If you want well-defined, toned calves then a leg press machine should be your ally. Paired with other leg exercises and used correctly, you will be on the road to beautifully shaped calves in no time. But here’s the catch, having to lift weights over your head using your legs can be quite injurious not to mention downright dangerous. I, therefore, can’t emphasize harder on the need for using this machine correctly especially when it comes to loading the right amount of weights.
With that out of the way, you have seen leg press machines in your gym some with different levels of inclination, right? So, which is the best to go with? Also, we address the elephant in the room; are leg press workouts the new squats for calves? To find out this and so much more (including the best machines available in the market), read some more!
- 1 Leg Press Machine 2020 – Comparison Table!
- 2 Leg Press Machine – Detailed Review!
- 3 Types of leg press machine exercises.
- 4 Benefits of using the leg press machine.
- 5 How to choose the right leg press machine?
- 6 Horizontal vs Vertical leg press machine?
- 7 How to correctly use a Leg Press Machines?
- 8 Are leg press workouts better than squats?
- 9 Last word.
Leg Press Machine 2020 – Comparison Table![content-egg module=Amazon template=list]
Leg Press Machine – Detailed Review!
#1 Body-Solid Leg Press machine
One of the top performance leg press machines today is the Body-Solid Leg Press. Due to its efficiency, it is a popular machine. Manufactured by Ironcompany.com, this leg press has a wide range of features. An example is the automatically controlled free-weight resistance that promotes a natural feel as you work out.
The machine has a quad track system that manages the weight evenly across both legs as you leg press. It depends on rollers to accomplish this. Also, this system facilitates a balanced experience when you perform the hack squat movement. As a result, the Body-Solid Leg Press machine is easy to use.
While using a leg press machine, you need to place your feet on a stable surface. The Body-Solid Leg Press machine is fitted with heavy-gauge diamond plate foot platforms for this purpose. They are not slippery and allow for comfortable pushing of the weight that you have set.
To avoid injury, your back and shoulders also need proper support as you work out. To ensure this, the Body-Solid Leg Press machine has durable pads for back support. They measure 4 inches thick and are tough enough to handle regular use without getting worn out. Thanks to this feature, your back and shoulders are sufficiently supported throughout your fitness session.
Safety comes first with this machine. To prove this, the Body-Solid Leg Press machine has a lockout system with 3 positions. Manipulated with an easy-to-reach lever by your side, the lockout helps you to stop the machine at a level where you are comfortable during use.
The Body-Solid Leg Press machine is 83 inches long, 34 inches wide and 5 inches high. As a result, it can accommodate tall individuals while occupying a small surface area in your home or gym.
#2 Powerline PVLP156X Vertical Leg Press Machine
Manufactured by the renowned brand known as Powerline, this is a leg press that provides quality service. The design and platform placement of the Powerline Vertical Leg Press maximizes muscle gain while minimizing surface area covered in your home or gym.
The deck is one of the most important parts of any leg press machine. The Powerline Vertical Leg Press has a solid diamond plate deck. Made of steel, it is not slippery and has wide dimensions. As a result, your feet are accommodated with a perfect grip that ensures maximized results when you use this machine. The wide deck on this machine also contributes to safety.
Powerline considered consumer comfort while designing and constructing this vertical leg press. Thanks to this focus, the machine has dual steel locking pins which are fully adjustable. Measuring 1/2 inch each, you can use them to provide enough moving space for your legs according to your height.
It is important to keep your body safe and free of injury as you work out. The Powerline Vertical Leg Press has some support mechanisms for your back and neck too. These take the form of durable pads and provide comfort as you use the machine. They play an important role in preventing any pain during or after exercise. 46 inches long, 54 to 61 inches in height and 48 inches wide, the Powerline Vertical Leg Press is compact in size and a good leg press machine to get.
#3 Weider Ultimate Body Works machine
Built for your home gym, the Weider Ultimate Body Works machine is an affordable option to help you work out your lower body. Despite a low price, it has an impressive collection of features. The design of this machine allows you to use it for toning your back, arms, calves, thighs, and hips too.
To enable a variety of exercise positions, the Weider Ultimate Body Works machine has an incline bench which is adjustable. To boost the weight resistance on your legs as you use it, simply increase the angle of the incline. Doing the opposite results in a lighter resistance.
The weight in this leg press machine is provided by resistance bands. Two pairs of these units work together to provide a weight of up to 50 pounds. Seeing as the Weider Ultimate Body Works machine is designed to provide fitness to multiple muscles on your body, it has a system of pulleys that enable various motions for your workout. Thanks to this variety, you can target the muscles that you desire in your workout session. Moreover, the pulleys help you to reach your fitness goals in a shorter period of time.
A compact design is one of the noticeable qualities of this machine. In addition to short yet practical dimensions, the Weider Ultimate Body Works machine is foldable. You can simply put it under your bed after you are done. Priced at a really friendly value, this machine is bound to do a great job.
#4 The Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press
This is one of the most capable leg press machines on the market today designed for home use. While inexpensive, it provides you with fitness facilities that result in high-intensity workouts. By using the Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press, you can work out your hamstring, quadriceps, glutes, and calves.
The Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press has a lockout that provides you with 3 individual positions. These allow for comfortable workouts, and easier entry and exit in the machine. To further promote safety, the machine has non-slip foot plates that are wide and comfortable.
You back requires proper protection throughout your workout session. As such, this leg press from Yukon manufacturers is fitted with a soft and durable back support. Thanks to this, you can achieve a proper position as you work out.
The manufacturers designed this machine for home use. As a result, it has compact dimensions. Measuring 28 inches long, 38 inches wide and 50 inches tall, you can store it easily. For maximized fitness capability, the Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press can handle up to 600 lbs (pounds) of weight.
#5 XMark Leg Press Hack Squat Leg Press Machine
It is important to ensure lower body fitness so as to have a balanced, healthy body. The XMark Hack Squat Leg Press machine is designed to ensure exactly that. It is built such that you can perform hack squats and leg presses on it without requiring the assistance of a spotter. Stable, durable and versatile, this leg press machine is one of the best in the market.
To provide you with stability, the XMark Leg Press Hack Squat Leg Press Machine is made of 11 gauge solid steel. Therefore, you can use this machine to perform calf presses, hack squats and leg presses of heavyweight levels.
While leg pressing, your feet need a stable, wide surface to grip on. For this purpose, this machine has solid footplates that are adjustable to 4 different positions by using a locking pin. This further allows you to work out with different angles.
Your back and shoulders require support as you use the leg press machine. The XMark Leg Press Hack Squat Leg Press Machine is fitted with support pads that cushion your head, shoulders and back as you work out. With a length of 87 inches and a width of 36.5 inches, this leg press is compact in size. Moreover, it can carry a weight of up to 1,000 lbs.
Types of leg press machine exercises.
There are two types of leg press machine exercises that athletes perform to make them fit. They include:-
- The diagonal or vertical leg press. It is the common type of leg press machine exercise. It is mostly exercised by beginners. The weight plates are held to a sled positioned on the rail. The athlete then pulls the weight up using his feet.
- The cable or the seated leg machine press. The user sits in an upright posture and uses his legs to push the weight forward. This kind of exercise needs a plate that is held in a weight stack having a steel cable.
Benefits of using the leg press machine.
There are many advantages of doing leg press workouts compared to other types of exercises. The leg press machine works four muscle groups, the gluteus, calves, quadriceps, and hamstring. To target one muscle group more than others, simply change the position of your feet and the angle of the sled. Here are other few other reasons for doing leg press exercises.
- The leg muscles get strengthened – It is obvious that performing leg presses is beneficial for your legs. By performing this particular type of exercise, the leg muscles are mostly affected hence making those muscles stronger, other body muscles will not be strained. After performing leg presses more often, you will realize that you are increasing your weight at a faster rate because of the additional muscular mass.
- Calories get burnt very fast – Sure, this applies to any form of physical exercise, as well as leg presses. You will reduce your calories while performing the leg press exercise itself, and you will also improve your overall physical resistance, and more specific on the lower part of your body. Furthermore, leg presses will activate the abdominal muscles since you will place more pressure on the area when you are pushing the weights forward, maintaining an upright position. Therefore, by extension, calories will be burnt much faster than when engaging in cardio.
- Leg press exercises are also vital for warming up before lifting heavy weights – You can perform some warm up sets before going into the major leg exercises like deadlifts or squats simply because the leg press affects all the leg muscles from the anterior and the posterior parts of the leg
How to choose the right leg press machine?
Truth be told, leg press machines are expensive, this means that you should be careful not to spend your money only for it to break down after a couple of uses. With so many brands in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when buying one. Luckily, here are some pointers to help you in choosing the right one for your needs.
Horizontal vs Vertical leg press machine?
There is no big difference between horizontal and vertical leg press machines. The difference comes in when you want to exercise particular group of muscles.
First, many users who do it from their residents will opt for vertical leg presses since they occupy less space. It can also be easily fitted in a corner once you complete working out, and some of the leg press machines can be folded and stored under your bed.
Another distinguishing factor is the difficulty of the machine itself. Vertical models are a bit harder to use because they force the user to push weights up, utilizing the forces of gravity to the fullest. Horizontal leg presses consume more space, but they are easy to use them and are nice to casual athletes.
Therefore, before making a decision between a vertical or horizontal leg presses, think about the size of your room and how dedicated you are about working out. If you have enough space in your house and you wish to work out casually, purchase a horizontal leg press. If you have no space but you would like taking it to the next level, it is wise to go for the vertical one.
The Versatility of the Machine
This is pretty straightforward, you need a machine that allows you to do more than just leg presses. Some exercises that can be done other than leg press workouts include, hack squats and calf raises.
Keep in mind that the goal is to work all your leg muscles, so a leg press becomes a poor investment if it offers anything less than that.
The Quality of the Bearing
The bearings are the devices that will keep you in motion, both figuratively and literally. Make sure bearings are manufactured not from a lousy plastic material but from a sturdy, durable one, like steel.
Due to the intensity of the exercises, you will be doing, you will require bearings made out of high-quality materials. Otherwise, your movements will feel awkward and stiff and the machine will continually disintegrate. This not only wastes your money but poses a risk of getting injured.
How to correctly use a Leg Press Machines?
The leg press machines are safe and secure just because of their design, but if you are not enlightened on using them properly, you can easily get hurt badly. With the proper guidance and supervision, this machine is very easy to use.
To start with, sit down with your back placed straight and firm against the backrest. Place your feet on the foot pads and your legs, together with the weight platforms, up to the end. Be keen to push the pad by use of the heels and quadriceps.
Now all you have to perform is the same thing, only in reverse, repetitive as before. Bring down your legs until your knees reach an angle of 90 degrees.
Make sure you are not rushing since going too fast can lead to injuries to your knees or worse, you might lose control of the leg press machine resulting in severe injuries.
Last but not least, nobody likes a show-off. Getting to know the leg press machine takes some bit of time, dedication and practice, so lift only what your body can permit. Most injuries come about when individuals set the resistance too high.
Are leg press workouts better than squats?
Both the leg press exercises and squats are important in sculpting the lower body. Although squats are likely more superior to the leg press exercise. This is because the squat provides a total for quad hypertrophy, body hypertrophy, and a more enhanced sports performance such as increased vertical jump and acceleration of the athlete. Though this does not mean that leg press exercises or many other body fitness machines are not capable of meeting your workout needs.
Machine are great for training your muscles in various ranges of movements, creating unique positions, isolating various muscles and joints, and or providing the same type of tension in all full ranges of movements. Rather than championing one over the other, find the best way to perform both in the leg training routine activity.
Leg presses on a leg press machine are one of the best exercises that you can perform to improve the lower body and promote your physical capabilities in general. Purchasing a leg press machine is beneficial whether when you are just doing for cross training or when focusing on full time. If you want a well-defined lower body, don’t rely too much on leg press machine, incorporate other lower body workouts such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges into your routine. That said, have fun training but please, be careful not to get crushed.