A leg press machine can be a great addition for your home gym. It provides an extra way to work out your lower body without having to do dead lifts, squats or lunges.
The best option for a home gym leg press is the Body-solid PVLP56W. This is a vertical leg press machine that allows you to leg press up to 400lbs. The footprint of this machine is a lot smaller than a traditional leg press machine which makes it great for small home gyms. It’s also priced very friendly at under $300 with free shipping on Amazon.
There are some other details and things to think about when buying a leg press machine for your home gym. Check out why I chose the Body solid over other machines and what things to look out for are.
Why I chose the Body-solid PVLP56W
There are some good reasons to get the Body-solid vertical leg press. Here are some of the features that the PVLP56W has;
- 46” x 48” x 60” (W x L x H)
- Lightweight at 93 pounds
- 400 pound load limit
- Three 1” weight posts
- Adjustable starting and stopping positions
It’s easy to assemble and solid for what it should do. People aren’t reporting any significant problems even when loaded up to the maximum load limit. And if you run into the load limit, you can always change to single legged presses.
It’s the cheapest in its class by a big margin. The competitors that are closest in price don’t have any significant benefits over this one so why bother?
Some people report a little bit of squeaking of the posts against the nylon bushings. This probably means you’re using the wrong form. Your hips should be directly under the bar so there is no sideways force when you’re pushing the weight. If that doesn’t solve the problem, a little bit of silicone spray can help you out.
One other thing to keep in mind is that the posts to stack the weights have a 1” diameter. If you’ve got weight plates with the same diameter hole that’s perfect. If your weight plates have a 2” inner hole, you have to get an adapter. You don’t want to use those plates with the smaller posts since that might make the weight unstable.
Why get a leg press machine?
Can’t you just do squats, dead lifts and lunges in your home gym? Sure you can and that will build great legs. Squats and dead lifts especially get very taxing on your body. They’re whole body exercises that not only target your legs. That means they’re very tiring and you can’t do them too often before you start overloading your lower back and making mistakes.
When you get tired, doing squats and dead lifts can become dangerous. Your form will break down and it’s very easy to get injured. Ask me how I know…
Leg presses are a movement that isolates your leg muscles without loading your back and other muscles. This means you can do them more often for higher reps. This helps with leg development in a safer way. I’m not saying to not do squats or dead lifts. I’m saying that it’s a good addition to your workout and can help you develop your legs faster.
While there aren’t a whole lot of vertical leg press machines, there are a few other options. Let’s take a look at those.
For most home gyms, traditional upright or 45 degree leg press machines are out of the question. They are big, heavy and very expensive. They might be a bit more comfortable but that doesn’t make up for the drawbacks. At least not a home gym. Commercial gyms are different of course.
In the category of vertical leg press machines there are a few other options;
Most other options do the same thing for a higher price. The only exception would be the TDS Premier. This is the only vertical leg press machine with a significantly higher load limit of 1000 pounds. This comes at a price that’s more than twice as high as the Body-Solid. For a few people that can leg press really heavy weights, it might be worth the extra money. For other people, it’s not necessary. Especially if you keep in mind that traditional leg presses at an angle will feel a bit lighter with the same weight.
What to look for in a leg press
There are a few details to keep an eye out for in leg press machines. I’ve written a whole post about the sizes and weight of different leg press machines. If you’re interested in that, click here.
Of course you need to know if it will fit in your home gym. Measure the space you’ve got and how big the machine you want is.
Another aspect of size is how high it can go. Very tall people might have a problem with fully extending their legs. For the body-solid machine I recommended above, there are reviews that people up to 6’3 have no problems locking out with this machine.
|Brand||Model||Length (Inch)||Width (Inch)||Height (Inch)||Weight (lbs)||Load limit (lbs)||Load type|
|Titan Fitness||Vertical press||48||38||52.5||94||400||Plates|
|TDS Premier||Vertical press||49||47||75||280||1000||Plates|
The weight might not be very important if you’re in your garage or basement. If you’re in an apartment or any other space that isn’t on the ground floor, you’ll have to think about the load limit of that floor. You’ll find that traditional leg press machines are quite heavy and with load, it might be too much for a second floor.
The load limit is one of the most important aspects of a leg press machine. You want to lift heavy weights, your machine has to be able to support this. As said before, a vertical leg press will feel a bit heavier than a more traditional machine. That means that for most normal humans the load limit of 400 pounds of the body solid is plenty.
All vertical leg press machines are loaded with weight plates. Weight plates in different sizes and weights. They can also have different sized inner holes. 2” inner diameter is the most common but some of the cheaper plates have a 1” hole. You want the sleeves that hold the plates on the leg press to match up with the hole in the plates. If the sleeve is too big it won’t fit and if it’s too small the weight won’t be stable.