A home workout can be equally productive as a gym session but keep in mind to get those all benefits, you need various fitness equipment at home. Not necessary but required for sustainable results. One of the machines is the leg press which you cannot ignore when looking to shape like professionals.
The best leg press for home gym can be a marvelous addition to your home gym, especially if you do not enjoy doing squats or do not feel safe performing squats. It is similar to a squat, but leg presses directly isolate the legs, which is the only prime difference.
To tone your legs with a leg press, you need to perform different exercises which the best leg press machine offers. It is a complete guide that helps you to choose the suitable machine for your leg exercise.
A leg press machine is the handiest piece of equipment to develop the strength of the thigh muscles. Heavy loads are needed for practical leg exercises. Different types of such machines are available, but while looking for one for your gym, we recommend looking for a most simple one which meets best to your suitability.
A good machine offers to rapidly develop your quadriceps, gluteal muscles, calves, and hamstrings; just foot placement matters to activate different muscles. A good fitness machine promotes a fitness regimen, but most of these machines are only found in commercial gyms.
This article will serve you as a guide to a potential home gym owner looking to buy a leg press machine.
3 Type of Leg Press Machines
These three types of leg press machines are used most commonly and are suitable for home gyms.
- Vertical Leg Press: this is a traditional and original machine; it offers to lay flat on your back, and weights come directly on your legs through your foot. It provides 100% leg strength that you can feel on your back. Look for good thick padding in such a machine to avoid back pain.
- Horizontal (Seated) Leg Press: A sitting chair is incorporated in this design; only legs stretch out. There are two basic designs; in the first one, the footplate moves as you stretch your legs, while on the second one, instead of sitting stationary, the seat moves as you press legs.
- Angled Leg Press (45 Degree): it’s the most preferred, modern, and futuristic version of leg press machines. Designed as a hack squat machine, it positions the legs at a 45-degree angle, providing better muscle movement and making exercising most easy.
Benefits of Leg Press Machine for Home Gym
Either you are at home or in a commercial gym, the real benefits are the same like:
- Safety: This allows you to adjust the position to find a most comfortable position where your back remains relaxed. Regular squatting with heavyweight can put a lot of pressure on your back, while well-padded support reduces the stress. Most machines come with the adjustable position feature. As a result, you can safely squat in a power rack and handle more weight than you usually can.
- Targeted Exercise: a leg press allows you to handle a lot of weight targeted directly on the legs. These machines are adjustable for depth, so you can adjust as per your requirement and can go deep. Ideally, squats Exercise works on the whole body and while leg presses isolated the legs.
- Convenient for Home Users: it will save you the time you spend while going to a commercial gym, and you can have a flexible exercise routine. Indeed a complete home gym must include a leg press.
- Safe for Spine: these machines do not engage back muscles; if your core is weak or your back is problematic, then less press is the way to go. You can do separate work on your core.
- More Weights: you are pushing from a stable position; hence you can handle more weights. Professionals handle a ridiculous amount of weights on the leg press to tone muscles more vigorously.
- Variety of Exercises: from simple leg press to hack squats and calf raises as well as different foot positions to target different muscle areas of thighs; everything is possible on leg press machines.
- Save You Money: Buying a less press machine for 500$ might not seem the cheapest option compared to a 35$ per month commercial gym membership. But when you add joining fees and first-year expenses, you find it much more inexpensive. Instead of paying a membership fee for the next five years, you could have a fully kitted home gym where you pay nothing each month and will have access to all high-quality fitness equipment.
- Saves You Time: Having a high-quality less press machine at home saves you a lot of time, even if you are fortunate enough to live near to a gym. The commercial gym doesn’t have 24 hour opening hours; you need to cater to their schedule and move your things around. While having a machine to tone your legs at home, you will have spare time for driving, cooking and can schedule your routine as you wish.
- Perfect Fit for Your Size: Commercial machines are made to keep bodybuilders in view, so they might not fit your size and may not offer the movement you are comfortable with. However, when buying for your home gym, you can get one that fits best to your size, which notably offers the best range of motion for your height and body type.
10 Best Leg Press for Home Gym
Here are our opinion and review of selected models
1. Body-Solid Leg Press Machine
Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press machine comes with an ergonomic design. This equipment is solid and sturdy. I completely love the Quad track roller system integrated into the machine’s construction because it distributes my bodyweight evenly.
Both of the back pads are soft and durable. The 4 inches thickness and contouring of the pads fully support my back and shoulders. Don’t worry about your lower back hurting because you will feel comfortable and safe while exercising.
The back pads function on a quick flip-and-lock mechanism. So, you can easily open them when needed and then put them back in place. For doing hack squats, I can choose between three lockout positions for my convenience.
Both Diamond plate foot platforms are heavy and support leg press and hack squat exercising with perfection. The footplates are also non-slip and wide, so they are safe and secure for doing hardcore workouts.
Body-Solid is the best machine for shaping your quads, glutes, calves, and core muscles right at the comfort of your home. This machine does not take up too much space, so it’s perfect for your home gym.
The quality of this equipment is close to the ones you would find in your nearby commercial gym. That’s why; it’s the best choice to have it for exercising at home.
This machine is pretty challenging to put together. It took me full three days to assemble it. Thankfully, no parts were missing or damaged. The instructions were a little too tough to follow. But, I managed somehow to put it together. Of course, it was worth it in the end.
My suggestion for assembling this machine without any mishaps is to reread the instructions until you finally understand how to put the parts in place. Because it’s a heavy-duty machine, you could use the help of a friend to lift the heavy frames.
We recommend this top-rated leg press machine for various reasons. Its carriage loader only weighs 80lbs which provides a good start for beginners without any weight load. Its motion is quite smooth and completely noiseless. The most stable machine in the market also comes with the padded back support, which keeps the user comfortable during the exercise, supports the natural movement of muscles, and its textured footplate keeps the foot in place and prevents any slippage.
2. Body-Solid Leg Press
Body-Solid Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press is a great exercise machine to do lower body workouts. I bought this machine because I wanted to work on my quads and glutes for which leg presses would be the perfect exercise.
The alloy steel frame is durable and long-lasting with a resilient powder-coated finish. There are three starting and stopping positions incorporated in the equipment.
You can use the pins to determine the starting and stopping positions. The ½-inch locking pins are dual-adjustable. You can take the pins out to lift the weights according to your comfort level and then put them back in once you decide to stop.
The durable and comfy back pad with a thick and contoured head pad supports the body exceptionally well during the workouts. Your upper body would be set in the correct posture so you won’t feel any strain on the joints and muscles. You will feel completely safe during the workout.
By changing feet positions, you can exercise muscles at various angles. For adding weights, you would have to buy adapter sleeves and collars separately. And if you do not have weight plates already, you’d need to buy weight plates too because these tools are not included in the package.
Three 1-inch diameter weight posts are incorporated in the equipment, while Nylon bushings ensure a smooth up and down motion. The extra-wide footplate is sturdy and non-slip. It allows your feet to maintain their grip perfectly.
With a weight capacity of 400 pounds, any person who can handle heavyweight resistance can efficiently work out this leg press machine. Overall, this equipment is space-saving and fits conveniently in your house. It is also easy to assemble, and you can move it from one place to another with ease. I would surely recommend this leg press machine to all.
Body-Solid Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press can be an ideal solution for you if you want to keep the lower body isolated during the legs exercise. It’s different from our top recommendations in that it is a traditional-style legs exercise machine. Although this one provides more pressure with the same weight and only focuses on the lower body, many professionals view that it provides more accuracy, has the potential of strongly working the gluteal muscles, and has more leg and hip flexion.
3. Best Leg press For Home Gym
Powertec Fitness Leg Press is a solid and well-made machine. I had my eyes on this leg press machine for a while and finally saved up enough money to buy it for my home gym.
This leg press equipment is compact and can conveniently fit in your apartment or home. This machine offers 1,000 lbs weight capacity along with the incorporation of four weight horns that make it a perfect addition for your home gym.
With the safety catches on each side of the reclining bench, this leg press machine will ensure your security during the workout. The design of the Powertec leg press is ergonomic. So, the safety and comfort of the user are its number one priority.
The bearings are just as smooth as the ones you’d find in a commercial gym. So, you can expect high-quality performance from this leg press machine. The backrest is adjustable. So, you can exercise at different angles.
The padding of the backrest is thick and comfy. So, you would feel very comfortable during the workout. This leg press machine is especially suitable for folks who hesitate to use a leg press machine due to safety reasons.
With the comfortable backrest, you wouldn’t have to worry about your back getting hurt or strained, as the padded backrest will provide you with the ultimate support. It would help you maintain the correct body posture, which is significant for doing leg press exercises. Also, it ensures your safety.
Powertec leg press fitness machine offers a wide footplate that is non-slip. It strengthens the grip of your feet and provides you stability. The use of high-quality materials like steel in the frame and footplate ensures durability and longevity.
I like the overall design of this leg press machine. It goes pretty well with the décor of my home. The black color gives this equipment a decent look and aesthetic appeal that looks remarkably attractive.
POWERTEC Compact Leg Sled is a new type of machine, its not handy for every user but is most effective to tone leg muscles. The adjustability of this machine is a reason which convinces us to consider it, like its seat and backpack both are adjustable. Hence, it’s suitable for every type of user, while on the other side, adjustable angle foot plates and handgrips provide the perfect position for people recording from injuries.
4. FORCE USA
FORCE USA Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press and Hack Squat Combo machine provide you with the double benefit of doing both forms of exercises for a higher advantage. I bought this leg press and hack-squat machine to train indoors for a running competition. So far, I am much happy with this equipment.
This leg press and hack squat combo machine offer a weight capacity of 1000lbs, while its powder-coated steel frame ensures durability and sturdiness. The five safety lockout positions and adjustable safety catch ensure your security and protection during the workouts.
With the adjustable calf block, you can focus on exercising your calves, while the oversized footplate allows you to do intense leg presses with confidence. The padded backrest provides comfort and relief to the back during the workout. So, you can shift the pressure to your legs and use your lower body muscles efficiently.
This leg press and hack-squat machine functions smoothly and helps you to shape your lower body muscles effectively.
We recommend it because this exercise equipment is ultra-comfortable and safe to use. Professional athletes and personal trainers love this model for leg presses and hack squats. People up to 7ft in height can easily use this equipment.
5. Body-Solid LVLP
Body-Solid LVLP Leverage Horizontal Leg Press incorporates direct drive press to provide precise and effective weight resistance. I like the fact that this machine was easy to assemble. It did not take me a lot of time to put it together. The instructions were quite helpful too.
The weight plate holders integrated into the machine for plate storage are 10.75 inches long so, you can put weight plates according to your comfort level with ease. The adjustable backrest provides full support to your back muscles and spine. Its ergonomic design helps you with the alignment of your posture.
Another great thing about this leg press machine is that it offers side handles, a feature that most leg press machines miss out on. The side handles provide you with excellent stability. With the dual self-aligning one 1/2-inch linear bearing seat carriage design, you’d be able to use various foot positions for working out different muscles.
6. Valor Vertical Leg Press Machine
Valor Fitness Vertical Leg Press Machine – CC-10 is the best leg press machine. I chose CC-10 because of the promising features it offers. It was easy to assemble. The machine didn’t take up much space either and fit conveniently in my small living room. It is one of the best leg press for home gym.
This equipment is heavy-duty, sturdy, and long-lasting due to the thick solid steel that enables this exercise machine to tolerate 400 lb weight plates. The extra-wide footplate is made with solid steel that weighs 30 lbs and provides a powerful grip on the user’s feet. With the high-grade thick padding of the back pad and the neck pad, you don’t have to worry about discomfort ever again.
The three weight storage pegs evenly distribute the weight allowing you to use more weight plates for a hardcore leg press workout. I think that this leg press machine would be perfect for you if you want to strengthen your lower body immensely.
7. Yukon Fitness
Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press VLP-154 is a sturdy and durable machine. I love its comfortable back support and headrest that secures the neck fully. With the padded back pad and headrest, you don’t have to worry about your alignment and body posture anymore.
I like the narrow and plain design of this leg press machine. It fits in my apartment’s bedroom easily. You can use standard or Olympic weight plates for resistance. This machine can hold up to 600 pounds weight, but I have used 410 lbs weight plates until now, which is enough for me to get a fruitful workout.
By using solid steel, this machine is built ergonomically and ensures durability. The same goes for the footplate. It’s durable and wide enough for you to set your grip on the non-slip texture. The Foam covered handles add safety to the machine, while the chromed slides ensure smooth operation.
8. TDS Simple Leg Press Machine
TDS Vertical Premier Leg Press Mc is a heavy-duty machine that works on your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It’s the perfect machine to challenge yourself harder and achieve your fitness goals in a short time.
Your feet get safe and comfortable with the large and wide footplate, while the durable safety stoppers reinforce your security during the workout. The 3-inch thick padding offers comfort and relief while doing the workout. It protects your back, neck, and head from straining.
This leg press equipment is easy to assemble and doesn’t take much of your time to understand the instructions. I like its overall design mounted on eight wheels with the silver finishing looks good. Also, it is very compact, so it’ll fit conveniently in your home or apartment.
The 1000-pound weight capacity allows you to work hard and put on heavyweights on 1-inch weight holder posts for developing core muscles and the lower body muscles.
9. Bodycraft Home Leg Press Alternative
Bodycraft F660 Leg Press machine is one of the best leg press machines for home use. I researched a lot of leg press machines online and then found this one. This leg press equipment comes with linear bearings that are durable and long-lasting. It offers a weight capacity of 1000 lbs and allows you to carry out challenging workouts.
The steel frame of this machine is solid and sturdy, while the footplate is fully adjustable and accommodates different angles for exercising various muscles. You can instantly fold the footplate for hack squats.
This equipment is perfect for leg presses, hack squats, calf raises, and donkey squats. This versatility also keeps your workout routine interesting.
I find the backrest of this machine very comfortable. It doesn’t strain the back and neck muscles at all. So, you can handle the pressure well. Also, the overall design of this machine looks appealing.
Comparison of Leg Press Machines
|Products||Weight Capacity||Dimensions||Item Weight||Frame Material|
|Body-Solid||1000 lbs||83 x 34 x 56 inches||330.69 Pounds||Steel|
|Body-Solid Powerline||400 lbs||46 x 48 x 60 inches||92.59 Pounds||Steel|
|Powertec||1000 lbs||211.33 x 144.27 x 103.12 cm||117.48 Kilograms||Steel|
|FORCE USA||1000lbs||60"H x 66"W x 94"L.||463 Pounds||Steel|
|Body-Solid LVLP||Nil||87"L x 61"W x 56"H||525 Pounds||Steel|
|Valor Fitness||400 lbs||54.75 x 48.25 x 60 inches||131 Pounds||Steel|
|Yukon Fitness||600 pounds||42 x 32 x 50 inches||91 Pounds||Steel|
|TDS Leg Press||1000 pounds||75 inches tall, 4 feet wide and 4 feet||200 Pounds||Steel|
|Bodycraft F660||1000 pounds||39 by 79 by 50 inches (W x H x D)||378 Pounds||Steel|
Buyers Guide — Best Leg Press for Home Gym
Before engaging in real buying, you must know the features of a leg press machine; here are 5 simple questions that you need to answer first, then start looking into more common features:
- Do you know the features worth paying for?
- Do you need an isolated or bilateral footplate?
- Does your workout only require a single platform?
- How compact do you need the footprint?
- What weight-bearing capacity are you looking for?
Professional trainers and workout gems know well what they need. Setting up a gym and buying a leg press machine might be challenging for setting up a home gym, and it’s his first experience. Here are few things to consider when you go out to buy a leg press machine.
You can get one without breaking your bank; it’s not always inexpensive, but you are not looking for commercial-grade machines for the home gym so that you can settle on a medium-range, less bulky option.
A machine that supports your goals must not sacrifice weight capacity, options, and quality for a low price.
Commercial machines can handle 1000 pounds, but for home use, you need to get one that can press around 300 to 400 lbs. maximum.
It’s directly connected with the price; the more weight capacity means more price. As we discussed above, for a home gym, you can consider a machine that can press 300 to 400 lbs, and while on the professional side, it can go up to a maximum of 600 lbs.
But not more than that, while on the other side, commercial leg press machines found in the gyms may have 1000+ lbs capacity for bodybuilders.
Size of Machine
Compact and foldable designs are also available for home gyms where space is an issue, and one has to accommodate more equipment in less space. Once it’s in place, chances are it’s not going anywhere.
So before buying, measure the space you have available to make it the perfect fit. We feature several compact designs which are suitable for home gyms and apartments.
These machines are built with steel or alloy; here, alloy build machines are costly, and only iron/steel remains the only option. Be sure the machine is capable of handling the weights that the manufacturer claims.
Look for heavy steel construction and a lifetime warranty.
Smooth Pressing Motion
The smooth movement of the carriage is significant; a range of designs are available that use different movement techniques. Nevertheless, manufacturers guarantee a smooth pressing motion and even weight distribution.
Keeping friction level low is a key to smooth motion, while on the other side, the rail system is more preferred. Instead of buying plastic prefer to go for steel made, which can support heavyweights.
4 Tips to Use Leg Press Machine
Modern-day safety features in the exercise machines make them safe to use, like it’s easy to keep the movement on a right angle with a leg press machine and multiple locking option buffer to stop the carriage from sliding below a certain point.
Cushioning keeps the user comfortable and also supports handling the pressure coming from the legs side. We figure out 5 key points that every leg press user needs to take care of:
- Hands off the Knees: Your hands should be on the side handles through your exercise session; in most machines, these handles are found on the side of the seat. You can ensure the most effective position to push heavy weights while holding handles. In case you keep your hands on the knees to give a push to weigh back up, this is when your upper body starts taking some pressure, which is not good. In addition, your spine no longer stays in its straight position on the bench, which might increase the risk of injury.
- Using Correct Back Support: The distance between the footplate and seat and angle decide the level of back support. 45-degree leg press machines are highly customizable; a user can find comfortable settings easily. Take your time to find a setting that allows natural motion. Ensure pushing weights does not cause you to rise in the seat, and lowering the weights does not cause discomfort and compression.
- Move Right Weights: Avoid full lockout on the leg press. More weights keep your muscles means more strain on your muscles. There should be no excuse for a poor set for you; you are not looking to impress someone. Do not overestimate your strength; keep the weights lower and maintain a strict exercise routine.
- No Ego Lifting: You might see videos where people are using full lockout and add additional weights, too, and it might be what they are doing with the help of spotters. Short-range motion, getting support, and pushing with knees is not a way to exercise on the leg press machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
A hack squat is done by squatting up and down while resting the pads on your shoulders, while in other types, the leg press is done with pressing with your lower body while the back, neck, and head remain stationary. Both of these machines look similar, and modern era machines offer both types of exercises.
It depends on the workout goals; many homeowners stick with squats, but it's not possible to target all muscle groups of thighs without leg press. These machines are also being used as rehab due to their customization and adjustable positioning features. A leg press for the home gym can be a better and more safe choice to prevent injuries. It is a necessity for home gym enthusiasts who preferred to go for the complete development of leg muscles. Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and calves are some exercises worked by the leg press. If you are serious about your home gym and what to say goodbye to commercial gyms, then the leg press machine can be a valuable addition to your home gym. It might not be the first one, but a must-have piece of equipment.
You can press much more weight on leg press than squatting. So, many people move to these machines to get better benefits than squatting. Squatting cannot be an option due to physical limitations, body structure and might be due to poor hip flexibility. If you reach the plateau with your squat, then surely leg press can help you out; it will help increase your leg muscles' strength with more weights safely and without the need for a spotter.
Each exercise equipment has its own pros and cons; we believe both exercise machines should be included in your routine. For example, free barbell squats force you to use the core and stabilize muscles. But leg press allows you to focus solely on the muscles and lift more weights than you can do on the squat.
The range of motion you use on the leg press exercise machine decides how much you can lift. In short incomplete strokes, you can lift more. Every individual needs to fine-tune the weight that he can lift and gradually increase the weights as he becomes comfortable after a few sets/days.
Wrap Up — The Leg Press At Home
It might be confusing to choose the right exercise machine from hundreds of available ones; every manufacturer claims that there is the best. However, the wrong guidance or incomplete information may result in buying something that is not worth the money spent.
We tested all the above-listed machines independently, and we compare observations, reviews, and views of fitness experts. While we also count the technical specs and technical features while reviewing these machines.
Surprisingly less press machine in commercial gyms rarely holds more weight than the machines designed for the home. This is particularly true; some commercial gyms have heavy-duty machines which can hold thousands of lbs weight. Have you everconsideredr how much of this you actually use?
The best leg press for home gym we recommend above is designed with a large multi-angle footplate to support the narrow and wide stances. This arrangement allows you to switch between specific leg muscles easily. Like:
- High Feet Placement for hamstrings and glutes.
- Low Feet Placement to work on your Quads.
- Narrow Stance Leg Press to shape outer legs.
- Wide Stance Leg Press to work on inner thighs and adductor muscles.
It would help if you kept in mind that the isolated leg press machine only offers a natural range of motion. But subtle changes like we discuss above can effectively train your hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles, and quads.