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Looking for a good leg press machine for your home gym? It can be difficult to figure out which type you need and what is the best for you. Here are the best leg press models for your home gym.
Commercial leg press machines are huge and cost $3000-$5000 on average. For a home gym there are some good options that cost less than $2000 and don’t take up too much space. These home gym leg press machines are still very solidly built and have high load limits.
Read more about the different types of leg press machines below. You can find the best option for each different category.
1. Body-Solid GLPH1100
The best overall home gym leg press is the Body-Solid GLPH1100. It’s a great leg press machine that can also be used as a hack squat machine. Combine that with a 1000 lbs. load limit, very solid build quality and great lifetime warranty.
It’s not too big although it still takes up a bit of space. However, leg press machines are almost always going to be quite large and compared to some other machines, this one is modestly sized.
It’s a plate loaded machine which means you need weight plates for resistance. If you use barbells for other exercises, you can use the same weight plates for this machine. This is a commercial level machine for a lot less money and that shows in the warranty. If you use this machine at home, you’ll get a lifetime warranty. Body-Solid is very sure nothing will go wrong with this machine for a very long time.
The only drawback is the complicated assembly with slightly unclear instruction. If you have trouble with an IKEA cabinet, you’ll probably need some help. But to be fair, difficult assembly is a bit of an issue for most of the leg presses on this list.
2. Body-Solid GLPC100
If you’re not planning to lift super heavy weights and don’t like the seat to be difficult to get on/off. This Body-Solid offering is a great option. The official load limit is 1000 lbs. like the machine above but it’s not quite as sturdy as that one although I don’t doubt it can handle it.
However, most people don’t need 1000 lbs. of leg press resistance and it will do whatever you want to without problems.
The seat is higher than the footrest which means the seat is much easier to get on and off than the machine mentioned previously. This is a big benefit for many people who don’t feel comfortable with the previous machines. As a bonus, it’s a good chunk of money less than the other one as well.
It’s not much bigger or smaller than the other machine mentioned above although the dimensions are a bit different. This leg press is about 10” shorter but also 10” wider. That might just mean it fits in the space you’ve got where the other one might.
Even though it’s inverted compared to the previous machine, the movement pattern is the same so you can train the same muscles. It doesn’t have the hack squat option of the Body-Solid GLPH1100 though. The fact that the seat is higher than the footplate means that it also looks a whole lot less intimidating which is a benefit if people who are not hard-core gymgoers want to use it.
3. Home Multi-Gym With Leg Press Attachment
Does getting a leg press machine seem a bit much because they’re quite large and expensive? There is an option if you like to have the option to do other exercises on the machine as well. A multi-gym with leg press attachment is a good option in that case.
Multi-gyms are like 20 different gym machines put into one piece of equipment. And some of them have the leg press built in or the option to add it later. If you like to do gym exercises on machines and don’t use free weights, getting a multi-gym that does all-in-one is a great choice.
Another benefit is that these leg-presses are usually loaded by the weight stack which means you don’t need separate weight plates. The downside of that is that it can’t be loaded very heavily although still heavily enough for most people.
As a bonus you get machines for all the other exercises you want to do as well. Of course if you prefer free weights (barbells and dumbbells) or cable exercises (functional trainer), getting all the extra exercise options isn’t very useful.
Read my article here on the multi-gyms with leg press for more information.
4. Titan Fitness Vertical Leg Press
This type of leg press is quite different than the other ones. You lay flat on the floor and push the weight up vertically. Titan Fitness is a solid brand that produces high quality yet affordable gym equipment.
The big difference with the previous machine is the load limit which is ‘only’ 400 lbs. However, that’s plenty of resistance for most people and because the movement pattern is slightly different and it feels heavier than the other machines on this list.
The big benefit is that this type of leg press is a lot more compact than the other ones. They only take up a little more than half the space of a ‘normal’ leg press machine. And on top of that, they’re a lot cheaper.
The downside is that it’s even more difficult to get on and off this machine which makes it unsuitable for some people. So there are some pros and cons to getting this machine over another one but if space and money are important factors for you, this is a great choice.
What Kind of Leg Press Machine Is Good For a Home Gym?
There are leg press machine in many different shapes, sizes and price ranges. What is best for your home gym? Above you can already see a few of the different types. What is best for you depends on your specific situation but let’s go into what the differences are and what’s best for you.
- Seated/horizontal: Most comfortable but also largest and most expensive
- 45 degree: Sturdy, average price, average size and highest load limits. Little harder to get on/off.
- Vertical: Cheapest and most compact. Lower load limits and hard to get on/off.
- Multi-gym add-on: usually a seated leg press. Best choice if you have/want a multi-gym.
- Weight Stack: If you don’t have a large set of weight plates and don’t want to invest in getting them, a leg press with weight stack is good choice. The weight stack machines tend to cost more but it’s usually cheaper than a good plate loaded machine + enough plates. The resistance of weight stack leg presses is usually limited at 400 lbs. so much lower than the 1000 lbs. that’s standard on 45 degree machines.
- Plate loaded: For most home gym owners, a plate loaded machine is a good option, especially if you already have weight plates. It saves money and most leg presses that are suitable for a home gym (small and cheap enough) only come as a plate loaded option anyways.
Example of a horizontal leg press
If you have a compact home gym and not enough floor space to fit a full sized seated or 45 degree leg press machine, a vertical leg press is the best option. Vertical leg press machines are by far the smallest and cheapest leg presses on the market. However, they are also a bit uncomfortable to get on and off since your back is almost parallel to the floor. The load limit of these machines is also quite a bit lower than the other types and they don’t feel quite as solid although that depends on the specific models you’re comparing.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money and have enough space, a 45 degree or horizontal leg press machines are a better choice. For most people the 45 degree leg press is the best choice since it offers the best compromise between load limit, sturdiness, comfort and price. Yes, they are still a little difficult to get on and off but not as bad as the vertical leg presses. The 45 degree leg press is a much more substantial machine than the vertical press and you’ll see these in many serious weightlifting gyms. The 45 degree leg press machines are virtually always plate loaded so you should have a large set of weight plates if you want to push heavy weights.
The horizontal/seated leg press is good for people that find the vertical and 45 degree machines a bit too difficult to get in and out of or too intimidating. The movement pattern is the same, just rotated so you push the weights away while sitting upright. This means getting on is as easy as sitting on a chair. These seated leg presses are often loaded with a weight stack. Seated leg press machines are the largest and most expensive but they’re usually very high quality machines.
For people that want all the machines a normal gym has but in a smaller package, the multi-gym with leg press is a great choice. You’ll get all the popular gym machines in one relatively compact package.