Today, there are many different pieces of equipment and machine that you can see at the gyms and one of which is the leg press. This equipment helps in strengthening, toning, and sculpting your entire leg. However, one of the common mistakes people make on this equipment is that they are not using the right amount of weight.

Keep in mind that too much weight may lead to severe injury, whereas too little can make the leg press inefficient. That being said, people have one question in common, “How much should I leg press for better results?”. Are you one of them and want to find out the answer? If yes, then this article is for you. Read Here: Top 5 Best CrossFit Shoes

In today’s post, we will show you how much you should leg press. But aside from that, we will also include other relevant information about leg press that you’ll definitely find helpful. Read Here: 5 Best Weightlifting Shoes For Your Money

So, without further ado, let’s start by defining the leg press.

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What is Leg Press?

The leg press is a lower body exercise that is machine-based that you can use to build your quadriceps hypertrophy. What’s more, it will enhance squat strength. While it is not a good alternative to squatting, a leg press can help beginners in establishing better leg development and strength.

In addition to that, it can help most especially the advanced lifters when it comes to achieving higher amounts of exercise volume in order to stimulate development while minimizing further tear and wear on the body.

Benefits of A Leg Press

Here are the benefits of leg press that you may not know.

Increase the Development of Quadriceps

For athletes of any kind, increasing the quadriceps hypertrophy as well as knee extension can be very beneficial. Both power and strength athletes depend on the quadriceps for heavier squats. In fact, this makes the leg press a great accessory exercise you can use to add extra quadriceps while reducing the stress to the spine, body, and lower back.

Other movements such as the split squats and the front or back squats, can be restricted back as well as core balance and strength. Leg presses, however, will allow athletes and lifters to attack their quadriceps without the muscle group holding them back. Despite the fact it is a beneficial accessory movement for fitness, strength, and power athlete, you should not use a leg press as the main alternative for most forms of unilateral work and squatting.

Leg presses will allow you to lift heavier

During squats, tensions are placed on your back, legs, hips, and shoulders. However, it is worth mentioning that it will restrict the weight that you can carry in the exercise.

But with leg presses, stress can be only placed on the leg muscles. It means you will be able to take a greater amount of weight in order to build muscles in the said area while providing the upper body a break. Take note, good strength in the leg can help you in lifting more.

Build strength

A leg press is best suited for both lifters and athletes who are experiencing discomfort and pain because of injury once loaded in the squats. Though it is not highly recommended to ignore addressing the discomfort and pain, leg presses can be utilized to build important quadriceps strength during the period of rehabilitation. As a piece of advice, if you’re experiencing physical discomfort and pain outside the gym or during your training, make sure to consult a professional immediately.

It will give you more balance

If you are wondering how a leg press can give you more balance when the fact that you are not standing while exercising, well, it will all come down to how the exercise will build and improve your leg. When the muscles of your legs are stronger, they will give you better support.

In addition to that, by using the different variations of the exercise, the single-leg press, for instance, you will be able to fix any training imbalances that you have been hoarding.

Leg press will boost your speed

If you are thinking that a leg press cannot help you in boosting your speed, well you are wrong, it is because of the muscle mass.

According to a strength coach, how fast a person can sprint is associated with muscle mass. As the muscles grow, they can use more force and become stronger.

Essentially, if your muscle is capable of placing more force to the ground, for instance, pushing a weight during leg presses, this may result in faster movements.

The 3 Variations of Leg Press

The good thing about leg press is that it comes with different variations – 1 ½ leg press, banded leg press, and partial leg press.

1 ½ leg press

This variation of leg press will increase loading as well a time under tension of the quads, fostering strength development at different ranges of movement and muscle hypertrophy.

If you want to perform 1 ½ leg press, all you need to do is lower the sled to the lowest position. Then, push it back halfway up. After that, lower it to the bottom and push the sled back to the initial position. If you these successfully, it is considered one rep.

Banded leg press

If you want to add accommodating resistance to your leg press training in order to boost the rate of force production, enhance time under pressure, and improve concentric strength, you may want to try banded leg press. This is pretty simple. All you need to is add a lightweight band to your leg press around the frame of the seat and weight pegs.

Partial Leg Press

This is helpful for overloading muscles with additional volume or extended time under pressure. By doing a partial leg press, you can improve muscular hypertrophy as well as isolate a series of bottom that might be sticking points in the leg press.

How Much Leg Press Should You Do to Obtain Best Results?

In this section of the article, we will answer the question “How much should I leg press for better results”.

Men can lift a minimum weight of 2.5 times their overall body weight. On average, women, on the other hand, can do a minimum leg press of around 1.8 times their weight. 

On the upper side, a man can presses 4.8 times his body weight, whereas a woman can leg press around 3.7 times her weight.

As we researched, we have also found out that how much leg press should a person can do will depend on various factors such as gender, body weight, and fitness level.


Research studies said that gentlemen lift more weight compared to ladies. For instance, a 150-pound novice woman can lift 102 pounds, whereas a man of the same can leg press 169 pounds. As you can see the difference is quite big.

Body Weight

Heavier persons tend to leg press more compared to a lighter one. In fact, 300-pound intermediate lifters can lift 796 pounds, whereas 200-pound intermediate lifters will leg press 563 pounds. 

Fitness Level

If you are an Olympian or a top weight lifter, you can actually leg press four times the weight of novices can lift. For example, a 200-pound beginner can lift about 261lbs while elites can leg press 978 pounds.

Though there is no specific answer as to how much leg press a person can do in order to obtain better results, one of the best ways you can do to find out what weigh should you leg press is to begin light. And after you do 10 repetitions and resting for a minute consider increasing the weight.

Keep in mind that you will only obtain a great feel for the right amount of weight you can comfortably handle the moment you try it yourself. That, if you’re a bit hesitant, consider lifting lesser which you think you can handle. As mentioned, you can always increase it. But make sure not to take what you cannot handle, because you will end up putting yourself in danger.

By every succeeding set you can do, you can increase your weights of around 20 kilograms or 45 pounds.

How to Perform the Leg Press

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to perform the leg press.

  1. Sit down on the leg press machine with your head and back comfortably resting against the padded support.
  2. Next, position your feet on the footplate. Make sure they are hip-width apart and the heels are flat. What’s more, instead of being raised, your bottom must be flat in contrast to the seat.
  3. Your legs need form about a 90-degree angle at your knees. It is worth mentioning that feet that are too high on the footplate will put stress on your glutes. While too low may put unnecessary pressure on the knees.  Your knees, on the other hand, should be inline with feet.
  4. Once settled, you can start the leg press, however, you need to keep this alignment. Hold the assist handles to keep your head and spine in position and offer support.
  • Brace the abdominal muscles and then push away the platform using your forefoot and heels. But make sure that your heels will remain flat in the plat. The front of your toes or food shouldn’t be exclusively utilized to move the pad forward.
  • As you exhale, keep your back and head flat against the seat and extend your legs. Make sure to extend slowly instead of making an explosive movement.
  • At the top of the movement, you need to pause. Don’t lock your knees and make sure they’re bowing in or out.
  • As you inhale, return the plate to its starting position by bending the knees slowly. Also, keep your back and feet flat throughout.

Note: If you have tried this kind of exercise before, make sure that you begin modestly with 3 sets of ten leg presses.

Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Leg Press

If you want to make the most out of your leg press there are mistakes that you need to avoid and here are some of them.

Placing the hands in the knees

One of the most crucial aspects of active leg pressing is to concentrate on pushing the lower back to the pad all the time throughout the duration of the exercise.

By simply doing this, you will be able to lessen the stress on the lower back by stopping it from turning over. What’s more, it will also boost the amount of force that you may generate with your quadriceps by providing you something to press against our body.

Your capability to do this will diminish if you place your hands on your knees. Instead, grasp the handle to keep your back inflexibly in place.

Using too big a range of movement

Even though doing the leg press with a full range of movement is crucial for producing maximum muscle building outcomes, using too big a range of movement is not advisable.

Keep in mind that the main purpose of leg press is to stimulate your quadriceps. When you bring down the weight too low, what you are doing is fluctuating the stress on your lower back. As a matter of fact, it will not only minimize the effectiveness of the lifts with regard to building up the strength and size of the quad, but it will also increase your chance for injury.

That being said, lower down the weight prior to the point in which your lower back will begin to take over.

Locking your knees after doing a rep

When you are locking out your knees fully during the exercise, you are increasing the stress in the knee joints and minimizing the tension on the quads at the same time. Rather, stop locking out your knees for a short time on every repetition.


Without a doubt, a leg press is important and beneficial for building the muscles of your legs is the most sustainable way. Nevertheless, we hope that you have learned a lot from this article.

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