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Leg Press Exercise- Steps, Advantages and Mistakes

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Most of the professional bodybuilders gives considerable attention to the lower body with the upper body. The identity of the strong, tone and shaped body should always be balanced. It is also very important to tone the lower body along with the upper body. For that there is a famous exercise called, “Leg Press Exercise”.

Is Leg Press is a Good Workout?

Yes, it is a very good exercise which is very effective for the lower body. There are many people who avoid doing this exercise, because it requires lot of strength, focus and stamina.

Today, we will tell you the right way of leg press workout along with all information through which you will be able to incorporate this workout into your exercise plan.

What is Leg Press Exercise?

Leg press is an exercise that stimulates quads, glutes and hamstring muscles. The main load comes with hamstring on the muscles that help in hips and knee movements. The hamstring are from the glutes (Maximus) to the knee bowl (cartilage) behind the hipbone. Leg press exercise is an effective exercise for both men and women.

Leg Press Exercise Machine.

To do this exercise, there is a machine in the gym on which you have to press with the help of your toes along with the strength of the feet. It also helps to strengthen and tone the legs. These machines are three types.

  • Vertical Leg Press Machine.
  • Horizontal Leg Press Machine.
  • Angled Leg Press Machine.

Types of Leg Press Exercise.

Leg press exercise can be done with resistance band or with low weight, it’s called “Resistance band leg press“. Those who cannot afford to weigh more in the beginning can practice with the help of it.

Read Now: Benefits of Progressive Resistance Strength Training.

How to Do Leg Press Exercise?

Step 1.

Like other exercises, it is very important to do warm-up before start. As a warm-up you can do mild exercises, walking lunges and body weight squats etc.

Step 2.

Thereafter, set the weight on the machine according to your ability.

Step 3.

Lie down on the seat of the leg press machine and place your feet on pads equal to the shoulder width. Bend the knees accordingly.

Step 4.

Push the plate with the help of your heel and stop for a few seconds before the legs are fully straightened.

Step 5.

Now slowly bend your knees and come to the initial position. Your paws should be lightly open out, so you can easily lift the weight.

If you want to put more tension on the hamstrings, place the legs upwards on the pad. But if you want to increase or tone the size of the quad muscles, keep the feet in normal condition.

Targeted Muscles Groups.

Who Can Exercise it?



4 sets.



Benefits of Leg Press Exercise.

If you want to tone your lower body in which your spinal cord situated, it is the best exercise for it. The leg press strengthens you with the toned muscles without putting extra pressure on your back.

You can tone different leg muscles by just changing the position of your feet from the leg press machine.

This leads a large amount of calorie burn which can help you to achieve your goal. After this workout, your body burns calories for about 24 hours.

Lifting more weight on the leg press machine gives you the advantage that you can take a lot of heavy weight. There is no fear of making more balance or falling while doing this.

The core muscles help a lot in squat and if you need some time to work on your core, the leg press does not load on the core muscles. Therefore, your core relax while doing it.

Read Now: Tabata Workout Training.

Mistakes During Leg Press Exercise.

Here are the 5 major mistakes we often do. Let’s see:

1. Never Lock the Knee.

Recently a video has surfaced, in which the leg of a young man doing leg press broke on the machine. It happened because the weight was too much and he locked his knees after pushing the weight on top.

Therefore, those who do not know the meaning of locking, tell them that locking the knee is called straightening the leg completely. His feet could not bear the weight and turned in the opposite direction. You should never do this, never fully straighten the leg.

2. Don’t Bring the Weight Down Too Much.

In the leg press, your feet are on the iron sled. Often people take the sled very close to their body. Then push the weight back by putting strength from the abdomen. The people who do this put their lower back in great danger. Your lower back or lumbar spine is quite straightforward, it can’t make it as round as you can.

When you bring the sled to your side with heavy weight, you pick up your lower back and start turning. Your lumbar discs are in great danger on this movement. You bring the sled as close to the body as you don’t have to be in the waist.

3. Make the Knees Inward.

This is usually done by people with less power. This position is also dangerous for your knee as it can damage the ligaments. People who have pain in the groin also do so. It makes the hips feel relaxed, but it is completely wrong. It is most reasonable to let the knees stay in their natural direction.

4. Put Your Hands On the Knees. 

This often happens by putting heavy weight. The hands themselves go to the knees and we also put pressure on the knees with hands while pushing the weight. It support your knees, but worsens your waist position, which should be completely straight.

The side of this machine has two handles and is not sure to decorate them. Place your hand on these and hold them tightly when the weight is heavy.

5. Don’t Go Outside the Ankles Sled.

When some people have their feet on the sled they keep their ankles out of it lightly. This leads to non-essential pressure on your knees. Secondly, because of the heel being out, your full strength is not on the sled. So, keep your whole foot inside.


While exercising you should ensure that your knees are not locked while reaching at the top of the plate during exercise. When you reach the top, bend the knees slightly. The risk of injury increases when the legs are completely straightened.

Keep yourself in a fully controlled state during exercise. If you are early in the gym, you can do simple exercises like body weight squats, walking lunges, leg extensions, leg curls or squat jumps instead of this exercise. Even during these exercises, most of the muscles of the foot become tense.

What is the Best Exercise to Replace a Leg Press?

Leg press machine is mandatory for leg press exercise. Alternatively, these exercises can also be done in the gyms where it does not have this machine. Such options are;

Leg Press Exercise at Home.

You can easily do leg press workout at home without any machine, only with the help of an elastic band with the following steps;

leg press workout
Leg Extension at Home

Step 1.

Lie down on the mat. Lift your legs.

Step 2.

Wrap the elastic band around your feet and hold the ends. Keep your feet together.

Step 3.

Press your feet against the band until your feet are straight.

Step 4.

Bend your knees to return at a 90 degree angle.

Step 5.

Start with a set of 10-12 reps.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Can you do leg press and deadlift in the same workout?

No, it is better to avoid leg press workout with deadlift because deadlift lassitude your whole back and as a result you cannot put your best in leg press. Leg press also a complex exercise as it drained your spinal erectors. So avoid them together.

2. Do leg press workouts help with cellulite?

Yes, leg press workout reduce the appearance of cellulite. Regular workout stretch and strengthen the affected areas and get rid of it, you can add squats, lunges or HIIT to strengthen your back and thigh muscles. It reduce fat cells in affected areas and support the connective tissue.

3. Is leg press is also a compact body workout?

Yes, leg press workout is a compact body workout. As it engage most of the core, hamstrings and thigs muscle. It boost your natural testosterone level in the body. You can easily increase its effectiveness and complexity by increasing the weight.

4. Is leg press is enough for leg workout?

No, Leg Press workout it not enough for your leg because it have less range of motion with limited effectiveness. Therefore, you should include squat along with leg press to build strong quads and legs.

5. How to workout calves on leg press?

By changing the technique of the leg press helps you to tone the calves muscle and boost muscular endurance. Here you have to push the plate of the leg press machine by the help of front side of the feet. However, you should include other calves exercise for more effectiveness.

6. Do leg press and squat workout works for the same muscle?

Yes, both leg press and squats mainly focus on your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Usually in leg press we use low range of motion with maximum load and we use full range of motion in squat exercise.

7. How many bench reps after hard leg workout?

Usually 10-12 bench reps are mostly recommended. However, it is fully depends on your capacity and ability. You should choose your rep range according to your goals. But always start with low weight and increase with the sets.

Bottom Line.

Now you may have known how the body can be made more tone with the help of this exercise. But keep in mind that you may not try to do heavy exercise at the beginning.

Do not forget to make a warm up before doing the exercise. If you have a stretch or an injury during workouts, immediately tell your trainer so that he can give you proper advice.

+4 Sources

Freaktofit has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Gluteus maximus;
  2. Quadriceps femoris;
  3. Hamstring Muscles: Anatomy, Injuries, and Exercises;
  4. Gluteal muscles;

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Fact Checked

The contents on FreakToFit are fact checked to ensure our readers we are are giving authentic, evidence-based, factually accurate information.

This article is reviewed by a registered dietitian and medical expertise indulged in practical clinical and public health experience“.
FreakToFit strict editorial guidelines- we only link to academic research institutions, academic journals, reputable media sites and medically peer-reviewed studies. If there is any lack of sufficient evidence, it will be noted. All sources are labelled as numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.), which are clickable links to studies referenced. However, all primary sources, including studies, scientific references, and figures, are linked within each article or can be found in the resources segment at the bottom of our articles.
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