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Leg Press Variations To Consider Adding Into Your Workout Program

As you go about designing your workout program, one exercise that you should definitely be considering making good use of is the leg press.  For those who have difficulty squatting due to back or knee pain, the leg press can be a wonderful alternative because it reduces the stress load on the back while still making sure to challenge those muscles as much as possible.

The only problem with just doing the standard leg press is that eventually your muscles are going to adapt and you could fail to show progress.

That’s where the leg press variations come into play.  If you want to continually progress with your workout program, these will help take you there.


Simply change between the variations every 2-4 weeks and you’ll continue to make the gains that you’re after.

Let’s have a look at a few to consider.

Leg Press With High Feet

The very first variation that you should consider is the leg press with high feet.  Placing the feet higher up on the foot pad is going to encourage more of a hamstring and glute activation in the exercise, taking some of the stress off the quads.

If you also don’t plan to add deadlifts or hamstring curls into your workout program, this is a great substitution to use.

Most people will find that they are most strong in this position, so likely this is the variation where you’ll lift the most weight.

Leg Press With Low Feet

The second variation to think about is the leg press with low feet.  Placing the feet low on the foot pad is now going to totally change the stress loading pattern of the exercise and now you’ll be placing much more stress on the quads instead.

This is a good one for those who aren’t going to be doing any squats since squats are primarily a quad dominant activity.

Just note that if you do suffer from knee pain you’ll want to go easy on this one at first to make sure it’s not going to aggravate you.

Let Press With Feet Turned Out

Moving on, the third variation of the leg press to consider is where you turn out your feet.  This variation will place more emphasis on the inner quad muscle, so if that’s the area you want to strengthen, you’ll definitely want to be sure to get these in.

Think of it as being similar to performing a standard sumo squat.

Leg Press With Close Feet

Finally, the last exercise variation to be adding to your workout program is the leg press with close feet.  You can do this either placing the feet in the middle of the foot pad or towards the bottom depending on where you want to be working the muscles.

The lower you go, the more quad dominant this variation will be.  Note that by placing the feet close together though you will already be placing more emphasis on the quad muscles, so this is a very good variation or those who want to build up this muscle in particular.

So there you have a few leg press variations to consider adding into your program.  When done properly they can really influence the overall shape that your legs take and provide a complete lower body workout.


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