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How To Use A Leg Press Machine: Our Expert Tips

Leg press machines are perfect or advanced and new gym-goers alike! Find out the ins and outs of this machine on our blog.

Published: 3/7/22

How To Use A Leg Press Machine: Our Expert Tips

Whether you’re a gym beginner or you’re a workout junkie, leg press machines are a foundation of a balanced workout. Leg Press Machines are very easy to use and can create some killer results. You can find leg press machines at all of our gym locations. If you’re looking to build more muscle and tone in your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves the leg press is a fantastic go-to exercise.

What is a Leg Press?

A leg press is a kind of seated machine exercise in which your legs repeatedly press against weights. We know what you’re wondering: Is the leg press machine the same as squats? While similar to a squat, this seated leg press exercise is used to specifically target muscle groups in your legs such as the quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves. While squats provide more of a compound workout, a leg press machine allows for more focused and isolated exercise.

What is a Leg Press Machine?

A leg press machine looks like a chair with a tilted-vertical footrest platform in front of it. You’ll notice that there are usually a set of weights beside the machine so that you can adjust to your desired weight setting to get the results that you want. 

Our Easy To Follow Instructions

At Chuze Fitness we pride ourselves in creating a fitness environment that’s welcoming to all, and easy to use and understand. That’s why you’ll notice that on each of our fitness machines there are simple images with detailed instructions on how to use each machine correctly. Usually there will also be an infographic that shows you what muscle groups are affected, too! And if you find that you need even more assistance beyond the photo instructions, many of our machines also have a QR code that you can scan in your fitness app to see further instructions on how to do a particular exercise. Machines are an excellent way to get an easy and efficient workout. They are a perfect choice for days when you don’t have a spotter with you, or if you want an effective exercise without having to do too much extra effort. 

How to Use a Leg Press Machine

To use a leg press machine, first, adjust the weight by inserting the pin into the corresponding hole. After you have set your desired weight, now make sure that your seat is adjusted correctly for your height. This helps to make sure that your muscle groups will be exercised efficiently and also minimizes your chance of injury. You can adjust how close the seat is to the footrest platform by pulling the lever in front of the footrest up and sliding the seat up or down to your comfort. A good rule of thumb is to find a position where your legs will form nearly a 90-degree angle when you place your feet on the platform.

Take a seat in the chair, making sure that your bum remains seated and your back touches the back of the seat for support. Now that you’re seated in the leg press machine and both your seat height and weights have been adjusted, you’re ready for action!

Find a comfortable position for your feet on the platform, usually about shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your feet are flat against the platform. Depending on where your feet are placed, this will affect different muscle groups. Now, push against the platform with your legs, making sure to keep a slight bend in your knees, making sure to never lock them. This will move your seat backward, bringing your knees towards your chest as you enter a squat position. After you have straightened your legs, return them to a bent position. If you notice that this action feels too challenging or puts a strain on your knees, lower your weight using the pin.

What are the Different Leg Press Foot Placement Variations?

Five main foot placement variations can be used to target different muscle groups. They include:

  1. Basic: With your feet shoulder-width apart, this is the most common stance. Best for overall leg development.
  2. Wide Stance: Placing your feet a bit farther than shoulder-width apart, you should feel more of a burn in your inner thigh muscles.
  3. Narrow Stance: Place your feet about 2-4 inches apart. They should be close, but not touching. This placement helps to focus on the outer thigh muscles.
  4. High Feet: Want to target your glutes and hamstrings? Place your feet higher up on the platform!
  5. Low Feet: Placing your feet lower on the platform helps to focus on the quads.

What are the benefits of using a leg press?

Using a leg press machine has many benefits. Primarily used to strengthen the legs, using a leg press machine helps to build muscle, target muscle groups, reduce the risk of injury, and even counter age-related muscle loss. Exercise machines are easy to use and provide the consistency that is important to encourage muscle tone and gain. Additionally, gym memberships often grant access to a plethora of such machines, allowing members to diversify their workouts and make the most of their fitness journey.

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