How to Do the Seated Leg Press: Proper Form, and Common Mistakes

How to Do the Seated Leg Press: Proper Form, and Common Mistakes

Also Known As: Seated leg press, Machine leg press, machine squat press, Seated squat press, Machine thigh press

Muscles Targeted While Doing Seated Leg Press: 

  • Gluteus Maximus: In simple words, these are your hips/buttocks.
  • Quadriceps: Primary muscles that are targeted while doing the leg press.
  • Hamstrings: In simple words, they are the back of your thighs.
  • Soleus & Gastrocnemius: These are the calves muscles in the lower leg.

The leg press machine is one of the finest gym equipment for training your lower body with the minimum chances of injuries. You can find many types of leg machines in the gym to build stronger and bigger leg muscles.

A seated leg press machine helps you to develop your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles. These exercises are very easy to master and perform, but with the proper form, you can maximize the leg press benefits and reduce the chances of any potential injury.

You can easily buy a seated leg press for sale online on many online platforms as well as from a local gym equipment shop. There are many best seated leg press machines made from high-quality material which are ideal for home gyms. You may already be familiar with leg press machines as almost every gym has this leg machine.

A seated leg press may not be that beneficial to increase strength and power, but this leg machine surely can help you gain bigger legs and is easy to use for beginners to make their way to free weights such as dumbbells and barbells.

Types of Leg Press Machines

  • Vertical/Inclined: It is a sled type machine. In this, the user has to sit down below the sled and press the weight upwards. You have to add or remove the weight plates to perform the exercise.
  • Seated leg press/ Seated cable press: In this machine, the user sits upright against the seat and pushes the weight in front of his face. Here the feet planting plate is attached to the weights with a steel cable. You can adjust the weight by inserting a pin.

Seated Leg press Benefits

  • It can help you develop your quadriceps, hamstring, gluteus maximus, and calves as effectively as a free weight barbell squat.
  • There are very low chances of any possible injury chances compared to squats and vertical leg press.
  • You can focus on different muscles by changing your feet position.
  • Ideal for beginners as well as advanced fitness enthusiasts.
  • There is no need to re-rack the weights as in vertical leg press and other leg exercises.
  • Ideal for everyone, including a fitness freak, pro bodybuilder, athlete, runners, and other people.

Bonus tip: A keto diet which includes healthy fats such as olive oil, and omega 3 can help you increase metabolism and keep your knee joints healthy for the leg press and other activities in a long run.

The proper form of Seated Leg Press: Step by Step Instructions.

  • Sit on the leg press machine with your head and back firmly and comfortably against the padded support.
  • Plant the feet hip-width apart on the footplate.
  • Point your toes a bit outwards.
  • To stimulate the glutes/buttocks more, position the feet high and wide on the pad.
  • If you want to train the quadriceps more, place the feet on the bottom and slightly less than shoulder-width.
  • Grab the handles to keep your head and spine in the position.
  • Tighten your core/abdominal muscles and push the weight forward, keeping your heels and toes planted on the footpad.
  • Exhale while you push your legs forward and inhale while the negative movement.
  • Make sure you do not lock your knees and keep them in a straight line with the thigh and shin. This is done to remove the chances of injuries.
  • Perform the movement with control feeling the muscle contraction rather than in a hurry with explosive movements.

Tip for Beginners: Gradually increase the weight and sets. In the beginning, do ten reps for three sets. If you do not have access to the a seated leg press you can do the leg press on a smith machine as well.

Avoid These Mistakes While Seated Leg Press

  • Warm-up the legs properly before you mount on the leg machine.
  • Do not try to lift heavy weights until and unless you do that with proper form; otherwise, injuries may occur.
  • Repeat the movements in a controlled manner.
  • Do not lock the knees while pressing the weight.
  • Always adjust the seat according to your height and length of the legs.
  • Keep your buttocks, back, and head placed firmly and comfortable against the seat.
  • Do not keep your hands on the knees while pressing; instead, grab the handles for the support.
  • Make sure you go through the full range of motion to maximize the results.
  • Exhale while pressing and inhale when bending the legs.


if you are a fitness enthusiast, who loves to do yoga, running, meditation or gym training you need to focus on healthy meal to enhance fitness levels.  In gym a seated leg press machine can help you achieve bigger and stronger legs if done correctly with the correct posture. I have seen pro bodybuilders such as Big ramy and Jay cutler who recommends leg press to grow bigger legs. You can buy leg press for sale online and from the local gym shops. Mount the leg machine after proper warm-up and perform the exercise in a controlled motion. You can hire a trainer to learn the proper form and avoid injuries. If you need any help regarding training plans, meal plans, feel free to contact us. Also, you can comment on any questions and advice.

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Manoj Datic