Vertical Leg Press vs Horizontal Leg Press vs 45 Degree Leg Press

The short version for THOSE lazy to read long articles

Vertical leg presses are slightly different from the more common seated leg presses and 45-degree leg presses,
although all three types of leg presses require the same joint motion and effectively work the core muscles of the lower body.
While not as common as incline leg presses or hack squats, opting for a vertical leg press to strengthen and define the muscles of the lower body has several benefits.
The fixed movement of the vertical leg press doesn’t require stabilizing muscles, which are often the weak link limiting the amount of weight you can move during a squat.
Vertical leg presses are harder than horizontal leg presses because the weight is above your head and you are in a sense upside down, directly against gravity rather than at a 45-degree angle (or less).

The vertical leg press is similar to the horizontal leg press, except that the back should be on the floor and the legs should be straight in the air.
It is sometimes referred to as the “vertical press” although your legs should be between horizontal and vertical pressure.
To get the benefit of the machine, you need to properly run the vertical press. Another type of leg press machine involves you sitting at an angle with your feet on a platform above your head.
You move away from yourself by straightening your legs and creating resistance by loading the machine with weight plates.

Because the leg press is a compound movement that also includes hip (and even ankle) flexion and extension, this machine is a great option for training your glutes, hamstrings, and even calves.
Like all exercises that use weight machines, the leg press is sometimes despised by those who spend a lot of time in the gym because it’s not as effective as free-weight movements like the back squat.
All items found in gyms are expected to have some flaws that mix with all the fantastic returns they offer.
A common misconception regarding the bench press is that it is limited equipment that only focuses on one or two muscle groups in the lower body.
The leg press increases the strength of various muscles, and you can use it to overcome imbalances, such as when runners have more hamstrings than quads.

While it doesn’t work the way the hack squat and angle press do, there are some benefits to choosing a machine to strengthen and define your lower body muscles.
VERDICT The Bodycraft F660 is built with durability in mind and offers a comfortable seating surface during leg presses to properly shape the legs and increase lower body strength.
The P-LP16 is ideal for home use. The ab plate can be adjusted to 5 different positions, giving you an unexpected advantage during your workout by allowing you to position your legs at different angles so that your exercises focus on toning and “growing” the different muscles in your legs. Helping you get the perfect buttocks to look flawless in a bikini.

Yes, they both work the core muscles of the legs like the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, but squats are often considered a full-body exercise because squats are great for toning your abs and lower back.
With the leg press, while the major muscles of the lower body will be fully engaged, those smaller, important support muscles in the hips, knees, and ankles will not be fully engaged, so they won’t work as much as needed to develop the whole body.
Round strength lower body and stability of joints and muscles.

Yes, you risk hurting your knees by locking yourself high if the weight is too heavy, but because squats require a lot of technical knowledge, there are more places where it’s easy to hurt your legs, as well as your lower back.
The risk of injury compared to other leg exercises is greatly reduced with the 45-degree leg press and the vertical leg press when the weight is on the legs and the back is in a stabilizing position.
Even in the incline press, there are still tendencies that your back will be involved in lifting weights.

If you want to squat, you need to make sure you understand the mechanics, the proper way of the bar as your body moves from one position to another, and a set of mental tails that will help you perform your vertical leg press more efficiently.
Because strength machines like the leg press only allow you to move in a fixed pattern, they are great for beginners or people recovering from an injury who need to learn a proper and safe pattern of motion before moving on to the more difficult barbell and dumbbell leg raises.
The leg press exercise tones a strong hamstring and prevents injury by creating muscle resistance,

However, the leg press cannot help you build substantial calf mass even if you press a lot of weights with low

Size development is dependent on many factors when it comes to genes, and the vertical powered leg press type allows you to lift more weight and can recruit more muscle fibers for growth.
Considerations Due to the placement of the vertical leg press block and gravity on the weighted plates.
It is likely that you will finish the exercise with less additional weight than when doing the seated leg press or the 45-degree leg press.
Your glutes help push your foot up against the toe platform.
Even if space is limited, you can always afford to use the leg press at home, as the TDS is a mini version that, despite its compact size (96 inches by 34 inches by 51 inches),
makes it more spacious. – an economical model, it actually provides the same quality of training as its larger competitors.

Which is better: the horizontal leg press or the vertical leg press?

A long time argument with varying ideas thought out the bodybuilding ages, which is more superior for lower development? Leg Press or Vertical Leg Press?

The leg press exercise is a leg exercise that makes an individual push weight away from his/her body using the legs.

Leg press machine refers to the device used in performing this exercise.

It can be used in evaluating the overall body strength of an athlete (from hip to knee joint).

However, this exercise can inflict an injury on an individual.

If your knees are locked up during the exercise, your knees can bend in the wrong way, causing a painful sensation if you put in too much weight that your legs cannot properly handle.

The leg press is a great lower quadrant workout that uses a machine that can help in building the quad muscles.

There are different kinds of leg press; however, they are similar in terms of the movements but could vary in the places it hits the muscle.

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Kinds of Leg Press

  • Horizontal Press

    It is also known as “seated press” in which it is performed while you’re seating in an upright position.

    Your feet are pushed against a board that is attached to a stacked weight through a steel cable.

    You should always keep your knees bent in a normal position.

    If you straighten your legs, you should press the plate in order to lift the weight.
a man is doing Horizontal Leg Press
  • Vertical Press

    It is an exercise similar to “horizontal press”, however, you should position your back on the floor while your legs are straight up in the air.

    You midsection should be at an angle of 90 degrees your legs should be pushed into a plate facing down.

    The weight should be on the top. Straightening your knees pushes the weights up.
a man is doing vertical leg press
  • 45 Degree Press

    It is another kind of leg press, but it is performed in an angle of 45 degrees.

    You are seated in an in the inclined sled and pushes outward using your legs.

    Sometimes it is known as “vertical press”, though your legs should be in the middle of the horizontal and vertical presses.
a man is doing 45 Degree Leg Press

You want to practice safely without injury. You must use STRAPS, WRAPS & SUPPORT.

Advantages of a Leg Press Machine

There are numerous types of machines and exercises that are used in building your hips and legs.

However, the machine for leg press exercise or “vertical press machine” is often seen and used.

While it does not work like the hack squat and angled press machines, there are some advantages to choosing the machine in strengthening and defining your muscles in the lower part of your body.

1/ The Right Moves

To get the advantages of the machine, you have to execute the vertical press in the correct way.

You should begin by resting your hips on a back pad underneath the weights.

Then set your feet on the platform and press upward for you to lift the weight.

Free the locks, then grip the handles.

Slowly engage your stomach muscles and bend your knees until it is flexed all the way through.

When extending your legs, you should push over your heels so that you can push the weights into its starting position.

2/ Muscle Isolation

The “vertical press” allows a variation of stance in targeting a specific muscle more intensively.

A narrow stance necessitates the solid use of your quadriceps, while a stance that is wider will work on your thigh muscles.

The vertical press has the potential to work mainly on your gluteal muscles

There is significantly greater use of your hip and leg on the machine than any standard squat.

Based on a study that is published today.

3/ Back Support

It is important to support the back because it receives all the force that comes from the weights during a leg press exercise.

It makes an ideal safety precaution for those who suffered and are recovering from back injuries.

Even in an angled press, there are still tendencies that your back will engage in lifting weights.

If you are in a horizontal position it makes your back more relaxed, it can even prevent back injuries.

4/ Safe for Solo Missions

Most of the exercises that are performed on a machine, the machine for leg presses are the safest machine because you can use it without the help of a spotter.

It allows you to work out alone without any disturbances or paying for a spotter in a gym.

In this machine, you can lift heavier weights and you can even add some weights while you’re working out.

What are the Benefits of a Leg Press Machine?

1/ Learning Curve

If your goal is to do basic training or look good, the machine is an alternative option to performing a free-weight squat.

With this machine, you won’t have to waste your time learning how to use it. It is very simple to use, just get yourself in the proper position, then just press down using your legs and that’s it.

2/ Muscle Emphasis

By doing different placements of your feet, it is very easy to highlight the muscles that the machine is working on.

If you take your feet on the board and just press it all the way through, you can feel that you’re glutes and hamstrings are slowly developing.

When you take your feet downwards, you can feel that your quadriceps are working out.

3/ Safety First

When you perform an exercise on the machine, mostly those that develop your lower body strength, you fail that exercise.

If you fail at doing an exercise, it simply means that your muscles are at their limit. If you continue the exercise, it may cause your muscles to tear and you wouldn’t want that to happen.

The leg press has a catch where it limits the machine to an ideal distance that makes you feel comfortable.

4/ Working Around Injuries

If you have a neck, back, or shoulder injury, leg pressing is a preferable option.

It gives little stress to your body, which is good if you have that kind of injury.

On the machine, you can develop leg muscles. This
reduces the pressure on your body further while you are still working on your muscles.

Alternatives for a Leg Press Machine

This exercise primarily targets your muscles such as the hamstring and quadriceps, and it also helps in developing your gluteal muscles and hip flexors.

Finding an alternative exercise for leg press isn’t that difficult.

You can always use complex lifts to mobilize your legs and multiple joints.

1/ Parallel Squats

Performing a squat to a distance where your thighs become equal to the floor’s angle will develop similar muscles, hamstring, and quadriceps.

The key to a successful squat exercise is to make sure that your hips should drop low plenty while you’re maintaining a vertical upper body and arched back.


2/ Leg lunges


Leg lunges activate the muscles that are utilized for leg presses. You should, however, bend your legs at an angle of 90 degrees, and your thigh should be at the same angle as the floor.

Furthermore, your trail leg needs
to extend 180 degrees if possible.

When you are executing a lunge position, you should be sure that you won’t lean forward so that your knees won’t extend past your foot.

If you are to stand, drive your foot downwards and extend your bended knees.

You should keep looking forward while your back is arched throughout your movement.

3/ DeadLifts

Deadlifts activate the same muscles. You can encounter difficulties in getting into the starting position. However, it depends on how flexible you are.

Furthermore, it can be executed with the use of a trap bar, hex bar, and straight bar.

If you are in the initial position, your feet have to be narrower than the width of your shoulder and your thighs need to be at the same angle as the floor while your back is arched and your chest is extended.

Use a neutral, overhand, or underhand grip.

What Muscle does this exercise Target?

1/ Gluteals

Some exercises engage your gluteal muscles as a stabilizer.

It is the key muscle group located in your buttocks. The exercise engages them throughout the phase.

Pushing an enormous weight develops the muscles in your gluteals and can increase the thickness of the muscles in your gluteals, which increases the boundary of the hips. Furthermore, it can increase your body’s power in strength-associated tasks.

2/ Quadriceps

It is the largest muscle that has four sections that form your front thighs and engage to lower or raise your body.

This muscle helps press your leg into the leg platform upward.

When performing the second step in lifting, you will utilize the weight when it descends to its starting position.

3/ Hamstrings

This muscle stretches from your lower gluteal to your knees on your thighs, they deliver the majority of power used when running.

A strong hamstring decreases the time needed for activities, but its primary role is to prevent injuries and pulls.

4/ Calves

The workout engages your entire calf muscle.

The exercise tones the muscles and prevents injuries by creating muscular endurance. However, leg presses can’t help you build noticeable mass in your calf muscles, even if you are pressing a large number of weights with a low number of reps.

Complete the first step by lifting your toe, flexing your feet in order to push through the platform more, and directing most of your stress into pressing your calf muscle.

Injuries that Might Occur

1/ Muscle Strain

It is a kind of injury that can occur if you use an extension machine constantly.
It is in the form of a muscle that has a huge tear.
Performing leg extensions with a high quantity of weights can tear or pull your quadriceps.
You should stop right away if you sense discomfort when using an extension machine.
Not properly warming up can also cause muscular strain.
Warm-ups, like jogging or walking for about 10 minutes, can reduce the possibility of muscle strain.
It is mostly recommended by fitness instructors.

2/ Knee Cartilage

Overusing an extension machine can cause injury to your knee cartilage, and it is very painful.
Your knee cartilage serves as your own shock absorber, it supports your knees while jogging, running, walking, and skating.
Your knee cartilage keeps all of your movements smooth.
Overusing such a machine can result in breakage of cartilage and inflammation and the very first indicator is the sense of pain.
If you are to avoid an injury sub this exercise to other exercises such as leg press and lunges.


The patella tendon is the one that connects the kneecap to the shin.
Raising heavy loads can cause a small tear in your tendon or it will become inflamed.
As you gain more strength, your tendons respond to it, and it increases your tendon’s resistance loads.
To avoid an injury, you should increase your tendon resistance regularly instead of adding some more weights to your strengthening session.


How to Prevent Injuries

1/ Proper Techniques

Performing the proper techniques in this exercise can lessen the chance of you having an injury.

When you are sitting on an extension machine, you should check the alignment of your knees and hips and it should be at an angle of 90 degrees.

There should be a back pad in order to support your back while lifting heavyweights.

Position the pad beyond your ankles, in that way your feet can move freely.

Hold onto the handles if you are to perform this exercise, and you should exhale while pointing your toe on the ceiling at the same time straightening your legs.

Keep your knees bent To release, you should inhale bit by bit then slowly push the weight on its starting position, however, you shouldn’t allow the plates to join till the final rep of your exercise is finished.

2/ Use a Full Range of Motion

Lessen the load by half and start by using a motion that is full range.

It will let you activate some more muscle, hamstrings, and glutes, in particular, it won’t even take you half an hour to unload and load the machine.

It can also dramatically and instantly reduce the risks of experiencing an injury through this exercise.

Similar to squat exercise, the perfect depth depends on the individual or athlete.

But preferably you would want to take your thighs similar to your belly or chest as you want without even lowering your back or your hips leaving the pad.

Generally, cut the distance at the position where your back would begin to round, then the stoppers should be set properly on the machine for safety.

3/ Employ Tempo Training

As an alternative to leg press, you should try executing the exercise slowly with a controlled tempo likely for higher repetition.

For losing some unwanted weight, doing a 2-minute set of workouts will help for about 4 to 5 seconds. You should pause below for a few seconds, then try a push-up to add tension stimulus.

You will get a much better result, and you will be more of a muscle-minded person.

This training is really great for protecting your joints from injury.

4/ Superset with Competitive Exercises

Comparing light exercises from heavy exercises is a great way to work on your muscles to improve your movement patterns.

For example, you can do around 20 squats and then do a leg press immediately for more than 20 reps.

It will savagely burn unwanted fat off your body, and your muscle pump is going to be impressive.

This kind of stack or superset can start the stimulation of muscle growth through metabolic stress when using a relatively lightweight that will save your joints from experiencing an injury or easily recover from it.

How to Determine the Ideal Weight for a Leg Press Exercise

  • The factor of Body Weight

    Lifting the weight that is similar to your weight determines on how heavy you should only lift.

    For women and men ages 20 to 30 the ideal weight is twice their body weights.
  • Trying out a Weight

    Another method includes resting for about two minutes then lift a 30 and 40 pounds weight.

    It is determined by how your body reacts to a certain weight.

    If your body can lift a 40-pound weight you can increase the weight until you determine the ideal weight for your body.


It is very important that if you are to work out with a leg press machine, you should learn the techniques on how to prevent injuries and maximize the potential for muscular growth.

As hardcore bodybuilders would say, squats will always be the king of lower body exercise, especially when you want total body development.

However, leg press has its own place for growing and refining those muscles.

So the back to the question, which is better with the different types of leg press machines?

I would answer this with varying situations if you are just a fitness enthusiast that is looking for an additional leg workout that opts to minimize knee pressure.

I would advise using the horizontal leg press for you. Not only is it safer, but it also seems to target more of the frontal quad area of the legs, giving a more defined frontal development.

Now for a more serious lifter who wishes a larger development, vertical and angled leg press do hit the hamstring region more which produces the thick look of the legs.

But size development has many factors as to the genes, and your nutrition vertical type of leg press do let you push more poundage and could recruit more fibers of muscle for growth.

I hope I helped you with these tips! Now hit the weights and grow those leg muscles!!!