In the fitness world, you might have already seen a person with a very well developed upper torso, but tiny legs. This is why so many personal trainers advise to not skip leg day. If you're looking for a leg press machine, then you probably already know how important it is not to skip your leg workout.
If you're looking for specific machines, it's likely you have already invested in other kinds of fitness equipment. Very rarely does a home gym consist of only a leg press. For that reason, in this review, we included some possible attachments as well as other items that will help you exercise your legs.
Below you'll find examples of the top leg press machines for your home gym, as well as the best compact exercise machines for legs at the time of this writing. With these items accessible in your home gym, you'll never miss leg day again.
TOP 5 Best Leg Press Machines of 2020
Body-Solid LVLP Leverage Horizontal Leg Press
- Heavy-duty 2” by 3” 11-gauge steel mainframe
- Adjustable press arms that suit all size users
- Durable double-stitched upholstery
- Ergonomic hand grip positions
- Fully adjustable back support for proper body alignment
The LVLP Leverage Leg Press is a commercially rated strength equipment that offers an ideal way to quickly gain strength and tone in the legs by engaging four of the core muscle groups. The gear features heavy-duty gauge steel construction, a durable double-stitched upholstery, and an electronically applied powder coat paint finish. If you are a heavy lifter looking for a variety, you can never go wrong with the multi-grip ergonomic handgrips.
This equipment allows you to lift the true weight you load onto the machine. This way, you can tell how much weight you are pressing. Since the back is adjustable, you’re sure to correct the position of your height and maintain a natural range of motion all through the entire press with the pivoting footplate.
In my opinion, the LVLP Leverage Leg Press machine is an excellent addition to a home gym if you’re looking to get accelerated leg muscle gains. The wide array of features also makes it a great buy.
Alek…Shop Vertical Leg Press Machine
•Three 1” standard plate posts for increased resistance
•Crafted from durable alloy steel with 400lb. weight capacity
•Electrostatically applied powder coat finish
•Nylon bushing for smooth and consistent motion
Alek Vertical Leg Press offers an effective way for users to gain leg muscles through isolated lower body workouts. The machine features a unique vertical design that saves on floor space used and ensures you have a reinforced back and hips support. You’ll love how the contoured head and neck pad along with the extra-thick back lock you into the proper leg workout position.
Other breathtaking features include the diamond plate steel press for no-slip control, steel locking pins, and three starting and stopping positions. If you are looking for ideal leg workout equipment for your home and wouldn’t mind spending more on a good one, don’t hesitate to buy it because it is worth it.
Element Fitness Xenon Selectorize Leg Press
- High-quality leather stitching
- USA military grade cables
- The adjustable back pad and two-position press plate
- Sleek Black Carbon Design
Xenon Selectorize leg press is another commercial-grade workout machine that strengthens your core muscles group, burn fat, and enhance your cardiovascular system. The device comes with a two-position press plate and an adjustable back pad to accommodate all size users. The USA made military grade cables to the incremental weight stack. The leg press is ideal workout equipment for home or gym.
The Leg Press features an ergonomic design that maximizes comfort and efficiency. Also, the equipment does not require that much maintenance. You’ll love the high-quality materials used on the gear and the black carbon design. This commercial-grade product packs all features of a great home workout gear. It’s definitely worth your investment.
Body-Solid Leverage Squat and Calf Raise Machine (GSCL360)
- Heavy-duty mainframe made of extra-large high tensile steel
- Heavy-gauge diamond-plate foot platform that is set to a remarkable 20 degrees pitch
- Innovative round calf raises
- DuraFirm back and shoulder pads for ultimate comfort
The GSCL360 Squat Equipment can be an excellent option for individuals looking to build mass and strengthen their thighs, calves, glutes, and lower back. This product is designed to eliminate the risks involved when carrying out essential exercises and instead maximize on benefits and effectiveness of the routines. Interestingly, machine equipment is a robust commercial grade that can handle heavy loads with ease. Individuals looking to boost their power, mass, and performance will love what GSCL360 can do.
The design of this squat machine facilitates intense workouts while eliminating strain on your joints. If that’s not enough, the equipment comes with a comfortable DuraFirm pad to keep you comfortable all through the routine. There’s no better way to develop explosive lower body power than the squat. Thereupon, you’re sure that Body-Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf is a worthy buy.
SportsArt Fitness A989 Plate Loaded Hack Squat
- Large shoulder pads for extra comfort and convenience
- Linear bearings for smooth and quiet motion
- Heavy-duty steel frame with stylish, sleek lines through the oval tube
- Rubber non-slid feet cover
A989 is a commercial angled squat machine that targets the quads on the front of your thighs. The product allows you to use Olympic plates with a 2” center hole for resistance. To accommodate all size users, The SportsArt A989 features a wide and tall, angled squat plate at the base to allow several foot positions.
You’ll hardly miss the welded heavy-duty steel frame. Also, the machine features an electrostatic powder coating for scratch and ding resistance. All components of SportsArt A989 are commercial grade. SportsArt A989 combines quality and value in a simple, easy-to-use workout machine. The product blends more than enough features for leg exercise equipment.
The 5 Best Small Exercise Machines for Legs
Mini Exercise Bike
For one of the best mini exercise bikes for leg workouts, I recommend the DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle. This portable exercise bike provides a way for you to exercise your legs, improve productivity, and burn calories while seated. Working with desks as low as 27 inches, the patented magnetic resistance mechanism is excellent on your joints. You can adjust the pedal height to give you more desk clearance and adjust the resistance to provide you with a more challenging workout than other pedal exercisers.
For the best mini StairMaster to exercise your legs, I recommend the Women’s Health, Men’s Health Bluetooth Cardio Stair Stepper. This stepper comes with 3 locking step heights with air piston cylinders. It allows an actual step motion resulting in less impact on the knees and adjustable-length resistance bands for an upper-body workout.
This stepper comes equipped with Bluetooth smart technology that you can use in tandem with the free MyCloudFitness app on your Android or iOS devices. Use the included LCD to track your fitness data as you make progress.
Under Desk Elliptical
As far as under-desk ellipticals go, the Cubii Pro Seated Under Desk Elliptical is one of the best for a workout of legs. Use this machine to get fit while sitting in your favorite chair or at the office. Not only is it whisper quiet, as not to disturb the people around you, the low profile and smooth motion keeps your knees from striking your desk.
It assembles very quickly and easily, just uses a few screws, and it’s ready. Another bonus with the Cubii Pro is the real-time Bluetooth tracking it provides. Sync your data with the free Cubii app, Fitbit, and Apple Healthkit.
Check out my full review of the Cubii Jr.
Resistance Loop Exercise Bands
These are high-end exercise bands made out of 100% natural latex. With five different resistance levels, they’re practical for more experienced athletes as well as beginners. Use them while doing yoga, pilates, general exercise, strength training, and leg exercises. These bands are superior quality and easy on the skin. They also come with a guide to help you make the best use of the bands. Make use of the color-coded resistance levels and carry bag.
Under Desk Treadmill
For a compact treadmill for exercising your legs, I recommend the Sunny Health & Fitness Walkstation Slim Flat Treadmill. This treadmill was constructed to lay fat underneath a desk so you can get fit while remaining productive. This model comes with a remote control to adjust the intensity of your workout. With this treadmill, you can get a steady exercise of speeds up to 3.75 mph. There are safety features built to make the treadmill automatically pause the running belt if it senses no user for five seconds.
Before You Buy – Leg Exercise Equipment Buying Guide
Before going all-in and purchasing your first leg press, it's better to do some research and check the market thoroughly. Here are a few essential things to consider when buying leg exercise equipment.
It goes without saying that before purchasing a leg press, you're going to want to confirm that you'll have enough space for it in your home or garage. As soon as you get it set up, you're also going to want the room to move around it as needed.
You're going to want to look for machines made of 10-gauge steel, at least 2-inches wide. After all, you may end up with hundreds of pounds of weight for your leg workouts. You'll want to make doubly sure it can support it.
How smoothly your machine works will depend on what kind of materials are used in its construction. If you've ever experienced a leg press that got stuck or grinds along its path, you already know how critical this is.
When looking through reviews for a leg press, you might want to check reviews to see if they mention jerky operation. Machines that use bearings should have a smoother operation.
Remember that there are plenty of options for leg press machines at different price ranges. Before deciding to buy a press, make sure you have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend.
One of the best budget-friendly presses for home workouts for legs is the Shop Vertical Leg Press Machine, because it saves space, is reliable, and under $1000.
Max Weight Capacity
The next thing you need to consider is how much weight you plan to lift. Different leg presses have various weight capacities. Some are only capable of holding as much as 500 lbs. Some can hold as much as 1000 lbs. If you're an athlete that is doing intense workouts for the legs, you likely already know what kind of weight capacity you'll need.
Think about your current progress in developing your legs to anticipate your needs. Following these suggestions, you should end up with a machine you enjoy using.
Different Types of Leg Press Machines
Which kind of leg press is ideal for your purposes. Here are a few different types most commonly used either at home or public gyms:
Standard 45 Degree Angle Leg Press
These are the kinds of leg presses where you sit with your back against a seat and push the weight up at a 45-degree angle. The weight is usually stacked evenly on both sides of your lower body.
Vertical Leg Press
Out of most press models, this is the most economical and compact for legs workouts. You put the weight directly above your hips, lay on your back, with your head on the headrest near the floor, then push your legs vertically straight up.
Horizontal Leg Press
You sit upright with this machine. The sled, connected to the weights with a cable or level, moves as you push your legs outward. Using this kind of machine, you're going to need some Olympic weight plates.
A seated cable press is also an option worth evaluating. While free weights build muscle more efficiently, you can still make good progress with a cable machine. Either way
This kind of machine mainly targets the quadriceps and the quads only. It was built to isolate those particular muscles when you workout legs. It does not provide the same kind of compound exercise you get from leg presses.
To see my list of recommended leg extension machines, click here.
Benefits of a Leg Press Machine
As you might already know, the legs are the most powerful muscles in your entire body. Every fitness trainer will recommend that you focus on building your legs along with the rest of your body.
You already know what might happen if you skip leg day and end up a top-heavy hulk with chicken legs. Leg presses provide an alternative to doing barbell squats, which can be awkward and sometimes dangerous.
Squatting with heavy weights can strain your back. Using a good leg press, you get back support and eliminate many of the stress brought on by squats. With the ability to adjust your position, you can maximize your comfort and get the most ergonomic, back-saving position.
Emphasis on quads:
When performing leg presses, most of the pushing motion goes on through your quadriceps. The downward and upwards movements place most of the load on your quads. Leg presses will help you build strong and thick thighs quickly.
Change foot position:
Changing the position of your feet on the sled can help you target different muscles in your thighs. This will help increase balance and strength through your legs.
You can also use a leg press as a calf-press machine if you place the sled on the balls of your feet and push your feet outwards. Doing heavy leg presses also increases the amount of weight you can handle when doing barbell squats.
As explained here, leg presses are versatile pieces of equipment that can serve your needs in more ways than one.
Leg Press Machine Workout Routines
How to Use a Leg Press Machine
This video reveals many common mistakes athletes make using the leg press machine and explains three variations of leg exercises you can use to develop your quads. It's essential to understand the hows and whys.
How to Use the Leg Press to Target Specific Leg Muscles
This video reveals how to use the leg press to target your quads, glutes, or hamstrings utilizing a resistance band or glute loop.
Growing the Vastus Medialis Using a Leg Press
To focus on the way to train the inner quad, a muscle called the Vastus Medialis, watch this video.
Leg Press Alternative
In this video, you can learn how to use a pair of dumbbells as an alternative if you don't have a leg press.
Questions and Answers
Is the Leg Press Machine Effective?
There is less of a range of motion than there is when doing squats. It is significant, but the risk of injury might be higher.
Are Leg Presses Better than Squats?
You'll work more muscles and burn more calories when doing squats.
What is a Good Weight for Leg Press?
A typical weight for a leg press is two times your body weight.
Is the Leg Press Bad for Your Knees?
It can be because it doesn't allow your muscles to perform in a functional manner and puts a lot of stress on your knees and back.
Are Vertical Leg Press Machines any Good?
Vertical Leg Press Machines are ideal for people with back problems or back injuries.
Can I build leg muscles without weights?
Bilateral movements like push-ups and squats are great exercises for building strength and muscle without weight plates.