Leg Press: Everything You Need To Know About This Exercise

All the gym enthusiasts shall find paradise here on this website as we bring to you the most demanded exercise information of all. Leg presses, no matter how difficult they seem to do, you definitely look pretty cool while sitting on that leg press machine and doing exercises with all your strength.

Do not go by the name as leg presses are more than just working out your legs. There are several benefits of the exercise and we shall take on the journey of the same. Before that, we have a comprehensive list of steps on how to do a leg press.

What is leg press?

As the name suggests, the leg press is done on the very popular gym equipment which extensively on the leg muscles. The normal horizontal leg presses and the 45-degree leg presses have a square that is inclined at one corner while your legs are pushed upward in a diagonal way.

Leg Press
Leg Press

The equipment used in the exercise is helpful in building the muscles of hamstrings, quadriceps, thighs, and gluteus muscles as well. It is imperative to look at and understand the leg press foot placement in order to avoid any injury.

Exercising with the right posture is essential to get the desired outcomes. Strength building capacity of a leg press is great as it is inclusive of a useful machine.  People often do leg pres as a leg strengthening routine or as a general one too.

How to perform a leg press?

Cite a sturdy and robust leg press machine at your gym. Ask your instructor to be nearby. Now, the most important of all in a leg press exercise is to have the right posture maintained while sitting on it.

For this reason, you should either have a lot of huge mirrors around you or should seek help from the gym instructor assigned. Make the first make, sit on the machine against the cushioned base. Now gently place both your feet on the width plate and make sure that the heels are touching the base and are flat.

How to perform Leg Press
How to perform Leg Press

Instead of being elevated, your lower seat should be flat. The legs should be placed such that there’s an angle of about 90 degrees between the legs and knees.  If your feet are too high on the plate, your glutes will be stressed, too small and the knee will become superfluous.

Your knees should match your feet and not be bent to the inside or the outside.

While pressing the machine, make sure the alignment is right. Hold the assist handles correctly to help your body get support and avoid injury.

Follow these steps:

  • Use your core muscles to drive your heels and forefoot away from the platform. While making this move, the heels should remain flat on the floor. Foot toes or the foot pad should not in any way bear the whole weight. The weight shall be divided across the whole foot to avoid injury.
Steps for Leg Press
Steps for Leg Press
  • Now, slowly extend the legs straight as you exhale and keep your back and head straight pushed against the cushioned base. Spread rather than explosive with sluggish control.


  • While you are at the top of the motion, pause for as long as you can. Your knees should neither be locked nor bent at this point.


  • Now, as you inhale, return the base plate back down at the resting position. Feet and your back are not moving at this point now.


  • If you’re a beginner, start with only 10 leg presses in 3 sets.

Common mistakes:

Let us now look at the frequently occurring mistakes that people often make while doing the leg press.

  • Too much weight:

One of the biggest issues that people come across is because of lifting weight more than they are capable of. Albeit, the leg press is more about the form and posture, and less about the weight. Yet, it is beneficial if you take care of the wrought too.

  • Buttocks lifted:

Another major issue that can arise is because of the incorrect posture of the hips. Make sure your buttocks are pressed against the seat throughout the process.

  • Hands position:

Never do the mistake of placing hands on the knees for support. The best way to take support while doing leg press is to hold the handle assist and not the knees. This mistake can essentially distort your form.

  • Lifting head:

Head should be laid back and pressed against the seat and not lifted at any time of the process.

The muscles worked during the leg press are:

muscles worked during the leg press
muscles worked during the leg press
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Hips
  • Calves

Leg press alternatives:

Here are some of the leg press alternatives that you can try if you are not exclusively interested in them. Also, see them as a form of leg press at home without a machine.

  • Leg ropes with a resistance band are the most practical and convenient alternative to the machine leg press at gyms. Hold one end of the band with your hands in front of your chest as you lie down with your back and head straight. The other goes around your feet and gradually you repeat the process.
leg rope
leg rope
  • Another interesting alternative is a very simple form that is, squats. Squats are very similar to leg presses.
  • The next alternative for leg press at home is lunges. Lunges are a great way to work out the muscles of your thighs, legs, buttocks, calves, hamstrings, etc.
  • Bridge exercises are another form of alternative leg presses. For this one, you lie down flat with your back and straight. Now, to take the position, fold your legs and gradually lift your hips up as your feet touch the ground flat.

Here is another variation of the leg presses that you might want to try:

Seated leg press:

The seated leg presses are workouts performed on equipment just like the usual leg press. the difference lies in the seating position. here, you sit and do the leg press instead of lying down. .

Seated leg press
Seated leg press

Sit on two big footrests with your back and feet on a cushioned backrest. The activity starts on your knees. You have to straighten your legs and restore them to their bent posture in order to transfer the weight.


As we come to an end of the discussion of one of the most demanded leg exercises, it is imperative to note that the form in a leg pres is everything. If your form or posture is correct, you can easily master the leg presses and get desired results.

 See More:

Hip Dips Removal: Perfect Guide

Sumo Squat: How to do this in Perfect way

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