Your Guide to Leg Press Variations
*plus 3 examples we use regularly
Easy Leg Press Variations and Why They Work
The leg press is one of the best exercises for growing the size and strength of your legs. It's a very common starter exercise for beginners of weightlifting and a tried and true exercise of experienced weightlifters alike. This is because it works!
Standard leg presses are done with a shoulder-width apart stance and work your legs overall. Although standard leg presses are effective, sometimes you may want to target specific muscles or simply switch things up. Here are three examples of leg press variations we recommend starting with and why they work.
Tips for all leg presses:
- Keep a slight bend in knees when extended, don't lock your knees out
- Keep your abs engaged
- Holding for a second at the top can add to the effectiveness of the exercise
- Never lift more weight than you can control
- Press your weight through your heels
Narrow Leg Press
How: Take a narrow stance with the feet closer together
Muscles Worked: abductors and outer quad
- Make sure your feet are centered
- Point toes slightly out, but maintain alignment between knees and ankles
- Only bend knees to approximately 90 degrees
- The closer your feet the more your outer quads will be worked
Wide Stance Leg Press
How: Take a wide stance with your feet further apart.
Muscles Worked: adductors, inner quad, and inner hamstrings
- Place feet with toes pointed slightly out
- Keep your knees in alignment with your heels
- Only bend as far as you can without lifting your back off the bench
Single Leg Press
How: Start with both feet about shoulder-width apart and press up to unlatch it, then remove one foot and place it back on the ground, leaving the other leg right where it was when both feet were on the platform.
Muscles Worked: quads, glutes, and hamstrings of the leg worked
- Use a lower weight than you would normally for two legs
- Make sure your knee stays in alignment with your heel
- Make sure to work both legs for the same number of reps and at the same pace, so that you don't create an imbalance
🤔What's your favorite leg press variation? DM, message, post...we're listening.👂