How to Use a Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine provides a quality workout, focusing on the quadriceps and hamstrings of the thigh, as well as the gluteus. When using the leg press machine, it is important to know how to properly operate the equipment to avoid injury.

Select Proper Weight

To avoid personal injury and obtain a quality workout at the same time, it is important to carefully select the proper weight. Usually located on the back or side of the machine, you will find a weight stack. Note that the weight stack has a metal pin, as well as holes within each weighted block. Press the metal pin through the weight block to select the proper weight.

Correct Position

Once the desired weight has been selected, sit on the pad of the machine, keeping your head and back against the padded support. Place your legs slightly more than hip-width apart on the weight platform. Your feet should remain pointing upwards, or slightly outwards for varied effect. Keep your hands on the assist handles, usually found at your side.

Proper Method

After you are correctly positioned in the machine, slowly bring your knees towards your chest as you inhale. Then, extend your legs to press the weight platform back up, exhaling as you push the platform upwards. Always keep the repetitions slow and controlled and keep your weight on your heels. Do not thrust your body weight when pushing the weight platform upwards and avoid locking your knees to prevent injury. Repeat this exercise 15-20 times.

Safety Precautions

It is critical that you understand how to operate the machine, as well as how to correctly do exercises on a leg press machine. To avoid injury to yourself, others, or the machine, seek the advice of a personal trainer or gym staff member if you have questions regarding proper usage. Additional tips include:

  • When pressing the weight platform upwards, do not allow your knees to lock.
  • Use a spotter if you are unsure of your capabilities.
  • Avoid thrusting your weight and control the repetitions.
  • Carefully select the desired weight, avoiding overlifting.
  • Lock the safety pins when finished so the weight platform does not collapse.




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