press Machine is a heavy-duty and highly adjustable equipment designed to accommodate users of different heights, offering a wide range of settings for shoulder pads, foot platforms, and leg press range.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Fits a wide range of users of various heights
  • High adjustability of the machine: you can change shoulder pads position, upper and lower feet platforms, squat and leg press ranges
  • Safety stoppers are placed low enough to accommodate good depth

Could be better:

  • There’s only one place to load weights at the bottom of the machine
  • One of the heaviest leg press machines on the list

Leg Press Machine Alternative We Recommend

Best Rack-Mounted Attachment

10. Titan Fitness Stealth Leg Press

Titan Stealth Leg Press
  • Item dimensions: 32” L x 13” 36.5” W x H
  • Item weight: 123 lb
  • Weight capacity: 500 lb
  • Seat: not adjustable
  • Weight loaded type: plate loaded
  • Type: horizontal
  • Footplate dimensions: 32” x 15.25”
  • Color: grey
  • Warranty: 1 year

This tool attachment differs greatly from the rest of the reviewed items since it's a useful supplement to perform leg presses and other exercises. It can be mounted on the rack and cable machine onto the J-hooks and used for arm press, kickback, dip station, etc., and also can be converted to a push, pull, and drag sled.

This attachment is quite space-saving, so there will be no problem with using it at home by mounting it even onto the bar. It features a wide diamond-pattern footplate for better grip and has adjustable safety stoppers to avoid free swing. Additionally, it’s equipped with UHMW-lined J-hooks.

So, overally, you can use this unique rack-mounted attachment for the following exercises:

  • Leg press: securing it on the J-hooks and setting it up at the fitting position and adding weights
  • Kickback: by putting on the J-hooks and using safety stoppers to control the range of motion
  • Chest press: setting up as for leg press, so you need to sit down for hand curls and press the platform with one or both hands
  • Lateral press: place the platform at the chest press level and pull it with one or both hands
  • Dip bars: by setting up in the leg press position and mounting the dual-weight sleeves at the desired height, you can strengthen your shoulders, chest, and arms. If you want to add some resistance, hold a dumbbell between your legs
  • Push, pull, and drag sled: you can mount the dual-weight sleeves at the fitting height on the upper arms.

Concerning the extra features, the attachment is designed with dual-weight sleeves compatible with the Olympic weight plates. The length of the weight sleeve is 27”, and the diameter is 49 mm. The sleeves can withstand up to eight plates of 45 lb.

The manufacturer advises using the Stealth Leg Press attachment outside the rack, and not pushing it from inside the rack to the outside. Also, it’s recommended to bolt the rack you use to the ground.


The Titan Stealth Leg Press is a versatile and space-saving tool attachment that can be mounted onto a rack or cable machine, allowing users to perform a wide range of exercises with adjustable safety features.

Max Weight Capacity:0
Value for Money:0


  • Can be attached to the foldable rack and cable machine
  • Compatible with T-2, T-3, X-3, and Titan Series racks
  • Compact attachment that can be applied for various leg and arm exercises

Could be better:

  • Quite weighty to mount and remove every time when using it
  • Can occur issues to adjust it for different rack sizes


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What Is a Leg Press Machine?

Squats are one of the most popular and conventional exercises everyone performs at home or the gym. This exercise incorporates the large leg muscles by building general muscle mass.

However, the majority fail to do squatting properly and that’s the moment when a leg press machine comes in handy. It helps both starters in the sports and regular gym attendees to strengthen their leg muscles for more efficient squatting and benefit from the effective leg day workout.

The machine isolates the lower body from the upper body muscles by targeting dominantly the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glute muscles.

Due to this feature, the leg press machine can be useful for people in the rehabilitation period and those with upper-body injuries because it doesn’t bring much pressure on the arms, chest, and back muscles.

Generally, no matter what type of home leg press machine you choose, all of them differ slightly and target the same muscles. The major muscle groups involved in leg press exercise are the quad muscles and the secondary muscles involved are the hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Although, there’s the opportunity to diversify your workout somehow and target specific leg muscles mostly to choose foot placement position. Such a minor adjustment can influence the impact on the muscles you want to work out more by adding more weights.

how to use leg press machine
  • Regular foot placement is the most common position to place your feet on the center of the footplate when your feet are at hip width. This position brings overall strengthening of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes without specific emphasis on particular muscles.
  • Low foot placement is when you place your feet down on the platform by encouraging quadriceps.
  • High foot position is when you place feet higher on the plate, so you’ll involve hips more and focus on the glutes and hamstrings. However, if you have lower back problems, this foot's position with extra hip extension won’t fit you. But, if you place your feet too high, you’ll unload the quads.
  • Wide foot position requires good flexibility, especially in the inner thigh area, by involving the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Narrow placement is the best for quads training.

Types of the Leg Press Machines

The key difference between the machines is the direction you push the weight: you can push it horizontally with the seated leg press just parallel to the surface; diagonally with the 45-degree incline; and vertically towards the ceiling.

  • 45-degree leg press machine, also known as an angled or incline one, is the most common and conventional equipment we used to see at the gym. The footplate is placed at 45 degrees and it's possible to adjust a backrest to your height.
  • vertical machine comes with a backrest at a floor level and a foot platform is above it. To perform leg presses you need to lie on the back pad with your back and raise your legs placing them at a 90-degree angle to the footrest.
  • Horizontal leg press machines resemble the 45-degree leg press since you're at a straight sitting position with a foot pedal at your trunk height. It's considered to be the easiest way to do leg press exercises. Also, as usual, horizontal machines are equipped with weight pins to switch between the weights, unlike the plate-loaded models.

An advantage of the angled leg press machine is that it enables you to add more weights, making this tool a great option for advanced athletes.

Meanwhile, a horizontal machine offers less functional benefit because you’re training against the resistance on the pulley mechanism, but not gravity. But, this type of machine is more suitable for beginners.


  • This is a good alternative to avoid a load on the upper body in case a user has some back or arm issues
  • It's a worthy basis to learn proper techniques in performing exercises and then switch to more advanced exercises with free weights
  • Lowering the risk of injuries thanks to its warming-up properties before doing squats with heavy loads
  • Developing lower body power and explosive motions that can be useful for performing intensive cardio training in further

Could be better:

  • There’s a probability that you’ll train one leg more than another. The thing is the leg press machine operates the same if both legs or one leg pushes the weights. So, it’s difficult to specify exactly which leg performs harder lifts. So, it can result in one leg overwork
  • There’s a risk to round your lower back because you try to lift much heavier weights. This can lead to severe discomfort and pains in the lower back because of pressing or pinching of the nerve roots in the low section of the spine
  • You can get your knees injured when putting on too much weight than you can withstand, and straighten much your legs and knees in the lock-out during the lifting moment. So, you don’t need to extend your knees to avoid the weight transfer on the joints dominantly
Doing Leg Press

What Are the Benefits of the Leg Press Machine?

Choosing a leg press machine for your leg day workouts will definitely meet your expectations from this type of gym tool and will meet your fitness goals too. Although, you’ll be able to develop not only your legs, but also strengthen your general body functionality. Let’s overview what perks a leg press machine offers its users.

✅ Strengthening the Lower Body Muscles

A leg press machine is a great tool to develop your leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. It also activates gastrocnemii and adductor magnus by involving the thighs and hips.

When doing push-off and lifting movements of squatting, the quads are the primary targeting muscles. During the weight return phase, these muscles become stabilizing ones, while the hamstrings are the primary targeting muscles. In general, the leg press machine prevents lower body muscle imbalance.

✅ Injury Prevention

Compared with ordinary squats and deadlifts, using a leg press machine brings less risk of injury due to preserving proper squatting technique and isolating the upper body.

There’s no need to hold any kind of free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells to stretch muscles during the warming-up. You’ll succeed in preventing hamstring pull since a leg press machine will facilitate its flexibility and strength.

athlete training on leg press machine

✅ Can Be Helpful for Newbies and Athletes in Rehab Period

This machine can assist people who are new to gym workouts to develop their general strength and stamina of the leg muscles. Further, it'll be easier for them to accommodate more advanced training such as squats and deadlifts.

A leg press machine can become a tool for rehab of the back or knees since almost all pressure goes to the glutes and hamstrings.

For newbies in sports, it's a great piece of equipment to learn proper squat form because a leg-pushing machine brings a good basis for such a fundamental exercise. Thus, a leg press machine can be better than working with free weights.

✅ Enhancing Bone Density

It's a well-known fact that weight lifting and resistance training improves bone density. So a leg press machine that refers to weight-bearing equipment brings extra tension and stress on the bones.

Then, because of this, osteoblasts appear and build bone mass significantly. It consequently prevents musculoskeletal issues that occur with age (i.e., osteoporosis).

✅ Promoting General Exercise Performance

With the help of the leg press machine, you'll be able to boost your endurance and stability of the lower body. Having strong leg muscles brings you better balance and stability, as well as changing body position while executing other exercises. For example, such a feature will come in handy in intensive training, i.e. running and jumping.

leg press review

How to Pick the Best Leg Press Machine?

To buy a high-quality leg press machine that won't get stuck while you're at the bottom of a rep, you should take into account the following features a decent tool should possess.

1. Solid and Durable Frame

A well-designed leg press machine should be sturdy enough to be able to hold the weights you intend to load on it. It doesn't have to wobble while you're exercising, it should be stable and made from solid durable gauge steel.

To be protected from moisture, scratching, and wear-off, the machine can be covered additionally with some protective finish.

2. Adjustable and Comfortable Seat Pads

To get a leg press machine that will perfectly fit your requirements and height, you should check whether it's possible to adjust a seat. There should be a regulatory knob to change its height concerning your personal height and body build.

Also, to perform leg presses easily, check whether the seat is cushioned enough, yet staying firm by bringing you extra comfort and support while pulling the weight. This feature also can maximize the range of motion for users of any level

leg press sport

3. Weight Capacity

Weight load capacity is one of the key aspects you should mind when selecting a home gym leg machine. Although, this factor refers to the weight of the machine itself. The heavier a tool is, the higher the weight capacity will be.

Consequently, if you choose a machine with a higher weight capacity, it's likely that it's a commercial model that is designed for gym usage. If you're searching for a tool for your home gym, the weight capacity may be quite lower since the dimensions of such machines are smaller.

That's why mind this fact and choose the leg press machine that will withstand the weight you will use.

4. Footplate Size

The bigger the foot platform the leg press machine has, the greater amount of foot placement variations you'll have. It's an important feature for beginners: with a wider plate they'll be able to change their legs position and diversify the trading by targeting more specific muscles.

5. Built-in Weight Pegs

When choosing a leg press machine for home that uses plates to add resistance, pay attention to those models that have weight pegs. These elements are useful for storing the weight plates, so it saves your space and can arrange your home gym planning.

6. Safety Stops Availability

Safety stops bring extra security during exercising for you not to injure when you're out of keeping on lifting weights. Some machines come with adjustable locking pins, and several starting and stopping positions.

Additionally, they can have pre-start levers that enable a user to start the exercise from the leg extended position in order to avoid joint strain.

leg presss athlete

How to Use a Leg Press Machine?

If you’re just starting to work out at the gym, the first thing you should do is to become closer to the equipment you plan to use and know how to set it up correctly to use its full potential. Speaking about a seated leg press machine, it’s the simplest tool to use because the footrest and seat pad are located at one level.

When using the horizontal machine, check whether the setup fits your height and weight range is selected properly. If you want to change it, just put a weight stack at another hole to add or lower the resistance.

When you sit down, you should place your feet on the footrest in front of you, with your knees bent a bit in the starting position. Start pushing your legs forward, but don’t extend them fully to avoid injuries.

Hold the weight for several seconds and return back. Bring your knees back closer to the chest at the initial position, with your back always straight on the backrest. Repeat the needed amount of repetitions.

When training on the 45-degree leg press machine, first you need to load it with the desired weights. You can adjust the backrest for better body positioning and then sit down in the machine in a slight incline position.

You can choose any foot position on the footplate, but the hip-width placement with toes outwards is the most popular. Push the platform away from you by incorporating heels until your legs are almost straight. Bring your knees slowly back to the chest, avoid lower back rounding.

leg press girl training

The third type of leg press exercise machine, which is a vertical one, isn't such a widespread tool at gyms. Before starting to train, load it with the plates and adjust the backrest for the maximum comfort and starting position.

Lie down and raise your legs up to make the feet touch the foot pedal above. Place the feet in the hip-width position, release the foot platform, and take the weight onto your feet. Your knees are moving closer to your chest slowly and then pull up the plate back.

Highly flexible exercisers can bring their knees to their chins which brings a fuller range of motion while doing the leg press training.

Alternative Ways to Train Legs

If you want to advance your body condition and strengthen your leg muscles even better, but without using the leg press machine, you can choose other ways to do it, there are plenty of options to choose from.

To receive a firing leg day you can perform conventional squats and their variations, lunges, leg curls, hip thrusts, calf raises, etc., by using other equipment such as climbing stairs, other types of gym machines, bars, kettlebells, and so on to work out your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

To build strong legs you can change exercises regularly for getting more effective outcomes and boost your workout intensity.

1. Single-Leg Curls

This exercise is great for developing the hamstrings. For performing it you need to use a leg curl machine to incorporate both legs to perform the curl or you can use only one leg to return the weight back to the initial point. This exercise isn’t just good for powerful legs, it'll engage your core muscles as well. So, you’ll be able to develop better balance.

Single-Leg Curls exercise

2. Leg Extension

This strengthening exercise targets the quadriceps, which you can perform with the help of the leg extension machine. Due to the nature of the exercise, this is an isolated one, so you’ll train quad muscles only.

However, leg extension training has no equal substitution to burning these muscles as it greatly activates the rectus femoris which is a part of the quadriceps group.

leg extension exercise

3. Back Squats

It’s believed to be a major lower-body exercise that activates every leg muscle. Besides the lower body, it also involves the upper body for better balance and stabilization while lifting the weight.

It’s performed with the help of a barbell and power rack optionally: you need to put a barbell on the power rack at shoulder height, load it with the needed weights, get under the barbell, and place it across the upper traps or shoulder blades.

So, you’ll be able to challenge your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and involve core muscles by keeping your back straight.

athlete back squat

4. Front Squats

Unlike a back squat, a front squat is performed with a bar held in front of the chest. This squat variation places more pressure on the upper body while working out the glutes, hamstrings, and hips.

To perform this exercise you need to have good wrist flexibility to hold the barbell against the top of the chest. This exercise like back squatting increases lower body muscle mass by working primarily the quads, glutes, hips, and hamstrings. Additionally, it helps to strengthen spinal erectors that keep your back straight.

athlete front squats

5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Performing the Bulgarian split squats will help you to train all major leg muscles and also activate abdominals and erectors, by improving your general power and endurance without equipment.

All you need is a bench to elevate one leg on it, which assists in increasing the range of motion. This squat variation makes you train your balance by activating small stabilizing muscles in the hips and quadriceps. With a greater range of motion, you’ll succeed to increase the muscles' flexibility and enhance mobility.

bulgarian split squat


Are Leg Press Machines Any Good?

Leg press machines are effective to develop strong leg and glute muscles, as well as mitigating the risk of a knee injury. This is also a good option to improve your technique in performing other exercises that involve legs such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, etc., and learning to keep straight back.

While training on the leg press machine, your arms rest and back are supported which makes this tool a fully leg-oriented machine.

Are Leg Presses Better Than Squats?

Generally, both leg press and squat exercises focus on working out the quadriceps dominantly, hamstrings, and glutes. Although, while squatting you'll be able to engage not only leg muscles, but also activate abdominals and hips for better body stabilization.

Thus, doing squats will develop your core and back muscles. Meanwhile, leg press exercise is only more about the lower body. So, considering the score of body involvement, squats are better than leg presses.

What Will Happen if I Do Leg Presses Every Day?

When working out your legs every day, besides developing leg muscles, you'll facilitate bone strength too.

When doing resistance and strength-oriented training, you'll be able to prevent bone cell loss and osteoporosis development. Generally, leg workouts enhance specific hormone release, for instance, testosterone which helps to build muscles and repairs damaged muscle tissues.

A HGH, or human growth hormone is helpful in making muscles stronger and bigger. This improves metabolism and immunity.

Also, with regular leg workouts, you'll be able to generate strength and improve your performance, and daily activity. However, don’t forget to have rest days to make your legs recover since they’re large muscles that require more time for rest.


To sum up, a leg press machine can be an irreplaceable tool for decent leg day training and a powerful addition to your overall and lower-body workout routine. You'll make your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and other small stabilizers stronger, more toned, and resistant to various tension levels.

Having observed the top 9 leg press machines, we definitely want to offer you our top pick model which is PowerTec Leg Press Machine. This tool features all the needed specs as for the perfect equipment for burning out your lower body without any extra tension to your hips, knees, and joints.

Having a perfect setting, technical characteristics, and weight capacity, this tool will bring you numerous advantages and opportunities for training your legs and improving general aerobic capability.

Hence, if you're a newbie in working out with leg press machines, don't know how to pick a worthy option, and which training plan to apply, don't hesitate to write to us directly. Our reliable sports experts will answer all your queries and give some essential advice on how to challenge your legs beside the leg press machine.

Also read:


  1. Different Foot Positioning During Calf Training to Induce Portion-Specific Gastrocnemius Muscle Hypertrophy // LWW:
  2. Analysis of Muscle Activation During Different Leg Press Exercises at Submaximum Effort Levels // LWW: /nsca-jscr/Fulltext /2008/07000/ Analysis_of_Muscle_ Activation_During_Different _Leg.5.aspx
  3. Comparison Between Back Squat, Romanian Deadlift, and Barbell Hip Thrust for Leg and Hip Muscle Activities During Hip Extension // NIH: /31356511/
  4. Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press // LWW: acsm-msse/Fulltext/ 2001/09000/Effects_ of_technique_ variations_on_ knee.20.aspx
  5. Biomechanical Differences Between the Bulgarian Split-Squat and Back Squat // NIH: /pmc/articles/ PMC8136570/

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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