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Gym Fitness

How to Use a Leg Press Machine

How to Use a Leg Press Machine The leg press machine is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for different fitness levels. Working out on a leg press machine is a great way to build strength and tone your quad, glute, and hamstring muscles, as well as improve stability. But if you’re a […]

Published: 5/25/23

How to Use a Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for different fitness levels. Working out on a leg press machine is a great way to build strength and tone your quad, glute, and hamstring muscles, as well as improve stability. But if you’re a beginner or if you haven’t paid much attention to this gym equipment, you may be wondering how to use it. 

There are two main types of leg press machines, but both involve extending your legs and pushing the foot plate away with added weights. Overall, the leg press is an excellent leg muscle workout for all fitness levels and is a great addition to any workout routine. However, it’s important to know how to use leg press machine properly to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury. 


If you’re starting out on this machine, perform a few light reps with low weights to build and get used to it. This will also help reduce the risk of injury and allow you to get the most out of your exercise. As your form and strength improve, you can increase your reps and weight. 

Nonetheless, the leg press machine is a fairly simple piece of equipment. To start using it, follow these steps:

  • Start by adjusting the seat and backrest so your feet can comfortably and properly reach the platform and your back is supported throughout the exercise.
  • Choose the weight you’re comfortable to start out with. You can gradually increase it as you go. 
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Push the foot plate, extending your legs straight out, but don’t lock your knees
  • Slowly start bending your legs to bring the foot plate back to starting position

Make sure your core is engaged and your back is straight against the rest to prevent any strain or injury. Also, be sure to take deep breaths throughout each rep and, again, avoid locking your knees when you reach the top of the movement.

Leg press variations

Your foot position on the plate can help you level up your leg press workout. While normal foot placement is great for working out your lower body muscles, different variations can help target a certain muscle group in your legs. If you want to work out your inner thigh muscles, start with a wide foot placement, and if you want to target your outer thigh muscles, use a narrow foot placement. Placing your feet higher on the foot plate can help target out your glutes and hamstrings, while placing your feet lower on the foot plate can put the focus on your quads.

Remember to adjust the leg press variation, weight, and reps to your fitness level and comfort, and always use proper form to prevent injury.

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Benefits of using a leg press machine

Using a leg press machine is a great way to build your lower body strength and can let you target specific muscle groups. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to improve their lower body strength, increase muscle mass, and boost overall fitness.

    • Strengthen and build leg muscles: This machine can be an effective way to build muscle mass in your legs and improve overall strength because it allows you to lift heavier than you might be able to with free weights
    • Target certain muscle groups: Because the leg press is considered an isolated exercise, it’s great for targeting the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles with different leg placement variations
  • Improve balance and stability: Since it helps workout and strengthens lower body muscles, the leg press exercise may help improve balance and stability1 
  • Reduced stress on lower back and joints: Unlike other types of lower body exercise machines like a squat machine, the leg press takes the pressure off your spine and joints and can help reduce stress on your lower back. It can also help strengthen muscles surrounding the joints to better support them, which can lead to improved joint health.
  • Can be used for different fitness levels: Leg press machines are versatile and can be adjusted to benefit everyone at any fitness level

The motion involved with a leg press is great for developing lower body stability and agility. 

Common mistakes to avoid

Some common mistakes to avoid when using the leg press machine include:

  • Arching your back: this can put stress on and strain your lower back. Instead, keep your back flat against the backrest and engage your core muscles.
  • Locking your knees: locking your knees at the top of the movement can cause unnecessary stress on the joints and increase risk of injury. Keep a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.
  • Not breathing properly: breathing is an important part of any exercise, so exhale as you push away and inhale as you bring the weight back to starting position.

Maximize Your Fitness with Chuze

The leg press machine is an excellent exercise to add to your weekly workout plan to increase lower body strength and build muscle mass. With proper form and technique, you can not only maximize the benefits of this exercise but also prevent injury and muscle strain. By learning how to do a leg press correctly, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout.

Looking for new exercises to add to your routine? Let us help you at Chuze Fitness. With locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and New Mexico, we strive to provide you with the best equipment and service to help you in your fitness journey. Find a gym near you today!



Inspire Us Foundation. What are the Benefits of the Leg Press Machine? https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/leg-press-machine-benefits/ 

Shape. How to Use the Leg Press Machine. https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/strength-training/how-to-use-leg-press-machine 

Verywell Fit. How to Do the Leg Press. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-do-the-leg-press-3498610 



Reviewed By:

Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.



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