How to do a Leg Press

When you are starting out at the gym, some of you get timed and shy to try out some new things, so you just use the things you are familiar with; when you get stronger and when you build more muscles you want to try out those machines that are standing there and waiting for your you to use them.

If it’s your leg day, try out the leg press.

Leg press or known as a seated leg press or machine squad press is one of the best ways to target your hamstrings (muscles at the back of your thighs), glutes, and quadriceps.

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The seated leg press is a common piece of workout machine that can help you develop the most important muscles in your legs. It’s a compound weight lifting technique in which the person uses their legs to force a weight or pressure away from them.

These machines are used to target your thigh and hip muscles. Learning how to do the leg press in a proper manner is essential. Focusing on the form, you will optimize the strength-building advantages and avoid injuries.


If you are a regular in the gym and if you have already used the leg press, or if you at least did some research, you should know that there are two different kinds of leg press, and they are:

Diagonal or upright ‘sled’ type

The weight plates are directly connected to the sled that is balanced on the rails. The user lies under the sled and push’s it with their feet upwards.

The seated leg press or also known as a cable leg press. The user sits straight, with their feet on a plate, knees should be at a 90° angle and push away the plate connected to the cable weights.

Both of these devices have flexible safety braces to keep the weight from injuring the user.


As we said, earlier leg press targets a specific group of muscles, which are glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Doing the exercises on the machine squad press will help you get through your squat plateaus, it will stretch your muscles, and it will work your joints for depth. Your foot position will have an impact on the group of muscles you’re trying to target; with these variations resolving muscle imbalance has never been easier.


Before we get started, let us tell you that if you’ve never used a leg press, it is very important to start out with the lightest weight there is. It is easier to add up weight than to feel uncomfortable or even injure yourself by lifting more than you can handle.

The first step is to put your desired weight and to set your seat right, and bend your knees slightly over a 90° angle.

Put your feet on the plate so that the width of your feet will be as wide as your shoulders.

Lining your knees over your toes is how it should be done, lock your core, inhale, and press the weight through your heels.

Stretch your legs until almost straight, keep your back and head flat against the seat, exhale during this process.

While your feet are up, you should not lock your knees, and check, your knees shouldn’t be bowling in or out, inhale.

While exhaling, slowly put the plate back in its starting position by gently bending your knees.


Too much weight

The most significant factor when it comes to doing the leg-press safely is to ensure that you are not putting in too much weight. If your movements while doing the leg press can’t be controlled with the weight you are using, you need to reduce the weight. Having a proper form is essential and not to lift more than you can handle.

Buttocks Shouldn’t be Flat Against The Seat

If the buttocks are lifted off the seat, the angle of your legs is too sharp. You may need to move the seatback until your buttocks and knees are aligned securely. You may recognize wrong placement when you feel uncomfortable and/or your knees appear to be right in front of your eyes.

Not having your heels on the footplate

When doing almost any leg exercise, you should push through your heel with your toes straight or upward at first so that you’ll remember to push through your heels; that is also the case when you are doing the leg press. Pushing through your toes can lead to a series of knee and leg injuries, so be careful and put those toes upward a bit as a reminder.

To sum it up, the leg press is a fun machine to work with but keep in mind the things you should and shouldn’t do to avoid injures. And if you have any questions, don’t be shy to ask the person that works at the gym to explain something you don’t understand. They’re all willing to help.