Machine Leg Press Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Machine Leg Press

For over 50 pre-designed workouts you can bring straight to the gym, view EMG’s Workout Routines.


Step 1. With your feet shoulder width apart, press the weight until your legs are locked out.

Step 2. Slowly bring the weight back. Do not go so far as to put pressure on your lower back.


The machine leg press is a size and strength building exercise for the legs. It primarily works the quads, with secondary workouts for the hamstrings and glutes. The degree to which these secondary muscles are worked depends on how deep the user lets the weight come. The longer the range of motion, the more the secondary muscles are worked. As with the squat, the typical foot position for this exercise is shoulder width apart with the toes pointed forward. This foot position may be varied to change the way the muscle is worked. A wider stance works the inner muscle more. The feet may also be moved upward if the user wants the machine leg press to put more focus on the quads. The machine leg press comes in two variations. The first involves pressing the foot plate away from the user to move the weight stack while the other involves pressing on the foot plate to move the backrest. Both variations work the muscle in the same way. Gyms usually only have one variety but if your gym has both, try each and see which you prefer.

Leg Press 3
Leg Press 4

Updated: March 30th, 2015