As you know, real friends don’t let other friends skip leg day.
That’s one of the main reasons why today, we’re looking at the many leg press benefits there are to be enjoyed from using this awesome piece of equipment.
Sure, when you lift with your bros, you might be able to bench press 315 for reps, and you may be able to deadlift 500 pounds like it’s nothing, but what about your legs?
If your legs suck, your entire physique will suck, and you won’t get the most out of your training either.
Training your legs, though, is a whole different ball game compared with, say, training your back or biceps.
If you want to bring up your legs and build a set of wheels that Tom Platz himself would be envious of, you need to ensure that you vary your training.
We all know that squats are what spring to mind when we think of legs, and we know how brutal and effective they are.
There is, however, an alternative exercise for working the legs that we’re looking at today and that is the leg press.
Here’s a look at 15 awesome benefits of leg press.
15 Awesome Leg Press Benefits.
1. Build Up Your Butt
Want an awesome squat booty without having to do endless squats until your legs feel as if they could drop off at any minute?
If so, then you might want to consider making your way over to the leg press machine the next time you’re in the gym.
It turns out that one of the biggest benefits associated with using the leg press machine is the fact that it is so great for working the glutes.
This basically means that using the leg press regularly will provide you with endless benefits relating to your glutes.
Not only will the leg press give you buns of steel, but it will also help to shape and sculpt your glutes as well.
2. Great For The Hamstrings
If you’re looking to strengthen your hamstrings, and add mass to your legs in the process, you’ll want to pay very close attention to the benefits we’re about to talk about.
You see, the leg press machine is one of the most effective machines for working your hamstrings.
Because you do the majority of the exercise with your hamstrings and quads, you’ll find that your hamstrings get bigger and stronger with the passing of each session.
Having a set of strong and muscular hamstrings isn’t just important for aesthetics either…
3. Injury Prevention
One of the most common sporting injuries that athletes tend to suffer from is a torn or pulled hamstring.
Suffering from this injury is not a lot of fun, and if it is serious enough, it may require surgery and could leave you on the sidelines for a number of months.
If you’re sat on your backside gently rehabbing a torn hamstring muscle, you can kiss your precious gains goodbye.
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that the exercise itself is great for strengthening the hammies, and consequently, helping to reduce your likelihood of injury.
If you’re a physically active individual, and that includes outside of the gym, the leg press is a great machine for avoiding hamstring injuries.
4. Different Variations
Another awesome reason to incorporate the leg press machine into your training routines is due to the fact that there are different variations of the exercise to perform.
Perhaps the most common type of leg press machine is one that requires you to sit diagonally, at a 45-degree angle.
There are, however, leg press machines that require you to push the platform horizontally with your legs as you sit upright.
There are even vertical leg press machines where you lay on your back and literally push the platform vertically up into the air that way.
Because there are so many different variations of the exercise, this helps to keep your training exciting.
It also helps to ensure that you target slightly different parts of the legs.
5. Different Training Options
In terms of the benefits of the leg press we’ve looked at so far, not only are there a number of different variations of the leg press, but it turns out that there are also a number of different training options associated with this exercise as well.
To begin with, you can just do your typical training, I.E 4 sets of 8 – 12 reps.
You can, however, also do some drop sets by having other people strip plates off of the machine either side or simply lightening the weight stack if it uses a stack.
You can do rest-pause, you can perform iso-lateral presses whereby you use one leg at a time, and much more besides.
Having all of these different training options again helps to keep your training fresh and exciting, which in turn means that you’ll work harder and get more from your workouts.
6. Better For The Back
As effective as barbell squats can be, one of the biggest drawbacks associated with them is the fact that they’re risky.
Many injuries from training occur from squats, and it is hardly surprising when you see how some people train.
Back injuries are fairly common when squatting, and if you find yourself suffering from a slipped disc, you’ll know just how painful the injury can be.
Your back is always at risk when squatting, which is why it’s useful to look for an alternative exercise for working the legs.
The leg press machine is much, much better for the back because your back is supported by the seat.
If your back is supported, this, in turn, means that back injuries are likely to be far less common.
That means you can focus on your workout and focus on the exercise at hand, without having to worry about hurting yourself.
When people discuss the many benefits that are out there, they often overlook the fact that the exercise itself is so incredibly comfortable compared with other exercises for the legs.
You’re set firmly in a seat with the leg press, and your back is supported.
There is no heavy barbell sticking into your neck, and you needn’t worry about trying to find your balance to perform the exercise.
With the leg press, you sit down, you get your feet placed in the correct position, you unhook the safety catch, and away you go. Simple.
8. Build A Set Of Awesome Legs
If you want to really bring up your legs and add size and definition to them, the leg press is perfect.
The leg press machine works your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes, and even your calves, making it the ultimate machine for working the legs.
The leg press machine is considered to be one of the most effective leg machines in existence, and it is the favorite of many a bodybuilder and athlete.
If you want to see real results in your legs, be sure to do more leg pressing the next time you’re due to training legs.
Trust us, you won’t regret it.
9. Run Faster
Being able to run fast is beneficial for a whole variety of different reasons.
If you’re involved in sports of athletics, the faster you can run, generally the better.
In the real world, though, being able to run fast has its advantages.
After all, how are you expected to outrun all of those ghosts and demons lurking in the dark when you switch off the lights downstairs before heading up to bed?
Okay, that’s hopefully not going to be a real issue for you, but you still never know when being able to run fast will prove useful.
But what does running have to do with the leg press machine?
Well, because using the leg press on a regular basis will help you to substantially increase the speed in which you’re able to run.
Not only do bigger muscles in the legs help to generate more speed, but on top of that, you are targeting your fast-twitch muscle fibers when using the leg press machine, which is responsible for explosive speed and power.
10. Lift More Weight
As if the leg press benefits that we’ve looked at today weren’t great enough, just wait until you get a load of this one.
When it comes to using the leg press in the gym, another awesome advantage of doing so is the fact that it will help you to lift more weight.
Not only will your legs be more powerful, and therefore you’ll be able to squat more weight, and lift more with your legs, but other exercises will benefit too.
Overhead presses like push presses, or clean and jerks, will also shoot up because you use your legs to help generate the force and momentum needed to press the weight overhead.
Read any safety instruction manual on lifting heavy items in the workplace, and the most common piece of advice given is to always lift with your legs, and never with the back.
So, if you’re worried that your overhead pressing hasn’t improved in quite some time, stop focussing on upper body exercises and pressing, and instead start doing more leg presses.
11. The Leg Press Is Safer Than Free Weights
Many other leg exercises requiring you to use free weights can also put you at risk of injury.
Knee injuries are very common with walking dumbbell or barbell lunges for example.
The last thing you want when training your legs is to pick up an injury.
This is where the benefits associated with safety really factor into the equation.
You see, because the leg press machine is stationary and is equipped with safety features, it is far safer than free weights.
The leg press machine helps to keep you stationary as you press the weights, it supports your back, your knees aren’t under anywhere near as much stress as they’d be with free weights, and the machine itself has safety bars and catches, so if you do struggle, just turn the handles, lock them into place and you’re safe and sound.
12. Feel Better
Exercise, in general, is one of the best stress-busters that are out there.
If you’re looking to improve your mental health and feel better and happier in general, the leg press is as good an exercise as any, to help you do precisely that.
13. Improved Balance
Another reason why you might want to consider doing more leg pressing when training your legs is due to the fact that the leg press machine helps to improve your balance and coordination.
You see, balance relies heavily on the strength of your legs and your core.
Both of which benefit from the leg press.
Because the exercise requires your muscles to quickly adapt to various positional changes, I.E different foot placement, etc, your balance and coordination will both benefit massively as a result.
If you really want to break it down simply, stronger and larger legs will help you to become better balanced than weak, skinny, and frail legs.
14. Stronger Bones
Another of the benefits we can’t overlook today is the fact that the exercise is also fantastic for strengthening the bones.
Resistance training helps increase bone mineral density and therefore it allows the bones to become stronger and thicker.
This means that you’ll be less likely to suffer from age-related degenerative bone conditions such as osteoporosis.
15. Build Your Calves Up
Unless you happen to be former IFBB pro bodybuilder Erik Fankhouser, chances are that your calves will be as stubborn as a mule to build up.
If you want your calves to be in proportion with the rest of your legs, leg presses are a subtle but effective way to target the calves with every single rep you perform.
As you can see from the extensive leg press benefits that we’ve listed above, there are certainly plenty of benefits to be enjoyed when you use the leg press on a regular basis.
Whether you want to obliterate your legs and force them to grow bigger than ever before, or if you simply want to tone them up slightly, the leg press is a machine you should use more of when in the gym working out.