Leg Press vs Squat: The killer training for legs


For many decades there has always been a fight as to which exercise is best for legs. However, no one has managed to find the correct answer for the question as to which is best legs exercise between the ongoing leg press vs squat battle.

Although both the workouts are known for their many advantages in boosting leg strength, there has always been a conflict as to which is the best leg exercise. The ongoing leg press vs squat rivalry usually make people forget all the benefits of both the exercises.

For many people, everything depends on their own goals and also the expectations they have from the exercise they are doing. If you are considering a complete body workout then squat is a good option as it considerably targets more muscle groups and also helps in developing coordination. However, on the other hand, the leg press exercise works only on the legs in isolation, which makes them an exclusive leg workout. This leaves no space for other factors such as improving balancing. It focuses on pushing just the legs muscles alone, which surely is not the only focus area while performing squats.

To take a deep dive into this rivalry of best exercises for legs between leg press vs squat, let us have a look at the many benefits of both the exercises.

The difference between leg press vs squat

There has always been a confusion between the leg press vs squat. Doesn’t matter if you are a power lifter, bodybuilder or any other person who is wanting to build size and strength to their lower body, the squat weight or the leg press exercise should be a compulsory exercise for you.

The leg press is an easy exercise to learn as there is less motor control involved in it. It means that you do not have to think much as to where your body is moving as the motion of your legs is fixed in the range of motion which is set by the leg press machine.
When considering squat on the other hand, it is a complicated exercise to learn. Weightlifters spend almost their entire career to master the correct form to get every part of their strength possible out of the workout. Performing a squat mainly includes stability, coordination and a lot of confidence.

For people who want to hit their leg muscles without the barrier of squat, then the leg press is the perfect lift you should prioritize on. However, the squat is something different that you should learn in the long run as there are many added advantages which the leg press does not provide.

Leg press vs squat for glutes

When comparing leg press vs squat for glutes, there is no doubt that the winner always has to be squats.

The seated leg press is a great exercise to work for all four muscle groups like that of the quads rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius. The muscles which had been worked end there with the above type of workout.

The seated leg press is the most effective way to exercise the glutes. However, squats help in
targeting the entire body and provides a full workout, depending on the squat exercise you will be doing. The glutes, quads, thighs, hips, back, and core are all being targeted and used while performing the perfect form of squat.

Benefits of squat vs leg press

Leg presses
Leg presses are a perfect exercise to perform when you target for strength and development
of legs. Many people can not perform squat using much weight at the start due to the lack of
core and leg strength which helps to power through the exercises.

There are mainly 2 types of leg press machines:

1. Diagonal or vertical sled leg press machine- In this exercise, the person sits below the weighted sled and pushes the footplate with his/her feet to complete the exercise.
2. Seated or 45-degree leg press machine- In this exercise, the person sits straight and pushes the platform with his/her feet via the weights which are attached to the plate by long cables.
If you want to get a good size, then you should leg press 2 to 4 sets between 8 to 12 reps. While if you are looking to gain strength then you should leg press 3 to 4 sets between 8 to 10 reps with a moderate-heavy load.

Squats are the most effective full-body workout which can be done with just the bodyweight alone. This makes it a great exercise to be performed at home or any other place as per your convenience. Nevertheless, if you are planning to squat using weights for gaining muscles, then you have plenty of choices between dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells.
There are many different variations of the squat exercise that could be done. All the squat exercises have great benefits for you. Different types of squat variations include:
• Back squat
• Front squat
• Hat squat
• Bulgarian squat
• Overhead squat
• Pistol squat

The above variations in the squat will not only get you core strength, but they will also help you tone your back, thighs and increase stability. If you want to build muscles, you should squat 3 to 4 sets between 7 to 10 reps. If you want a blend of strength and volume, then you can consider 3 to 4 sets between 7 to 8 reps.

Leg press variations

Leg presses don’t take into consideration numerous varieties, however there are a couple of approaches to blend things up.

One leg press

Rather than utilizing the two legs simultaneously, utilize each leg in turn to ensure every leg gets an exhaustive exercise. Simply ensure the weight isn’t a lot for one leg to deal with securely.

Higher foot situation

Putting your feet higher on the footpad will build the expansion and withdrawal of your hamstrings and glutes, and diminish your knees’ scope of movement during the activity.

Lower foot situation

Putting your feet lower on the footpad builds your knees’ scope of movement. It requires more exertion from your quads and less from your glutes and hamstrings.

Squat variations

Squats offer a greater number of varieties than leg presses do, and each kind of squat works your muscles in a somewhat extraordinary manner. Squats should likewise be possible with no loads.

Back squats

Back squats might be the most natural to easygoing weightlifters. The weight is set on your shoulders, behind your neck. You at that point twist your knees and fix back up to finish one reiteration.

With back squats, you might be enticed to bow forward a little to help deal with the weight on your shoulders. Attempt to keep away from this as it can strain your back muscles.

Hack squats

Like back squats, hack squats should be possible with machines or free weights. A hand weight hack squat is finished by remaining before the free weight, bowing your knees to reach down behind you to get the free weight, and afterward staying strong with the free weight over your hindquarters or upper hamstrings.

Hack squat will in general set less strain on your lower back than back squats in light of the fact that the weight is under your focal point of mass, not above or before it.

Front squats

A front squat is finished with a free weight or two free weights held up at shoulder stature while you play out a standard squat. Front squats will in general be simpler on the knees than back squats, and they may likewise be more secure for your back.

Frequently asked questions

Which is a better exercise between leg press vs squat for glutes?

If you compare leg presses vs squats for glutes, they both mainly target your quadriceps or quad. Apart from that they also target your hamstrings (the muscles opposite your quads which are at the back of your thighs) and glutes (muscles in your buttocks).
Since most parts of your body move, while performing squats, they engage other muscle
groups as well like your abs and hips, while the leg presses only involve motion of the legs.
So, the squat is the exercise that is very effective as it targets many parts of the body while doing it.

How can I perform squat perfectly?

The perfect form for squatting is given below:
1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your feet parallel to each other.
2. Place your hands on your thighs, look up and also lift your chest.
3. Bend your knees in such a way so that you put your weight on your heels and slightly
sit back.
4. Slide your hands towards your thighs so that your elbows are reaching your knees.
Also, make sure that your knees do not go beyond your toes and also keep your head
and chest straight up.
5. Now stay in that position for about 3 to 5 seconds.
6. Rise upwards, pressing through your heels, and make your hips straight while you
reach to start position.
7. Repeat the process 15 to 20 times. do this exercise 2 to 3 times a week to get the
perfect form.


Whether you pick the leg press machine or squats, either of them will benefit you with health benefits, muscle gains, and better functional capacity. Even though there is a proper place for leg press in the gym, it should always be combined with some squatting so that you can benefit in both ways by getting defined legs and an increased muscle mass.

In a battle between leg press vs squat, the winner is always squatting as it provides a total body workout in contrast to the leg press which only focusses the lower body part. If you are searching for some quick gaining sessions, then doing some squatting will give you more benefits. However, on the other hand, you shouldn’t forget the leg press if you are recovering from some injury.