4 Leg Press Benefits That Prove It’s A Valuable Exercise

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By Alex
Last updated on

There are some great leg press benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. Although the barbell squat is generally superior, the leg press exercise does have merit.

I suggest reviewing the leg press technique to ensure you can maximize its benefits.

My List Of The Biggest Leg Press Benefits…

Sure, squats have more advantages overall. But the leg press exercise is still an exercise to be taken seriously. Below, I’ll explain the most impressive benefits of the leg press.

1. Build Muscular Legs

This leg exercise is great for adding pure size to your legs.

The leg press exercise enables you to focus on your major leg muscles. It doesn’t require you to use your stabilizer muscles since its done on a machine…

…This allows you to add more weight faster. And according to the principle of progressive overload, the end result is increased muscle mass.

2. Increase Your Squat

Assuming that you are well-suited for squatting, the leg press can act as a catalyst for squat strength increases. This makes sense because it is basically the same movement as the squat; only it’s performed in a different direction and with a different torso angle.

However, since it doesn’t require as much balance or stabilization as squats, it is easier to increase the load and introduce a more stress to the leg muscles.

Note: You should be training squats in tandem with the leg press to see significant transference of strength, otherwise your stabilizer muscles will weaken.

3. Take a Load Off Your Back

The leg press exercise does not require you to put direct pressure on your spinal column.

While spinal loading in and of itself is not a bad thing, it shouldn’t be done extensively by those with current and recurring back problems.

This exercise eliminates that issue since the weight sled is on an angle. That is, the load doesn’t bear directly down onto the vertebrae.

4. A Good Alternative If You Can’t Squat

Unless you plan to compete in powerlifting, squatting is not an absolute requirement.

The leg press is a sufficient alternative if you have physical limitations (e.g. poor body structure, terrible hip flexibility, back issues) that prevent you from using proper squat form.

Alex from King of the Gym
Hey! My name is Alex and I'm the founder and author of King of the Gym. I've been lifting weights seriously since 2005 in high school when I started a home gym in my parents' basement. I started writing about fitness in 2009. Then, in 2014, I got into writing home gym equipment reviews and I haven't looked back. My current home gym is in my own house and it's constantly growing and evolving. My goal is to help you build the home gym of your dreams! Read more about me here.

3 thoughts on “4 Leg Press Benefits That Prove It’s A Valuable Exercise”

  1. Hi. Will I cause damages to my knees when using leg presses. I am 65 and my knees are worn n there is an aching pains in my knees. Thanks for guiding me. I’m doing leg press n like it very much and can feel the goodness in the glutteal muscles. Thanks n regards. Mahmood

    • Hi Mahmood, thanks for the question. And it’s awesome to hear you’re hitting the weights at 65. More people in their 50s, 60s and beyond need to take after your example.

      Is you knee joint pain exacerbated when doing the leg press? If so, I would advise staying away from it. There are other great leg exercises that will train you glutes and lower body in general, which don’t involve knee flexion–examples include:

      • Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)
      • Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts (RDL)
      • Stiff Leg Deadlifts
      • Glute Bridge Holds
      • Hip Thrusts
      • Reverse Hypers
      • Glute Kickbacks

      However, if your knees feel okay during the leg press, then it may be fine to continue doing them. It may even help them over time.

      In either case, you should always seek a qualified medical professional’s opinion (i.e. physical therapist, doctor, orthopedic specialist) when it comes to pain and potential injury. They are the experts and they can look at your particular situation.

      Keep up the good work.


  2. You say that doing squats along with leg press is ideal, why so? What would squats provide that leg press wouldn’t? Which would fill out your body more, squats or leg press? Thank you.


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