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The 8 Best Leg Press Machines 2023

A leg press machine can be a valuable addition to your home gym. This is especially true if you cannot safely perform squats or do not enjoy doing squats. 

While it’s similar to squats, the leg press directly isolates the legs. 

If you want complete leg development, you should include several exercises and the best leg press machines can help you do that. This guide will help you make the right choice. 

Let’s get going!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

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  • Handles Up To 1000 lbs
  • Quick Change To Hack Squat
  • Band Pegs For Extra Resistance
  • 4 Weight Pegs For Storage
  • Fits Users Up To 7’ Tall
  • May Be Too Big For Some Home Gyms
  • A Little Pricey

The Force USA Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press is a combo press/hack squat unit that’s built using a 2″x 4″ steel mainframe. 

This machine can handle up to 1000 lbs and uses Olympic weight plates. It has a well-padded seat and can accommodate users up to 7’ tall. 

The Force USA Leg Press has an adjustable footplate and an exclusive adjustable calf block. There are 4 weight pegs for storage and 4 resistance band pegs. Plus, there are 5 rack positions and 5 safety lockout positions. 

It also can change from presses to hacks quickly and easily. Plus, there’s a lifetime structural warranty. This feature alone makes it one of the best leg press machines available.

Based on its commercial level quality and features, the Force USA Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press is our pick for the best leg press machine.

  • Complete All-In-One Home Gym
  • Power Rack, Smith Machine And Functional Trainer
  • Includes A Built-In Leg Press Attachment
  • You Can Do 250 Exercises With This Machine
  • This Is Not For Value-Minded Users
  • Many Of The Attachments Are Extra Cost

The Force USA G9 is a plate-loaded all-in-one trainer. This is the ultimate space-saving home gym. You can do 250 exercises using one machine. One of the 29 available attachments is a leg press that attaches to the Olympic bar.

The G9 features a Smith-style Olympic bar and two pulleys, one on each side. Usually, if you have limited space, you might buy a power rack or a Smith cage. That means your choices for legs have been squats. If you have a bench, you might have the optional leg extension/leg curl unit. That can change with this machine. The one thing this unit does not have is adjustable squat shoulder pads. You can still do squats in your leg routine, but it’ll have to be old school without any padding for your shoulders.

Besides barbell and cable exercises, you can do body weight exercises such as pullups. With a functional trainer such as the G9, you can train for any goal. This includes bodybuilding, powerlifting, the sport of your choice, and general fitness.

Finally, you have the option of professional installation. All of these features make the Force USA G9 the ultimate home gym with a leg press attachment.

  • 1000lb Max Load
  • Features 3” Padded Backrest
  • Adjustable Safety Bars – Go As Deep As You Want
  • Assembly Instructions May Be Hard To Follow 

The TDS Premier Vertical Leg Press can handle up to 1000 lbs and can use either Olympic or standard plates. 

This vertical leg press is made using heavy-duty steel construction with an extra-wide steel footplate.

The backrest features 3” of dense padding for good back support. It’s positioned at a slight decline, which is ideal for pressing the weight directly upward. 

The TDS Vertical Leg Press also has adjustable safety bars. The safety bars can be set at a variety of heights, so you can press as deep as you want in complete safety. 

The build quality, lifetime warranty, and other features make the TDS Premier Vertical Leg Press the best vertical leg press machine.  

  • The Seat Is Mounted On Rollers – The Seat Moves As You Press
  • Two Heavy Duty Foot Plates
  • Uses Standard Or Olympic Weight Plates
  • The Cable Is Tested To 4,000lbs.
  • The Seat Locks – The Low Cable Allows Other Exercises
  • The Weight Capacity Is Not Listed
  • May Be Too Long For Some Home Gyms

Most horizontal leg press machines feature a moving foot plate. Usually, the seat is stationary. In the case of the TDS Horizontal Leg Press, the seat, or carriage, uses heavy-duty rollers and moves while you do your presses.

The TDS is plate loaded, and one of the few that takes both standard and Olympic weight plates. Most of these machines only use Olympic-sized weight plates. This is a value-conscious benefit since standard plates are more cost-effective. This feature makes the TDS one of the best horizontal leg press machines available.

Also, unlike most leg press machines, besides leg presses and lower body exercises, you can do several low cable exercises on the TDS. These include seated rows, low cable curls, and any other exercise you’d use a low cable for. The cable itself is tested to 4000lbs.

Finally, the foot plates are heavy duty steel. If there’s a downside, there’s no listed weight capacity. Still, this is one of the most versatile machines available. This single machine can open up lower body, back, shoulder, and arm exercises.

5. Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press/Hack Squat – Best Combo Leg Press Machine

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  • 2-In-1 Combo
  • Holds up To 1,000 lbs
  • Easy Change-Over From Leg Presses To Hack Squats
  • Does Not Use Standard Plates
  • Leg Press Foot Plate Not As Wide As Hack Squat Foot Plate

The Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press is a combination 45 degree angled leg press/hack squat machine. This is a standard combination that you’ll find on many angled leg press machines. 

The Body-Solid has a weight capacity of 1000lbs and uses Olympic plates. It features a heavy-duty 2 in x 4 in 11 gauge steel mainframe for maximum strength and stability. 

There’s a quad track roller system for smooth operation. Another feature of the quad track roller system is that it allows even weight distribution.

The back pads use a quick flip-and-lock mechanism for fast change-over from presses to hack squats. 

There are 3 lockout positions for safety and to provide different stop/start options. 

There’s no doubt this is a commercial leg press machine you can use at home.

All of these features make the Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press/Hack Squat the best combo leg press machine.

6. Body-Solid LVLP Leverage Horizontal Leg Press – Best Leverage Leg Press

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Handles Up To 1000lbs
  • The Quality Of A Commercial Leg Press Machine For Your Home Gym

The Body-Solid LVLP Leverage Horizontal Leg Press has the high quality and durability of a commercial leg press machine. It features heavy-duty 2″ x 3″ 11 gauge steel construction. 

It has durable double-stitched padding on the seat and back pad. Plus, it has triple chromed plate holders. 

This leg press has a weight capacity of up to 1000lbs and uses Olympic-style plates. It features a direct drive press system for even resistance and a large pivoting footplate. It’s able to accommodate various foot positions and has an adjustable back pad. 

The Body Solid Leverage Leg Press is designed for commercial use. This means it has more than enough strength and stability for your home gym, no matter how hard you train your lower body.

Added to all these features is a full lifetime warranty on everything. This feature alone sets it apart from many leverage leg press machines.

All of these benefits make the Body-Solid LVLP Leverage Horizontal Leg Press the best leverage leg press machine.  

7. Body-Solid Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press – Best Budget Leg Press Machine

  • Good Design For Smaller Home Gyms
  • Holds Up To 400lbs
  • Features Back & Neck Support
  • Not Enough Weight For Stronger Lifters 

For those that may not know, Powerline is the value division of Body Solid. The Body-Solid Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press is a good choice for budget-conscious home gym owners. 

It’s made using an alloy steel frame and can handle up to 400lbs. 

The PVLP156X features thick padding for good back support and a thickly padded neck pad. It’s plate loaded and will take Olympic or standard plates. It’s one of the only vertical leg press machines that have this feature.

There are also 3 different starting and stopping positions. 

The downside is that the Powerline Vertical Leg Press won’t hold enough weight for more advanced lifters. Still, the features, space-efficient design, and value price point make it the best leg press machine for budget-minded users.

8. Body-Solid ProClubLine SLP500G Leg Press Machine – Best Weight Stack Leg Press Machine

  • Commercial Leg Press Machine You Can Use At Home
  • Features A 210lb Weight Stack – Optional 310lbs
  • Heavy Duty Steel Construction
  • Biomechanically Correct Movement Pattern
  • May Not Be Enough Weight For Stronger Users
  • The Instructions May Be Difficult To Understand For Some Users

The Body-Solid ProClubLine SLP500G Leg Press machine features a steel mainframe, making it one of the strongest leg press machines available. There’s also a thick, padded seat with an adjustable DuraFirm back pad. Plus, there’s also a two-position foot plate that fits different size users.

This Body-Solid Leg Press uses a 210lb weight stack, with an optional 310lbs weight stack. This is a pro-level machine that can be used in your home gym without taking up much space.

One of the best features of the SLP500G is that it does not put pressure on your spine. Another great feature is the limited lifetime warranty. That alone makes it one of the best horizontal leg press machines available. It’s our pick for the best weight stack leg press machine.

  • Holds Up To 600 lbs.
  • Well Padded Back Support & Head Rest
  • Narrow, Compact Design
  • Good Price Point
  • Uses Plastic Bushings
  • May Be Too Noisy For Some Users

The Yukon Fitness VLP-154 Vertical Leg Press is designed for small home gyms due to its narrow design. 

It can handle up to 600 lbs, making it a good choice for all but the strongest lifters. Since vertical leg presses can be hard on the back, the weight capacity makes sense.

The VLP-154 uses either standard or Olympic-style plates, a feature you won’t find on all compact leg press machines. Plus, there’s a padded angled back support and headrest.

It’s manufactured using heavy-duty 2” x 2” steel tubing and has a non-slip diamond tread foot plate. The foot plate is large enough to allow multi-angle vertical leg presses. Use a wide or narrow foot placement, put your feet low on the plate, or high. All these angles hit the leg muscles differently.

The features of this machine combined with its compact design and good price point make it the best compact vertical leg press.

  • The Design Is A Slightly Angled Plate Loaded Smith Machine
  • The 7-Degree Angle Eases Back Stress
  • Uses Olympic Weight Plates
  • Features The Built-In Smith Machine Safety System
  • Only Holds 800lbs
  • Olympic Weight Plates Are Extra Cost

Most angled leg press machines feature a 45-degree angle with a large foot plate. The Yukon Fitness Angled Leg Press is based on a Smith Machine. That means you’re pushing an Olympic bar with an attached foot plate. This setup provides a slightly different feel than regular angled machines.

There’s an adjustable padded back and head support like you’d find on a vertical leg press. The Smith is angled at 7 degrees – not at all like typical 45-degree leg press machines.

The Yukon has a weight capacity of 800lbs. That should be enough for many users. Still, anyone training for strength may need more weight.

The Smith guide rods provide smooth operation. The built-in non-adjustable safety catch pins let you train in complete safety. Finally, this is smaller than most angled machines, and it’s more value-minded.

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  • Designed To Fit In Small Home Gyms
  • Handles Up To 700lbs
  • Works Well For Calf Raises 
  • May Be Too Small For Taller Users

The Powertec Compact Leg Sled is made using heavy-duty steel construction and can handle up to 700lbs. The weight capacity should be enough for all but the strongest users.

The Leg Sled uses 8 nylon bearing wheels that provide smooth operation. It features a well-padded, adjustable seat that helps prevent back pain.

The adjustable oversized foot plate and hand grips lock into place to ensure the right path of motion. The Powertec Compact Leg Sled is a good choice for shorter users and is designed to fit in small home gyms. It’s meant to be the most compact leg press in its class. It is the best space-saving leg sled machine.

  • Handles Up To 1000lbs
  • Compact Design
  • Features A Unique Roller System For Smooth Operation

The Powertec Fitness Leg Press features a 45-degree angled design. It’s a compact leg press that can handle a weight capacity of up to 1000 lbs. This Powertec leg press machine features heavy-duty steel construction. 

The carriage is driven by a roller system that uses bearing-driven, nylon reinforced wheels for smooth operation. 

Additionally, this Powertec Leg Press has dual safety catches on each side. Plus, it has a large foot plate and an adjustable backrest for different leg press start and stop positions.

These features make the Powertec Fitness Leg Press the best compact 45-degree leg press machine.

  • Maximum Weight Capacity Of 2,975lbs
  • Designed For All Experience Levels
  • Adjustable Seat And Spring Stops
  • Features Industrial Grade Linear Bearings For Smooth Operation
  • Heavy – Once It’s Where You Want It, It’ll Be Very Hard To Move

Here’s a commercial leg press machine that can be used in your home gym. That is if you have the floor space. The Rogue Iso Leg Press 35 has a maximum weight capacity of 2,975lbs. You might expect weight stacks, but it takes Olympic plates. Did we say 2475lbs? That’s a lot of Olympic weight plates! Other leg press machines can handle a lot of weight, but not like this!

This means the Rogue is no doubt one of the best leg press machines for strength training. Are you a strength athlete and want to see how much weight you can lift? This is the machine for you! It might be the strongest leg press machine on the market.

There are two sets of Olympic weight plate pegs, one set is 17.25″ long and the other is 10.5″ long. Plus, there are two sets of storage posts.

The Rogue Iso 35 lets you do single or double-leg presses. The seat has lumbar support and is adjustable. Safety features include adjustable safety spring stops. Other safety features include locking handles.

Finally, there are linear ball bearings for smooth operation.

  • Power Rack-Based Attachment
  • Also Functions As A Push Sled
  • Features Large Diamond-Plated Press Plate
  • Easily Attaches To Most Titan Power Racks
  • Only Holds 500lbs – That May Not Be Enough Weight For All Users
  • May Not Fit Power Racks Made By Other Manufacturers

Many lifters base their home gyms around a power rack. After all, a rack allows the use of free weight exercises in complete safety. It’s also good for various body weight exercises.

In addition, a power rack does not take up much space. The thing is, for many lifters, the idea of owning a leg press may be little more than a dream. Space is usually a limiting factor.

Not any more! The Titan Fitness Stealth Leg Press attaches to most Titan power racks. It will hold up to 500lbs of plates. All you need is a bench and you can do any pressing exercise.

The Stealth doubles as a push, pull or drag sled. You can also use the Stealth for arm presses and dips.

It attaches quickly and easily to the J-hooks of your power rack. There are adjustable safety stoppers and safety straps.

If you have a Titan power rack, the Stealth attachment is the easiest way to add a leg press to your home gym.

Put simply, it’s a machine that directly targets the leg muscles, specifically the quads and hamstrings. These machines also target calves, but you have to do specific calf exercises.

If you’re an athlete that wants to develop your leg muscles, leg press machines can be a valuable addition to your program. There are several sizes and types of leg press machines, and they can fit in most home gyms.

While many home gyms will have a power rack for squats and bench presses, adding a leg press gives you variety and one more means of targeting your leg muscles.

There are several different types of leg press machines available. Here’s a look at each type:

This is the original type of leg press machine. With this design, you’re flat on your back with your legs directly under the weights. You’re doing leg presses with 100% leg strength.

You will definitely feel vertical leg presses in your back. It’s important to choose a model with good, thick padding to avoid back pain. The best leg press machines of this type will have an adjustable pad and may have roller-style neck pads.

The seated leg press start position is like sitting in a chair. Your legs are straight out as if they were resting on an ottoman. This machine will either have a footplate that moves while you stay stationary or will have a seat that moves as you press the weight. Either way, you can change the angle of your feet when doing your leg presses. This will target specific areas of your leg muscles.

A horizontal leg press machine can be compact enough to fit in almost any size home gym. Also, they will be plate loaded or come with a weight stack.

This is the most modern version of the leg press machine. Some may say these are the best leg press machines. It positions you and the weights at a 45-degree angle. These machines are also designed to be a hack squat machine. In this case, you are standing at an angle on the machine. Depending on the model, there may be shoulder pads for comfort and support while doing hacks.

A leg press directly targets the quads. A hack squat targets the vastus medialis. This muscle is on the inside of the upper leg. It’s the famous teardrop shape bodybuilders often refer to when talking about complete leg development.

Here’s the difference between exercises: the leg press is done by pressing with your lower body while your back, neck & head are stationary. Hack squats are done by resting the pads on your shoulders and squatting up and down. 

Do all angled leg press machines have a hack squat option? The answer is no. It’s true both of these machines look similar. Still, unless a machine is specifically designed for both exercises, these are two separate leg machines.

For home gym use, owning a machine that provides both options gives you more exercise variety. If you have space, your home gym equipment should provide the same variety as a commercial gym.

We’ve seen that the leg press isolates the leg muscles. Training with a leg press machine has several other benefits, including:

Safety – For many lifters, squats are their main leg exercise. Yet regular squatting with heavy weight may put a lot of strain on your lower back. The use of a leg press machine with well-padded back support allows you to reduce stress on the back. On several leg press machines, you can adjust your position so that you can press in the most back-comfortable position.

While it’s true you can squat safely in a power rack, you can perform leg presses in complete safety. You can also safely handle a huge amount of weight, usually more than you can squat. 

Targeted Exercise – As mentioned above, the best leg press machines let you can handle a lot of weight. Best of all, it’s targeted directly on the legs. You can adjust most machines for depth, so you can go deep on this exercise.

Squats are an exercise that works the whole body while leg presses isolate the legs. If your legs are a priority in your exercise program, by all means, squat. Then rack the bar and jump over to leg presses. 

Convenience – A complete home gym should include a leg press. Whether it’s a compact leg press machine or a larger size, set up your home gym with the right equipment. You’ll never pay for a regular gym membership again.

No Spine/Core Engagement – If your back is problematic, leg presses are the way to go. They do not engage the back muscles the way squats do. Also, if your core is weak, you can work heavy leg presses while doing separate work on your core. 

More Weight – Leg presses let you handle more weight since you’re pushing from a stable position. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders and other athletes to be able to handle ridiculous amounts of weight on leg presses. 

Variety – Depending on the machine, you can do more than just a leg press exercise. You can do calf raises and hacks for a complete lower body workout. Also, by changing your foot position, you can easily target different areas of the thighs and calves.

Budget – Be mindful of your budget. A leg press machine is not always inexpensive, so you may have to look for good price points. Also, remember to buy to support your goals. In other words, don’t sacrifice weight capacity, options, and quality for a low price. Of course, there’s no need to buy a big machine that can handle 1000 pounds if you only plan to do leg presses with 300-400lbs. 

Weight Capacity – As noted above, think about how much you plan to lift. What are your goals? Are you a power-bodybuilder or strength athlete? Then, by all means, think in terms of a machine that lets you do leg presses with 1000 lbs.

Are you are a fitness-minded person and do your leg presses with 200-300lbs with no interest in moving up in weight? There are great options that can hold 400-600lbs. You can get a great lower body workout with that amount of weight. It’s all based on your goals.

Footprint – Leg press machines can be big. Sure, there are compact designs available, but you have to be sure you have space. Once it’s in place, chances are it’s not going anywhere. You should measure the space you have available and make sure it will fit. You’ll want to be sure you have room to move around it.

We have featured several compact designs in this guide. This way you can make the best choice no matter what size your home gym is. 

Features – What features are you looking for? Can it also be used for hack-squats? Or do you only want a basic machine? Again, this is based on the kind of lower body exercises you do. You should choose accordingly.

Well Manufactured – Quality construction and warranty go hand in hand. If you plan to put 1000lbs on your leg press machine, you better be sure it can handle it. Look for heavy-duty steel construction. Also, look for a lifetime warranty. 

When it comes to legs, many home gyms owners stick with squats and possibly leg extensions/leg curls. Calf raises can be hard to do if you want to use a lot of weight. The addition of a leg press machine, as noted above, is based on goals.

Of course, squats are your go-to leg exercise because they work so many muscle groups. Still, a leg press can be the better choice if injuries prevent you from doing squats.

Often, a leg press is used as part of rehab, so having a machine as part of your home gym can help. Not to mention, serious bodybuilders go for complete development, and leg press exercises are one more assurance of complete leg development.

To that end, here are the muscles worked by the leg press:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Calves

Are you serious about home gym equipment and your overall development? Then a good leg press machine is a valuable addition. Think about how many pieces of home gym equipment you have. Now think about all the exercises you can do for the upper body. If all you have available for legs is squats, you may be short-changing your development. 

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions.

The correct foot placement is right in the middle of the foot plate. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.

If you feel any pain in the lower back or knees, try changing your foot width. Otherwise, this is the best foot placement.

Keep your back straight. When doing leg presses, keep your back and hips firmly on the seat or pad.

Although this is the correct position for leg presses, you can change your feet placement and width to target specific muscles better.

Have you ever seen those guys that load up the leg press machine with all the weight it can handle? Then they only move the weight maybe an inch? That’s ego lifting and will do nothing for your legs.

As with squats, the deeper you go, the better your leg development will be. The advantage of leg presses is that you can go deep safely.

Another advantage is you can change foot position to target specific leg muscles. Plus, it’s easy to do calf raises. This is space-saving if you don’t have room in your home gym for a standing or seated calf raise machine.

This depends on your goals. For strength, heavy weight and low reps work best. For example, 80% of your 1RM for sets of 5 reps work great.

For muscle growth, you can go a little lighter and go up in reps. For example, 70% of your 1RM and sets of 8-10 reps works well.

Some trainers use progressive overload as a means to make progress. This is accomplished by adding weight every week or so. Other forms of progressive overload can be adding reps or reducing rest time between sets.

Some trainers use higher reps and train for the pump. This might mean 60-65% of your 1RM and as many reps as possible. Individuals that train this way seldom go lower than 12 reps in any set.

The one thing you should not do is load up the machine with so much weight you can barely move it. As noted above, that’s all ego.

This depends on your goals. If the leg press is your only machine for your lower body muscles, you’ll base your entire leg workout around it. If you’re also doing 2-3 other leg exercises, you’ll do around 3 sets of leg presses.

Set totals, or volume, really depends on your goals. It’s become popular to do a high volume of work per training session. Some training authorities might advocate 15-20 sets per muscle group per workout.

Other training authorities will recommend a certain level of rep volume. For example, 30-60 reps over several sets might be suggested.

No matter what fitness equipment you use, you want a challenging leg workout. Even if you’re training for general conditioning. In any routine, you should warm up, then add weight and begin your working sets.

Here’s an example of a balanced leg workout using several exercises.

2-3 warm up sets

3 sets x 12, 10, 8 reps, add weight each set.

3 sets x 12, 10, 8 reps, add weight each set. Remember vertical leg presses may be hard on the back. If the back pad does not seem to provide enough support, do not go too heavy.

3 sets x 12, 12, 12 reps, keep the weight the same for all 3 sets. Note that many leg press machines with the hack squat option will have shoulder pads for support.

5 sets x 15 reps each set, keep the weight the same for all 5 sets.

Warm up over 2-3 sets.

3 sets x 10, 8, 6-8 reps. Add weight each set.

3 sets x 10, 8, 6-8 reps. Add weight each set.

3 sets x 10, 10, 10, same weight each set. Note: If you do not have access to this exercise, do 5 sets of each of the preceding exercises. Add weight and do as many reps as possible.

5 sets x 20, 15, 12, 10, 8 reps. Add weight each set.

Of course, many techniques come into play as far as rep performance. To be brief, perform your reps in a slow and controlled manner. Do not let momentum take over.

Use a weight that will take you to failure on each working set. If you are experienced, feel free to use any techniques you enjoy.

Investing in a leg press machine makes a lot of sense. Choosing the right leg press machine comes down to space, budget, and goals. The top leg press machines take all of these aspects into consideration. This in turn helps you make an informed choice.

If you have space and a good budget, the Force USA Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press is our best overall. It’s a combination leg press/hack squat machine that’s built to last with a 2″ x 4″ steel mainframe. The Force USA can handle up to 1000 lbs, so you know you won’t outgrow it. 

If space is a concern, the Powertec Compact Leg Sled is the best space-saving leg press machine. It’s made using heavy-duty steel construction and holds up to 700lbs. It’s one of the most highly recommended leg press machines for shorter users and small home gyms. 

If budget is a concern, the Body-Solid Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press is the best budget vertical leg press machine. It features an alloy steel frame, can hold up to 400lbs and will take Olympic or standard plates. 

As you can see, there are several good choices available. If you want a leg press machine for your home gym, let this guide help you make the investment today!


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