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How to use the Leg Press

The leg press machine is a very common yet useful piece of equipment found in gyms that allows you to train and strengthen your legs. Like all exercises and equipment, there is a right way and a wrong way to use them. Today I share with you some key pointers to make sure you have good technique, get the most out of the exercise and reduce your chances of injury.

Now there are 2 common types of leg press machines. One has you pressing your legs in a horizontal plane of motion while the other one has you pressing on more of an upward motion, around 45 degrees. Each type has its own pro’s and con’s but these next tips apply to all so it won’t matter which one you use or have access to.

Set your feet at the right width – This should be hip or shoulder-width apart, just as you would if you were doing a squat. (This isn’t the only way to do them but it’s ideal when starting out)

Set your feet at the right angle – Straight is okay, but it’ll be more comfortable to have your feet slightly pointing outward. Avoid having your feet point inward or too outward. This affects how your knee will track.

Make sure your knee tracks in line with and over the toes – Don’t let the knees fall out or come together as you go through the motion.

Try using one leg – Sometimes the leg press can put a lot of pressure through your hips and lower back, so we suggest using one leg instead. It’s great because you’ll avoid that unnecessary pressure, you’ll help remove any imbalances you may have from left to right and develop better strength and control in each leg.

Nathan Spring