How to Leg Press

About the Leg Press

The forty-five degree leg press can be found in most gyms, offering the athlete the ability to exercise their quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Because the back is fully supported during the leg press, the exercise is an excellent choice for those who cannot perform the barbell squat due to spinal or upper body injuries and conditions.

The way the athlete places their feet on the platform will dedicate, to a degree, the amount of emphasis which will be placed on the quadriceps, or the hamstring and glutes. Placing the feet lower down on the platform with a normal width stance will target the quadriceps to a high degree, as greater forces are applied to the extension of the knee. On the other hand, a higher and wider stance will place greater forces on the muscles responsible for the extension of the hip, namely the glutes and hamstrings.

How to perform


  1. Load leg press machine with the correct load and adjust the seat and levers if necessary
  2. Sit on the seat with your back pressed up against the back rest
  3. Place feet on the platform, taking a suitable width stance
  4. Press the platform upward enabling you to turn/pull the safety handles so the platform is free to slide up and down the rails


  1. Slowly allow the platform to descend down the rails by bending at the knees and hips
  2. Stop once your upper and lower legs are at ninety degrees
  3. Press the platform back up by extending your legs. Press through the heel of the foot
  4. Do not lock out the legs at the top of the exercise
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

Other Leg Exercises