The Leg Press vs The Squat

If I’m short of time in the gym, and don’t want to do an interval training session, which I know would also be quick, I’ll go for a whole body workout, using compound exercises.

Part of this workout would be a Leg Press, I may not do a squat within the session as they both use similar muscles, although the ‘press’ does generally place a greater emphasis on the quadriceps.

After two sets of fifteen reps. for me on a higher weight, is enough to make my quads ‘sing’. Depending on how I feel I may alter my foot position on the plate, the higher my feet, the more focus on my glutes and hamstrings. Having my feet lower, the focus would be more on my quads.


The leg press is a good exercise for beginners, providing good instruction is given prior to use, or those recovering from injury, as there’s no excess load on the spinal column.

I like using the ‘press’ as part of a resistance programme, but in my opinion, it is no substitute for the Squat. During the Squat it is essential to focus, correct your position for balance and engage your core muscles for stability, giving you even more benefit from a compound exercise. 

Therefore I use both!


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