A leg press machine is an appliance that lets you perform a compound weight training exercise wherein you use your legs to push the weight away from yourself. It aims at the muscles in your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. It is basically a squat without upper body involvement.
What To Look for
⌛ Vertical vs. Horizontal vs. 45 Degree
Vertical leg press machines are the most compact of all the choices available. The weight hangs directly above your hips as you lie collateral to the floor on a padded surface and push your legs straight up, perpendicularly, which works your gluts and hamstrings a bit more than other leg press. It is a safe and economical option whether you are on a budget but demands a significant amount of flexibility in your gluts and hamstrings.
A Horizontal Leg Press demands you to sit at a 90° angle and push the platform outwards. These are good for newcomers as they are less challenging on the joints but do not prove to be of much use for anyone else.
45-Degree Leg Press machines need you to sit back and push the platform at a 45-degree angle. They allow you to load a lot of weight and they are effective for people at each level.
⌛ Consider Your Budget and Space
The higher the weight rating on the machine, the more costly it will be. Whether you are a commercial gym owner, you require a leg press with a high weight rating to avoid putting your members at risk of injury.
Whether you’re buying a leg press for your house gym, it will cost you about $1,000 for a high-quality one, whereas a commercial leg press will usually cost near $3,000 since it has a higher weight rating and is more viable.
Measure the space you have engraved out for the leg press machine. Compare that space with the machine’s dimensions because a leg press tends to have a very bigger footprint.
⌛ Don’t Purchase Anything Plastic
Look for frames with ten gauge steel that is at least 2″ wide and a polished frame for added permanence.
In the interest of permanence, go for bearings made of steel, brass or any other material than plastic. Steel bearings provide a smoother movement for the foot pad over brasses or plastic.
Furthermore, avoid machines with any plastic material as they will crack and break sooner rather than later.
⌛ Ensure You Can Rest Your Head on the Back Pad
Go for polyurethane pads as they are resistant to sweat, which further helps avoid wear and tear of the instruments and aids against infections.
The only support your back and head get is from the padded surfaces, so it is required to ensure the seat is long enough for you to rest your head.
Best 45° Leg Press Machine
POWERTEC Leg Press
- Double-stitched thick padding
- Compact design
- Adjustable back
- 1,000 weight rating
Best Vertical Leg Press
TDS Premier Vertical Leg Press
- Can take the value and Olympic weight plates
- Heavy-duty stoppers
- Simple to set-up and use
- No neck rest
Best Horizontal Leg Press
Body-Solid Pro ClubLine Leg Press Machine + Weight Stack
- Adjustable back
- Additional-wide footplate
- Double-stitched padding
- 210 lb weight stack included
- Not challenging enough for intermediate athletes.