Squats are king of the exercises. There are plenty of great exercises that everyone should be doing but squats are arguably the most effective and the most efficient when it comes to recruiting as many muscle fibres as physically possible. With squats, you can lift huge amounts of weight, work large muscle groups effectively and as some experts suggest, even greatly increase your testosterone levels.
But there is a catch. With all those great benefits can come a whole host of negatives. Squats can be destructive. You squat to work your leg muscles but they can really stress and tax your entire body. They’re not an exercise that you can do day-in and day-out without it breaking you down both physically and mentally. Many people accrue serious injuries through squatting such as knee problems, back problems and many other undesirable effects.
Best Leg Press Machine Reviewed
If you’re one of those people who have been broken by squats, or are just someone who wants to work their legs without potentially destroying themselves down the line, then the leg press is the next best thing. In fact, leg presses can be performed alongside squats to really give you a killer leg day workout or two isolate different parts of the legs. I.e: work the glutes, work the calfs, etc.
Body-Solid Leg Press Hack Squat
Like all leg presses we have listed, this one is plate-loaded. Leg presses are either plate-loaded or use a cable system like you’d see on a lat pulldown machine.
Cable-based machines are fine when working muscles like the lats, triceps, biceps, etc. but they are not great when it comes to working legs. Legs are a very large muscle group, leg presses are large, compound movement that incorporates the entirety of your legs and glute muscle groups. It’s rare that cable-based machines can include enough weight to give you a solid workout, so you should stick to plate based machines when it comes to leg pressing.
TDS Mini Leg Press
If you are worried about lack of space or you want your own leg press but don’t want to pay the high ticket price, then this mini leg press from TDS is right up your alley.
Despite mini being in the name, it’s not that small. It’s small enough if you don’t want a machine to dominate space, but don’t think that it’s too small to get in an awesome workout. Even people who are over 6 feet tall will be able to perform full extension on this machine.
The machine can hold weights of up 500 pounds which is more than enough for the average, casual trainee who isn’t into building gargantuan muscles and lifting heroic weights. This is the perfect leg press machine for those who prefer lower weight, higher rep endurance/stamina based workouts.
Body-Solid Leg Press GLPH1100
Brand new for 2018, Body-Solid have released this new extra heavy-duty model for all the leg pressers out there. They’ve used 11-gauge steel in the frame which minimises torsional flex for maximum strength and stability. Their quad-track roller system also runs as smooth as can be whilst distributing the weight evenly.
There are three lockout positions that you can set for both safety and convenience. Some inferior leg presses only have one or two settings for this which can make leg pressing impossible for those with very short or very long legs. Body-Solid have made it so people of any height or shape can perform the exercises adequately and optimally.
The weights are carried underneath the carriage which gives increased safety in the almost extremely unlikely event that the weight plates fall off; the plates fall to the floor rather than on you.
XMark Fitness Leg Press Hack Squat XM-7616
As the legs are a big, strong muscle group, you can surmise that you’re going to need to lift far heavier weights to make progress than you would need for, say, lateral shoulder raises. XMark Fitness offer you weight capabilities of up to 1000lbs. That is a lot of weight. It’s can hold the equivalent to 22 full-size standard olympic plates, weighing 45 pounds a piece. That’s probably more plates than you’d have to hand in most gyms. You pretty much never have to worry about not being able to chuck enough weight on.
To go along with the strong build of the machine, it’s been covered with a scratch-resistance powder-coat finish to keep your leg press blemish free and keep it looking fresh for longer.
You can also reverse your position and use the machine to perform hack squats just as well as you can use it to do the leg press movement.
Powertec Fitness Leg Press
Like the Leg Press from XMark, this machine can hold 1000lbs of solid iron, loaded onto the 4 weight horns (two on either side). It’s good practice to load equal weights on to both sides though not entirely necessary as Powertec have gone to great lengths to make sure the chassis of the machine evenly distributes the weight out, regardless of where it’s stored. The horns accommodate the standard 2” olympic weight plates that are common with most pieces of equipment.
The leg press is actually shorter than most standard leg presses, which is perfect for those shorter and smaller trainees. However, it can still be used just as well for people who are tall (6 foot+) as it is highly adjustable.
Powertec have created a fully functional leg press that’s able to handle heavy weights whilst still being fairly small and compact.
Leg presses are one of the most effective ways to build strong, solid legs. If done properly, there will be little to no potential for injury or discomfort, which are things that are often unavoidable and inevitable with squats.
All leg presses that we have lifted are extremely durable; they’ll last you a long time without issue.