Fitness Tips

Best Leg Press Machines for Both Commercial & Home Use

Best Value

Best Value Leg press machine for home use or commercial use

Powertec Fitness

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick for the best Leg press machine for home use or commercial use


Most Affordable

The Most Affordable Leg press machine for home use or commercial use

Body-Solid Powerline

When I decided to set up a leg press machine in my home gym, I had no clue what features to look for while selecting one of these.

My only prior experience with the best leg press machines was in the gym, and those were the traditional variety with a 45-degree press.

Huge machines, but extremely sturdy nevertheless.

But a lot of home gyms do not have the space to accommodate a mountain of metal.

A lot of home gym users are also shopping on a shoestring budget, which means that they are better off with multitasking fitness equipment.

That’s what motivated me to create this list of the best leg press machines.

Are these the absolute best ones out there? Probably not.

Do these give you the best bang for your buck? Absolutely.

That’s what matters in the end.

A $2000 leg press machine that’s used by professional bodybuilders is probably overkill for you anyway.

What you need is a versatile machine that saves space, saves some Benjamin, but gets the job done.

If that’s what you are looking for, then strap in and enjoy the read.

Our Top Pick

My top pick for the best Leg Press Machine is The FORCE USA Monster

Editors Choice

  • Best Bang for Buck.. By Far
  • My Personal Choice - this is the one I bought for myself
  • Highest Rated & Highly Reviewed
  • Excellent Warranty
  • Built like a Tank
  • Perfect for both home and Commercial use

Types of Leg Press Machines

There are three different types of leg press machines that you can choose from. Not two, like it’s commonly mentioned on the internet.

Traditional 45-Degree Leg Press

One of the types of leg press machines is the traditional 45 degree leg press

This is the gold-standard amongst leg press machines and is most likely, the one in your gym. As made obvious by the name, it features a back rest that can be inclined to a specific degree, and a weighted sled where the weight is racked. You make the thrust diagonally at a 45-degree angle from the bottom, moving the weight upwards.

One of the reasons why this works so well is that gravity plays a key role in increasing the intensity during the negatives. Some multipurpose models also allow you to use it as a hack squat machine, resting your shoulders on the sled and pushing upwards. The caveat is that these will require a fair amount of space.

But if you have the extra room, there’s no better choice. It’s sturdy, you can move a shit ton of weight with it and it allows a healthy spine position, irrespective of your height or leg length. 

Horizontal Leg Press

Another type of leg press machines is a horizontal leg press machine

These are better suited for beginners and feature a direct drive system with the weights positioned either under, behind or in front of you. The mechanism and hence, the thrust is made parallel to the ground, which makes it a lot easier to move.

You do not have gravity amplifying the weight during either the concentric or eccentric part of the move. These are the middle of the road option with footprints that are neither too big, nor compact. Think of this like the next best after 45-degree presses.

Vertical Leg Press

Vertical Leg Press machines are another type of Leg Press machines

Vertical leg presses are the space saving variety. These have very compact horizontal footprints (length wise) because you thrust the weight vertically upwards. For the same reason, some people believe that these are more effective than the other types of leg presses since they allow better overall development of your hamstrings and glutes.

But that’s a hotly debated subject with tons of differing opinions and no clear verdict. There are some who feel that these are not ideal for beginners because they can exert unwanted pressure on the spine, especially if you are unable to control the weight. That said, if you are penny-pinching or are short on space in your home gym, one of these will be your best bet.

The Best Leg Press Machines

All said and done, let’s take a quick look at the best leg press machines in 2020.

#1 - FORCE USA Monster – Editor’s Choice – Also Happens to Be the One I Own Personally

Best Features

  • Offers the Best Bang For Buck
  • Editors Choice
  • Highest Rated & Highly Reviewed
  • 1000 lbs. capacity
  • Multipurpose machine that lets you do hack squats and calf exercises
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Zero wobble
  • Full ROM even for tall users

FORCE USA Monster Review

This is the Force USA Monster combo leg press machine that’s widely used in most commercial gyms in the United States. Chances are that you have probably seen this in your gym or even pressed on one of it.

But it has a very affordable price and an easy assembly, which make it a great choice for a home gym too.

What I Like About It

As the name suggests, this is a monster. It has a beefy laser-cut steel mainframe that can support up to 1000 lbs.

The best part is that even if you rack all 1000 lbs. on it (I tried it), it does not even wobble once, or let out that creaking groan that cheaply made racks typically do.

If you have slippery flooring, there are a bunch of weight horns that can be put to good use to provide it with some stability. Alternatively, you can throw a rubber mat under it. Stays as steady as a rock.

I like the fact that it can easily be switched into a hack squat machine, and also has a calf-block that can be used for calf-focused workouts.

Things that I Don’t

It’s huge. It stands 60” tall, 66” wide and is 94” long.

It’s taken up a largish corner of my basement gym. Not that I am complaining.

I have put it through the motions and it’s held up phenomenally well. Also, my legs have turned a new leaf since I started pressing really heavy.

What Customer Reviews Say

A lot of customers talk about how it allows a complete range of motion even for users who are 6’5” and more. Tall users find it really difficult to go below 90-degrees parallel during the hack squat in other machines.

Not in this one. There are also positive reviews about how sturdy the whole unit is, and the easy assembly instructions.

#2 – Best Budget Leg Press Machine - Powertec Fitness 

Best Features

  • Best Option for those on a budget
  • Excellent for home use
  • Easy to move
  • Budget priced leg press machine
  • Compact footprint
  • 1000 lbs. capacity
  • Liquid smooth carriage system with nylon wheels
  • Adjustable backrest

Powertec Fitness Review

Budget-minded shoppers, as well as those with limited room in their home gyms will love this compact leg press machine from Powertec.

It can move a lot of weight with zero signs of strain. Not kidding.

What I Like About It

It has a sturdy steel frame with a 1,000 lbs. capacity. That rivals the weight capacity of most commercial-grade leg press machines that I’ve used, at less than 50% of the cost. That’s insanely good.

Also, it has one of the best carriage systems that I’ve seen in home gyms. Zero noise, moves like a knife through butter.

It’s incredibly smooth thanks to the bearing driven, nylon wheels that prevent jarring clogs.

It also features an adjustable backrest, allowing you to select a back position that works best for you.

What I Don’t

The only possible quibble that I have with the Powertec Leg Press (and it’s not a huge one), is that the weight horns have a textured finish. At times, when I am trying to move the plates fast, they tend to get stuck in there, which is like annoying.

What Customer Reviews Say

The Powertec Leg Press has over 90% positive customer reviews on the internet. Most of them talk about how they thought that this was going to be a very mediocre unit when they bought it.

But they were surprised at how sturdy it is and how smoothly that carriage rolls.

The large-sized foot plate also receives a lot of positive reviews.

#3 - Best Bang for Buck – TDS 4-Way Hip Sled

Best Features

  • Excellent Warranty
  • Best alternative Option to #1
  • Compact 4-way lower body workout machine
  • Hack squat, leg press, calf raises, forward thrusts
  • 1000 lbs. capacity
  • 2” square steel tubing with heavy base
  • 8-caster wheels each one rated for 750 lbs.
  • Longer weight holders

TDS 4-Way Hip Sled Review

The 4-way Hip Sled is a multipurpose lower body workout machine that can be used for leg presses, hack squats, forward thrusts and calf raises.

One machine that greatly expands the possibilities of a vigorous lower body workout, in case you are unable to squat due to medical reasons, or do not have a rack yet.

What I Like About It

It’s so compact, yet incredibly sturdy.

The construction is a 2" Sq. Steel Tubing, with a slightly heavier base for added stability. It has a 1000 lbs. capacity with extra-long plate holders.

There’s ample, double-stitched padding wherever your body comes into contact with the machine, and there’s a 2’ x 2’ footrest, which allows even tall users to comfortably press.

One of the best features is that the machine is mounted on 8-casters, each one rated for 750 lbs. You can move this around even when it’s loaded with plates.

What I Don’t

I am 6’3 and I find it a little challenging to go below parallel for a hack squat. There are workarounds and modifications possible, but if you are tall and you like to go really deep in that hack squat, this is something you should know before you buy.

What Customer Reviews Say

Customer reviews for the TDS 4-way sled are mostly positive.

Most customers are mighty impressed with the versatility this brings to the table. Also, the 37” wide and 80” deep form factor is a lot more space saving that conventional options.

That said, most customers are home users who are not looking to move more than 500-600 lbs. of weight. If you are a professional or even an amateur bodybuilder and looking to move a lot of weight, then this may not be the ideal choice for your bodybuilding home gym.

#4 – Top Quality Machine for Commercial Gyms - Body-Solid GLPH1100

Best Features

  • Best for Commercial Use
  • Commercial grade construction
  • 2” x 4” 11-gauge steel mainframe
  • 1000 lbs. capacity
  • Quad track roller system
  • Easy flip and lock adjustments
  • Thickly padded backrest and shoulder rest
  • Capacious footrest
  • Full range of motion for tall users

Body-Solid GLPH1100 Review

The Body-Solid Leg press machine is hands down, the best quality one in this list.

It is sturdy, capacious and is rated for 1000 lbs. weight load, although there are customers who have racked a lot more on this with no problems whatsoever.

In a nutshell, it’s perfect for commercial gym owners, or home owners with the budget to stretch.

What I Like About It


Right from the 2” x 4” 11-gauge steel mainframe to the quad track roller system, the construction is top notch.

Even when fully loaded with Olympic plates, the machine does not show signs of stress or fatigue. The sled moves flawlessly and it’s extremely quiet too, which is always an added plus.

The footrest is large, there’s lush padding on the shoulder rests and the back rest. Almost forgot to mention that all the adjustable parts are flip and lock. So, you can alter the angles in the blink of an eye.

What I Don’t

The assembly instructions are just terrible. Gosh, what were they thinking? Despite having assembled these machines before, I actually had a tough time trying to figure this out.

Imagine the plight of a home owner who’s never assembled one of these. However, there are some YouTube videos which can be godsend to first timers. Give it a check.

What Customer Reviews Say

A lot of customers were pleasantly surprised at how compact the unit is. It’s just 83” long and 34” wide. For a commercial-grade leg press machine, that’s just phenomenal.

The quad track roller system and the easy adjustments, including the stops are some of the features that users liked.

Most of all, the positive reviews are also about how sturdy the entire unit is. A lot of customers have mentioned that you need at least two people to assemble this. It’s a very beefy machine.

Best Features

  • Multipurpose hip sled
  • Oversized shoulder pads and backrest
  • Dual foot plates
  • Donkey calf pad
  • Removable calf block
  • Sturdy, heavy gauge steel frame
  • Industrial grade linear bearings
  • Space saving design with weights under the machine

Bodycraft F660 Review

The Bodycraft F660 is a multipurpose hip sled that’s constructed like a tank.

It features a heavy gauge steel mainframe that’s rated for 1000 lbs.

It is perfect for home users since it is completely adjustable and can be used for a variety of lower body workouts like hack squats, leg presses and donkey calf raises.

What I Like About It

I really like the oversized pads on this machine. Both, the shoulder pads as well the backrest feature extra thick padding and are slightly larger than what we normally see in leg press machines.

There are dual footplates which can be adjusted to a variety of angles, allowing you to narrow down on one that works for you. The upper plate is 16” L x 24” W and the lower one is 17” L x 24” W, which is ample width to accommodate different-sized feet.

The roller system is lined with industrial-grade linear bearings that do not wear out as easily as standard bearings do. This translates into consistent, long term performance.

What I Didn’t

Unfortunately, the F660 does not allow me to go as deep as I like with hack squats.

This might just be me, mind you. But I really like to bottom out on the hack squat and I am 6’3. I think users who are taller than 6’ will face this problem.

It’s not really a deal breaker for me, because other than this small niggle, the machine is flawless.

What Customer Reviews Say

The Bodycraft F660 is one of the few leg press machines that has 100% positive customer feedback on the internet.

Most customers compare this to a commercial-grade unit, and mention how well this is constructed.

It’s not like a cheap, home gym at all. Has an excellent weight capacity and everything just works smoothly.

Surprisingly, there’s no mention of the problem that I faced.

Best Vertical Leg Press Machines

Vertical Leg Press Machines are perfect for compact places, and cost less than the conventional ones.

Let’s take a look at some of the best vertical leg press machines.

#1 -  Best Overall – Editor’s Choice – Titan Fitness Vertical Leg Press

Best Features

  • Compact footprint
  • Plush, adjustable backrest
  • Firm handles with ribbed hand grip
  • Sturdy metal mainframe
  • Dual post design for even weight distribution

Titan Fitness Vertical Leg Press Review

At just 48” W and 38” long, this leg press machine from Titan Fitness, is one of the most compact ones that I’ve ever seen.

It can easily fit into a corner of a smallish room. Yet, it usually suffices to perform vigorous isolation workouts for all the major muscle groups in your legs.

What I Like About It

I have tried out my fair share of vertical leg presses and one of the common problems that I find with them is that the starting height of the footplate is usually too low or too high, depending on your height.

In this one though, you can choose from four starting heights, that is 26.5-in, 32-in, 35-in and 38-in, and select the most comfortable position.

The footplate also features reasonably thick padding that absorbs the impact on your joints and keeps your feet comfy.

Another good feature is the dual post design, which allows you to evenly distribute the weight, as opposed to a single post in the middle of the frame.

What I Don’t

It has a 500 lbs. weight capacity. Now, I understand that you can get a great workout with much lesser weight in a vertical leg press. But after a couple of sets, I was craving for more weight and I actually added a couple of hundred pounds more to the weight posts.

It held up pretty well. I actually expected it to groan, which it didn’t.

What Customer Reviews Say

Titan’s vertical leg press is one of the top rated ones in the business. Customers love how compact the entire unit is and also the fact that it’s built like a tank.

The heavy steel frame and the smooth operation are some of the most spoken about features.

Many customers also like the wide footplate that allows them a firm grip while thrusting the weight upwards.

#2 – Best Budget Option - TDS Premier

Best Features

  • Budget priced compact leg press
  • 1000 lbs. weight capacity
  • 3” plush padded backrest
  • Rotate and lock safety stoppers
  • Extra wide footplate
  • Dual posts for even weight distribution

TDS Premier Review

The TDS Premier Vertical leg press is an unbelievably good machine that surprisingly, retails for a fraction of the cost of hyped, overpriced brands.

It has many best-in-class features, at the forefront of which, is a 1000 lbs. weight load capacity.

How’s that for a budget-priced machine?

What I Like About It

I love the fact that TDS has managed to create a commercial-grade machine at this price point.

It is constructed from heavy gauge steel tubing, has a 3” plush padded backrest with double stitching, heavy duty twist-and-lock safety stoppers and liquid smooth operation.

The last thing you want to do when you are lifting 1000 lbs. on your legs is to fiddle with pins to lock it. In this one, you just twist the stoppers and it locks into place with an audible click.

The footplate is extra wide, which is an added plus. Many a good leg press machine has been rendered ineffective due to a narrow footplate.

Further, the entire machine is mounted on eight casters, which allows you to comfortably move it around the house after workout.

What I Don’t

The instructions again! Why don’t brands hire a professional to write the instructions? Even drawings and schematics might have been a better bet than the pictures that this ships with.

Thankfully, there aren’t too many small parts to assemble here.

What Customer Reviews Say

The TDS vertical leg press machine has over 95% positive reviews.

Customers are amazed at how sturdy this unit is, given the economical price tag. Also, how many vertical leg press machines boast of a 1000 lbs. weight rating?

A lot of customers talk about how easy it is to use the safety stoppers. There are a few minor complaints about the instructions or the lack of it. But that’s to be expected.

There are zero complaints about the quality of the machine.

#3 – Cheapest Option - Body-Solid Powerline

Best features

  • Cheapest vertical leg press
  • Steel mainframe
  • 400 lbs. capacity
  • Easy assembly
  • Plush padded backrest
  • Smooth operation
  • 10-year warranty on the frame

Body-Solid Powerline Review

If you are not looking to move a lot of weight, and are shopping on a tight budget, then you might want to check out the Powerline vertical leg press from Body Solid.

This is hands down, one of the cheapest leg presses that you can buy.

It boasts of some really good features for the price, with some caveats of course.

What I Like About It

The Powerline has a very sleek, aesthetic design. The durable alloy steel frame with the powder coated finish in white/grey, looks way better than the all-black, matte ones.

There’s ample padding and some contouring on the backrest, which keeps your spine in a neutral position, avoiding any unwanted stress on it. You can thrust your hips comfortably and the rollers move smoothly thanks to the nylon bushings.

It features three posts to add the weights and is rated for 400 lbs., which is way more than what most people leg press with.

What I Don’t

The machine weighs around 95 lbs. when fully assembled. It’s not as sturdy as some of the others in this list, which weigh around 300 lbs.

There’s a hint of horizontal sway to the machine when its racked fully with plates. There are ways to limit or even avoid this completely. So it’s not a deal breaker for me.

My biggest grumble though is that it comes with safety pins instead of a handle stopper. Now, I regularly leg press more than 500 lbs. So I can easily insert the locking pins with 350 lbs. on my feet. But a lot of beginner lifters might find it extremely difficult to do this, especially at the last rep. I have seen people fail mid-rep and then struggle to rack the weight.

If you are starting off with weight training or even leg presses, I recommend a machine with a rotating handle safety stopper.

What Customer Reviews Say

The Powerline has over 88% positive customer reviews. Most customers are home gym users who do not have the space or the budget to install a full sized leg press machine. They are quite satisfied with the amount of weight that they can move with this.

The biggest positive feedback is about the strong steel mainframe, which handles the weight load quite easily.

Best Features

  • 38.5” Wide and 55” long
  • 2” x 2” solid Steel tubing
  • Hammer tone foot plate
  • Extra wide and thick back pad
  • Contoured, ergonomic neck pad
  • Three storage pegs compatible with both standard and Olympic plates
  • Comes with three Olympic adapters or sleeves

Valor Fitness CC-10 Review

The CC-10 from Valor Fitness is a beefy little leg press machine that boasts of a 500 lbs. weight capacity.

That might not seem like much on paper. But that’s actually a lot of weight for most recreational fitness buffs.

More importantly, the petite form factor means that you do not have to sacrifice on valuable real estate in your home or garage gym.

What I Like About It

The CC-10 is constructed pretty much like a commercial-grade machine. The entire frame is durable 2 x 2″ solid steel and this translates into zero sway or wobble while you are pushing the weight at near max capacity.

Further, there’s a lot of emphasis on comfort. The extra wide back pad measures 33.5 x 17.5″ and features dual-layered vinyl padding. Ditto with the 10 x 7.5″ ergonomic neck pad, which has a contoured design to match your neck.

How many times have we felt a tad uncomfortable on a back rest because it lacks neck support? This one checks that box.

It features three weight pegs, that are compatible with both standard plates. You also get three sleeves or adapters that allow you to use Olympic plates with them.

By the way, this can also be used as a calf-raise machine.

What I Don’t

The assembly instructions. Need I say more?

What Customer Reviews Say

The CC-10 has 100% positive customer feedback.

Along with the sturdy construction, compact design, ease of use and the comfortable pads, a lot of customers have spoken about the excellent after-sales customer service.

Now that’s something you don’t hear a lot.

#5 – Most Compact and Cheap - Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press

Best Features

  • Most compact vertical leg press machine
  • 600 lbs. weight capacity
  • 12 gauge 2” x 2” steel tubing
  • Heavy, plush back rest
  • Weight posts are compatible with both standard and Olympic plates (Does not include an Olympic sleeve adapter)

Yukon Fitness Vertical Leg Press Review

The Yukon Fitness Vertical leg press takes up the bare minimum space in your gym, and has a ridiculously low price tag to boot.

I wouldn’t lie. That pretty much sums up the list of desirables that some home owners have from their fitness equipment.

If that describes you, then this might be a good option to check out.

What I Like About It

It’s the most compact leg press machine I’ve seen. It’s just 43” long and 43” wide. That’s less than half the size of the leg press machine I own.

Also, it looks very sleek with the powder coated finish on that 12-gauge 2”x 2” steel tubing.

There’s nylon bushing on the rollers which should help the weight move smoothly.

Also, there’s a narrowish no-slip foot plate, which I found a little too small for my liking. But it might work well for users who are shorter than 6’.

What I Don’t

It comes with a neck pad, that’s more like a cradle. It is extremely uncomfortable. To make things worse, it’s permanently attached to the machine. I would have removed it and used a towel instead if possible.

Also, the packaging says that it’s rated for 600 lbs. But it starts to get very wobbly past 400 lbs., especially at the top part of the movement.

Lastly, the safety pins have to be removed and held while you work out, which is never comfortable.

What Customer Reviews Say

Customer reviews for the Yukon Vertical leg press are mixed. There are some customers who love how narrow it is and the reasonable amount of weight that they can lift with it.

There are others who find it very wobbly and flimsy for a leg press machine.

I guess it might work strictly for those who move less than 300 lbs. of weight and are space constrained.

Best Horizontal Leg Press Machines

If you have the room to spare, then here are some of the best horizontal leg press machines that I found.

#1 – Best Overall - Body-Solid LVLP

Best Features

Sturdy commercial grade machine

Rated for 1000 lbs.

Easily adjustable seat for different foot positions

Large pivoting footplate

Comfortable, fluid motion with precise resistance

Dual self-aligning 1 1/2" linear bearing

10.75" Long Weight plate holders

The Body-Solid LVLP is a brute of a leg press machine that is rated for 1000 lbs. So if you are looking at a horizontal leg press to move heavy weight, this is your best bet.

This is a capacious, commercial-grade machine that is crafted from ground up with 2" x 3" 11-gauge steel.

It comes with an electrostatically applied metallic silver powder coated finish that looks stylish and is scratch and rust-resistant to boot.

What I Like About It

This is one of the most comfortable leg press machines I have used.

It features a direct-drive press system that offers accurate resistance, while maintaining that ‘free weight’ feel to your push. There’s very little jitters to the motion. The backrest is lush and the large pivoting foot plate helps you maintain the precise foot position all through the full range of motion.

Comes with a lifetime warranty for home users on the frame, bushings, pulleys, cables, upholstery and all other major components. How much better can it get?

What I Didn’t

Nothing at all. This is a flawless machine.

What Customer Reviews Say

As expected for a machine this good, the LVLP has a 100% positive customer rating.

Customers talk about the easy setup and the detailed schematics which it ships with. In case it doesn’t, you can download it on the Body Solid website.

There’s also talk about how it offers a full range of motion even for taller users. The adjustable back support also allows users to pick a comfortable and neutral spine position for the presses.

#2 – Best Cheap Option - TDS Horizontal Leg Press

Best Features

  • Underrated multipurpose machine
  • Perfect for leg presses, belt squats and rows
  • Cable pulley attachment
  • Firm grip handles next to the seat
  • Ample padding on the backrest

TDS Horizontal Leg Press Review

This multipurpose pulley-based machine is an extremely underrated piece of equipment that you can buy for a fraction of the cost of a full-sized 45-degree press.

The difference is that with this, you can also do rows and other low cable exercises. One of them is the belt squat, a very effective exercise for hamstrings and glutes.

What I Like About It

It has a very narrow profile since it is just 21” wide and 71” long. This allows you to fit this easily into a corner of your home gym.

Also, it’s super easy to assemble. Comes with a carriage that’s attached to a pulley based roller mechanism. You rack the plates (compatible with both standard and Olympic ones), attach the footplate and pull.

There are two handles positioned next to the seat, which gives you a firm grip as you press, and there’s ample padding on the back rest to keep your spine comfortable.

What I Don’t

Personally, I get better resistance and range of motion with a 45-degree press and hence prefer that. That has nothing to do with this equipment though.

This is a very good machine for this price.

What Customer Reviews Say

Most customer reviews speak about how underrated this is for what you can do with it. There are customers who use it for rows and belt squats in addition to leg presses.

There are positive reviews about how economical it is and also about the narrow profile. Some customers did complain about a few rusted components in the package. But that could have been a one-off thing.

Best Alternative Option

There’s one common conundrum that a lot of people face while trying to set up a home gym.

They only have room for one big ass machine and it certainly cannot be the leg press, can it?

But they don’t want to pass on the leg press machine either.

If you are stuck in a similar situation, then maybe a home gym with a leg press machine might be just what the doctor ordered.

Take a look at this beauty of a machine below.

Best Features

  • Multipurpose home gym with 7 different stations
  • 3 people can workout at the same time
  • Pec station, leg press, leg extension, cable pulley, lat pulldown, ab crunch &multi press
  • Reasonable sized at 91” wide and 71” long

Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Review

The Body Solid EXM3000LPS is a multi-station home gym that allows up to 3 people to work out simultaneously.

There are 7 different workout stations integrated into this.

There’s a multi-press station, a pec station, leg press machine, lat pulldown, leg extensions, low cable pulley and ab crunch.

In a nutshell, it’s a complete gym in one machine.

For a machine that can be used for a total body workout, the EXM3000 is not that huge. It’s 91” long and 73” wide. That’s almost on par with the #1 pick in our list.

So, if you are torn for space and have the budget to stretch, this home gym might be the best alternative option.

Things I Dislike About It

The installation can be extremely challenging. You will most definitely need an extra pair of hands to install this. A lot of customers have spoken about how they had to get this professionally installed.

So, take your time going through the instructions. Watch YouTube videos. There are a bunch of them and go slow with it.

Buying Your First Leg Press? Here's What to Look For

It’s tricky to navigate through the fitness equipment universe if you do not have a fair idea of what features to look for, and what pitfalls to avoid.

If this is your first attempt at shopping for leg press machines, then this brief buying guide will help you with your selection process.

The Space

one thing to consider when buying a leg press machine is how much space do you have

Given that you will be adding this to a home gym setup, a garage gym, or an apartment gym you need to accurately measure the amount of space needed to install the machine, calculate the space needed to get in and out of the machine, and check if you have the necessary clearance from nearby walls and the ceiling.

The last part is very important because some leg press machines, like horizontal ones have elongated designs while vertical ones require more vertical space, some home gym equipment are great for small places some are not.

The Type of Machine

Another consideration is the type of leg press machine you are going to buy

Once you have some sort of idea about the available space, narrow down on the type of leg press machine that you can accommodate in that space, and one that you are most comfortable with.

If you have very limited room, a vertical leg press machine might be the best choice. But if you have sufficient horizontal space, then go for a conventional 45-degree press. There’s no better choice.

The Weight Load

One thing to consider when buying a leg press machine is the weight load

How much weight are you looking to move? Most recreational gym users will lift a maximum of 400-500 lbs., whereas more seasoned athletes might lift more. The good thing is that most of the machines in this list are rated for 1000 lbs. There are only a handful that are rated for 400-500 lbs.


How is the leg press machine constructed is another thing to consider when shopping for one

The machine must be constructed well and should be able to accommodate users of different heights and weight. Always look if you get the full range of motion, especially at the top and the bottom of the movement that you are performing.

Heavy gauge steel tubing, zero frame wobble, plush back rests with double stitching, a smooth, jerk-free movement of the carriage, compatibility with standard and Olympic plates, and twist and lock safety stoppers are some of the features to watch out for.

Top Leg Press Machine Brands

Recently, the fitness equipment industry has witnessed an invasion of Chinese brands with fancy names that mimic the bestselling designs of reputed brands.

This makes it all the more difficult to spot a gimcrack.

So, here’s a list of some of the top leg press machine brands. These are brands that you can trust.


Force is one of the top brands when it comes to making leg press exercise machines

Force is a US-based company that manufactures a wide range of fitness equipment for powerlifting, Olympic lifting, gymnastics, Crossfit®,calisthenics and recreational fitness for home users. They are known for their innovative designs and exceptional attention to product quality. It’s made right here in the United States. Can’t go wrong with that, can you?


TDS are a great brand when it comes to making leg press machines that is known for great prices

TDS fitness equipment is known for their budget prices, which appeal to a lot of home gym users. Their product quality is surprisingly good for the prices though. If you are shopping on a limited budget to set up a home gym, I highly recommend TDS’s catalog of multipurpose fitness equipment.


Body-Solid Is a Well known brand in the fitness world that makes great leg press machines

Body-Solid is known for its commercial and prosumer grade fitness equipment. Top notch construction, innovative designs and one of the best warranties in the business. Hard to beat that.

Why You Should Be Buying a leg Press Machine - Benefits of the Leg Press

There’s a common misconception that the leg press is an inefficient way to train your lower body.

Well, if you can load a barbell on your shoulders and do squats, great. That’s probably one of the best ways to recruit multiple muscle groups, including muscles in your core and stabilizer muscles.

If you are having problems in these muscles to begin with, it's better you focus on core toning bodyweight exercises like the double crunch, or the star plank. For stabilizer muscles, shrimp squats should give you the boost you need.

But, a lot of people cannot do squats for various reasons. Others do not have the strength or balance to do barbell squats. I mean, they are not just a bunch of cheap dumbbells that you can easily lift.

The leg press machine is a phenomenal way to isolate specific muscles in your legs.

It Works Your Quads Like No Other Machine Does

A great thing about Leg Press Machines is they mainly target your quads

While you can tone your thighs with an adequate number of squats, nothing comes close to what these machines can do. Leg press machines allow you to isolate your quads, while also involving your glutes and your hamstrings to an extent.

It has a very short range of motion in a fixed pattern, which further enhances the emphasis on these muscles. Yet, it is very forgiving on your joints and is perfect for beginners as well.

If you have weak knees, or have undergone knee or back surgery in the past, leg presses are a low-impact way to work out your lower body.

Allows You to Target Different Muscle Groups of Your Leg

Another great thing about leg press machines is they target many different muscle areas

Most leg press machines also double up as hack squat machines and come with one or more attachments to work out your calves - a big plus for those looking to tone and make their calves smaller and stronger.

Some of them feature a donkey calf raise pad, while others can be used for the standard calf raise. 

In short, you can target every single muscle group in your lower body with it. They may not be a full body workout machines but they are really good at targeting muscle groups in your lower body.

Safer Way to Build Your Quads than The Squat

Leg Press Machines are a safer way to build your quads than squats

While I am all for free weight compound exercises like the squat, it takes a fair amount of strength, balance and coordination to do the squat.

Also, it is risky to do the squat if you do not have a spotter around. If you are working out at home, chances are that you are doing it alone, which just amplifies the risk further.

The leg press machine allows you to target your quads without any of these risks. It is completely safe and low impact. Once you get a stronger lower body and still want to squat you can try sissy squat machines or doing a smith machine squat at the gym.

Related Reading; Small Space Saving Power Racks for Compact Home Gyms

If you are bent on growing your quads at home, then I'd suggest going for a beginner home gym and working your way up.

Easy for Beginners to Learn and Master

Leg Press Machines are a great exercise machine for beginners

Even a rank beginner can perform a leg press without any prior expertise. There is no special technique, nor are you involving your stabilizer muscles unlike barbell exercises. This makes it a lot easier for beginners to learn and master. Leg press machines are a great addition to a home gym for beginners.

Possible to Move a Lot of Weight

Leg press machines are great as you can scale up the weight on the machine and work your muscles harder

Once you start to do the leg press, you will quickly graduate towards moving heavier weight. In fact, you can never move the same amount of weight with squats, that a leg press machine allows you to. Most users start to press around 300-400 lbs. in no time. Try squatting 400 lbs. and you will know what I mean.

FAQ About the Leg Press Machine & exercise

Here’s a brief FAQ about leg press machines and the leg press exercise.

Q. Is Using the Leg Press Machine Better than Doing Squats?

A. In many situations, yes. I once popped my knee while skiing and that put meant I had to stop working out for a good year or two. While I started to exercise my upper body, my lower body was a challenge because I couldn’t even bend my hips with my hamstrings parallel to the floor. The pain would radiate upwards through the spine. 

I did count on reverse hyper machines to strengthen my legs and posterior chain, but it was leg presses that allowed me to slowly regain strength in my lower body, until I could do squats again. I even recently did 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squat for 30 days and was never gonna be able to do that without getting my lower body ready first. 

There are many situations in which people cannot do squats. Period. The leg press can be godsend in such situations. In some cases, people just prefer doing leg presses over squats. They work out at home and they’d rather do a safer, low impact exercise over the squat.

Q. Does the Leg Press Machine Make Your Butt Bigger?

A. Not that I have heard of. But it can help strengthen and develop your glute muscles, which will make your butt firmer and toned. Leg presses mixed with other workouts can help you get a bubble butt or a jiggly but and even things like running can help you get a bigger butt.

Q. What Muscles Does the Leg Press Work? 

A. The leg press is primarily an isolation exercise that targets the quadriceps. However, it also involves all the other muscles of the leg. Such as,

  • The hamstrings (Opposite the quads)
  • The glutes (Buttocks)
  • The calves

Q. What Is the Starting Weight of Most Leg Press Machines? 

A. On an average, an unloaded leg press machine weighs from 75 to 95 lbs. Depending on the type of the machine that it is (45-degree angle, horizontal or vertical), it can provide 45-55 lbs. of resistance, that is a little more than what an empty Olympic barbell provides. The best part about leg press machines is that you can start even with an empty rack and then keep adding weights in tiny increments of 5-10 lbs. until you are comfortable with it.

Q. Is Using a Leg Press Machine Risky?

A. Not really. Most leg press machines have safety stoppers that you can flip and rotate to lock the weight after your last rep. Some lower end models have pins that you must insert into the safety inserts to lock and rack the weight.

In either situations, it’s a lot less risky than having a barbell loaded with weights on your back, that you cannot support. Also, although it appears that leg press machines place the force of the weight on your spine, it doesn’t. You are balancing the weight on your legs and it’s a lot safer than it appears to be.

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Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics. My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page