Force USA Compact Leg Press Review
There’s no questioning the importance of legs when it comes to lifting, and a good leg press is tough to beat. Let’s face it, hard-core iron addicts may prefer the barbell squat movements, but they’re not for everyone. Meanwhile, the Force USA Compact Leg Press brings the best of all worlds into a small space. Fans of Force USA may be familiar with their Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press/Hack Squat Combo, but for half the price and frankly half the space, the Compact Leg Press will work wonders.
Constructed from heavy-gauge steel, the press allows users to seat themselves facing forward press downward, or standing upward, against the ergonomic back-rest. With a total weight rating of 660 pounds, users up to 6 feet 6 inches in height can fit easily on the machine. Ever bearing in mind that weight capacity includes the user’s bodyweight, this is a great compact device for isolation of the lower body muscles in comfort and safety.
The Force USA Compact Leg Press is marketed as a home, or garage gym, piece, but structurally it’s probably up to the needs of professional trainers working with clients in their private studio. Whether used for its pressing movement, or as a calf raise, the unit brings the heat to quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Weight plates are sold separately.
The leg press features stability by way of enhanced steel tubing and an angled support frame. Solid steel-plated end caps also help stabilize the machine. The press itself works along an ultra-smooth Hover-Glide mechanism, with hole positions along the side and included band pegs for greater resistance at the peak of the concentric phase. The unit offers ergonomic comfort-coated grip handles positioned on either side for assistance in getting in and out. Durable, the eco-friendly commercial grade powder coating offers a smooth finish, and a high-density foam pads the unit’s laminated wood base. Commercial vinyl upholstery and rip-stop mesh backing prevents rips and tears.
A compact unit, the press measures 52 inches wide, 65 inches deep, and 57 inches in height. With a foot plate of 23-inch x 20-inch, the weight rating comes in at 660 pounds and carries with it a lifetime structural warranty. Adjustable seating affords users up to 6 feet 6 inches in height. Either Standard of Olympic weight plates can be used, with 12-inch long sleeves to hold them. Pop-pin adjustment allows for either the back pad or calf block height to be adjusted, as well as the foot plate angling.
Built to fit easily into a corner, the unit is considerable smaller than the Monster Ultimate 45 Degree Leg Press/Hack Squat Combo which measures 66 inches in width, a whopping 94 inches in depth, and stands 60 inches in height. With that depth does come a 1,000 pound weight rating, but for most users that just might not be necessary.
Working out with the Compact Leg Press
Irrespective of one’s goals, the leg press can give one great workout. By seating oneself into the unit, the entire lower body gets a great burn. In this same position, users can simply adjust their feet to the edge of the plate and perform calf raises. Whereas a 45-degree hip sled places the weight downward upon the body and hip carriage, this unit better mimics the movement of standing upright. An adjustable seat and foot plate means one can tilt the angle different to better hit the hamstrings or quadriceps.
This machine is particularly great for fitness fans who’d rather invest their dollars in something other than barbell squats. Yes, one can do both if they want, but for people not interested in loading up hundreds of pounds onto their shoulders and dipping below their knee level, this brings all the action they’d want to the quad-ham combo. Because it’s designed in a functional manner, meaning it replicates a functional movement like standing up, it’s great for general health and wellness as well as strength training. Athletes looking to advance within the ranks of national powerlifting competitions are probably not looking at this machine. Families with high school athletes up through senior citizens on the other hand would love it.
A sample workout with this machine would include four or five working sets with repetitions anywhere from five to 15. This could be followed by a series of calf raises, and then dumbbell lunges. Or, this machine could work well with dumbbell cleans or step-ups. And with a 660-pound weight rating, there’s little chance of the average consumer ever outgrowing it. Consumers interested in this model might want to check out Force USA’s collection of weight plates and benches as well.
The sticker price of $999.99 is actually quite reasonable given the lifetime structural warranty and Force USA’s reputation for durability. This is definitely not the machine for powerlifting fans, but frankly that’s a pretty small circle within the home fitness community. This machine would work well in a garage or home fitness studio and keep quads burning for years.
Force USA - Compact Leg Press