How Much Does a Leg Press Weigh?

We all know that one person who absolutely hates leg day will do anything they can to get around it. But training your legs should be a part of every good workout routine. Your legs provide a good base for better mobility, posture, and it can even improve the performance of your upper body too.

Sure, deadlifts and squats are fantastic compound leg exercises, but the leg press machine is another great training tool.

A leg press machine is a special piece of gym equipment designed to build big legs, and this goes for the glutes, the quadriceps, and the hamstrings alike, and to a certain degree even the calves.

Related: See our detailed breakdown of the muscles worked when using a leg press machine.

Leg press machines are large and heavy, which leads us to the question of the day, how much does a leg press weigh?


What is a Leg Press Machine?

Leg Press Machine

A leg press machine is something you'll find in virtually every gym, a machine designed for the leg press movement.

This is a compound movement that targets the lower body, and it targets specifically the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the calves.

The leg press machine generally features a large seat in a reclined position that is connected to a weight sled. You then use your legs to press the weight away from you until they're almost fully extended, and then you go back to the starting position.

As you press your feet into the sled, it moves along two sliding rails, therefore dictating both your path and range of motion.

Many people enjoy using the leg press machine for this exact reason, because the path and range of motion are both set.

This allows for a greater degree of safety, it makes it easier to push more weight, and it's ideal for beginners.

Leg press machines usually always have special safety latches that lock the sled in place to ensure that the weight doesn't come down on you and crush you when you can't lift any more.

When you leg press, you sit with your back against the seat, which is generally adjustable, while keeping your feet at shoulder-width on the platform.

Your knees should start out bent at roughly a 90° angle, at which point you push your feet forward until your legs are almost straight, but without locking out your knees, as this can be quite dangerous.

There are however various types of leg press machines out there, and the exact motion depends on which one you're using, as you'll see further below.

Leg press machines aren't just good for beginners, but are ideal leg workout machines for seasoned weightlifters as well.

The simple fact that they have sliding rails and safety mechanisms means that a single person can lift a great deal of weight without fear of injury.

It's also a great compound movement because it works out virtually all of the major muscles in your legs.


How Much Does a Leg Press Machine Weigh?

The quick answer

Here is a table of the most common types of leg press and the starting weights and also the ratio of how much weight is transferred to the footplate so you can calculate how much weight you are lifting.

Leg Press Type

 Starting Weight Range

Weight Transfer Ratio

Standard 45° Leg Press 100 lbs to 125 lbs 70%
Compact Leg Press 35 lbs to 35 lbs 50% to 60%
Vertical Leg Press 20 lbs to 50 lbs ≈100%
Pivot Leg Press 5 lbs to 35 lbs 70%
Hack Squat Leg Press 90 lbs to 110 lbs 70%



As you're about to see, there are actually many different types of leg press machines, and how much they weigh depends on the exact type.

Now, when we talk about the weight of a leg press machine, we aren't actually talking about the weight of the machine as a whole. We don't want to know how much the metal and all of the components weigh.

Instead, we want to know what the starting weight of the machine is, or in other words, how much resistance you face without putting any weights on the sled.

The majority of leg press machines out there weigh between 90 and 180 pounds without any added weight plates, although exactly how much starting resistance you'll encounter depends on the type of machine, the brand, the angle at which it is positioned, and more.

Just to put this in perspective, when you push something on an angle, it's much easier than if you have to push it straight up into the air.

To give you an example, when you use a standard leg press machine that is situated at a 45° angle, it reduces the force you need by about 30%. So you're actually only lifting roughly 70% of the weight on the machine.

This is why you can lift so much more weight on a leg press machine than if you were free squatting with a barbell.

That aside, exactly how much starting weight you'll encounter depends on the type of leg press in question, and that's what we're about to look at.


Standard 45° Leg Press Machine

Standard Plate loaded leg press

A standard leg press machine that you would find in most commercial gyms will normally be set at a 45° angle.

Here, you sit facing upwards, with your feet placed on a foot plate attached to a weighted sled.

These standard leg press machines usually start at around 125 pounds, although some can provide you with a starting weight upwards of 200 pounds.

That said, remember that because this type of leg press is on a 45° angle, that starting weight doesn't accurately reflect how much resistance you actually face.

Because this type of leg press machine reduces the force you need by roughly 30%, one that has a starting weight of 125 pounds only has you pushing around 88 pounds.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common leg press machines and how much each one weighs.


 Starting Weight

Life Fitness Signature Leg Press

103 lbs (47kg)

Hammer Strength Plate Loaded Linear Leg Press

118 lbs (53kg)

Matrix Magnum Leg Press

167 lbs (75.7kg)

Cybex Plate Loaded 45-Degree Leg Press

125 lbs (57kg)

Rogue ISO Leg Press 35

≈109 lbs (49.5kg)

York STS 35 Degree Leg Press

≈66 lbs (30kg)


Hack Squat Leg Press

Hack Squat Leg Press

We then have the hack squat leg press machine. As we saw with the standard leg press machine, the hack squat machine normally has you at a 45° angle.

But here your feet are facing the ground instead of pointed upwards into the air.

Instead of your body staying stationary while you push your legs away from you, a hack squat machine sees your body moving upwards as your shoulders rest against a padded sled, thus resembling a squat.

Although there is a big difference in position here, because of the same 45° angle, you're still only lifting about 70% of the actual weight.

On that note, the carriage for the hacked squat machine is a bit lighter than on a standard leg press machine, usually topping out at around 110 pounds at the very most.

However, what you then need to consider is that unlike with the leg press machine where your body is stationary, on a hack squat machine, you're also lifting your full body weight.

For example, the Hammer Strength hack squat machine comes in at 60 pounds of starting resistance but if you weigh 200lbs. The total weight moving will be 260 lbs and when on the 45° angle it will feel closer to 182 lbs as you will be lifting 70% of the weight.

Related: Adjust your foot placement on the leg press to target different muscles.


Horizontal Leg Press

Horizontal Leg Press

Next on the list is the horizontal leg press machine, otherwise known as the horizontal seated leg press. As you can probably tell by the name of it, this has you sitting horizontally, with your legs pointed straight outwards.

The horizontal leg press has you sitting against a seat with your back facing straight up, and your feet against a weight plate, and all of the resistance comes from a weight stack that is attached to the sled using cables.

Because the weight comes from the weight stack, and not from the machine itself, the manufacturers will have often taken the weight of the sled into account to make the numbered stack accurate. 

Normally the starting weight on a selectorized leg press machine will be no more than 20 pounds.

However, they can usually be adjusted up to around 400 pounds. They're ideal for beginners for this reason, but not ideal for hardcore weight lifters who want to press as much as possible.


Compact Leg Press

Compact Leg Press

Next, we have the compact leg press machine, which as you can probably tell, is designed to take up as little space as possible. They are ideal for areas where real estate is limited, such as for small home gyms.

Although your average compact leg press machine comes in at around 200 pounds, the starting resistance is only around 25 or 35 pounds.

In terms of the position at which you sit, it tends to not be quite such a steep angle and will likely be closer to 30°. So you will generally find that about 50% to 60% of the weight is converted into resistance.

To provide you with an example, the PowerTec Compact Leg Sled comes in with a starting weight of 30 pounds and has a rail angle of 28.5°.


Pivot Leg Press

Leg Press Machine

We then have the pivot leg press machine. In terms of the way your body moves on the pivot leg press machine, this is similar to the standard 45° angle leg press machine. The difference here lies in the mechanism that moves the footplate up and down.

A standard leg press machine has rails to which the slide is attached and slides along. However, with a pivot leg press machine, the platform is attached to lever arms that pivot and rotate around a certain point.

Many people like the pivot leg press machine because it produces a more ergonomic and natural path for your legs to follow than the standard leg press machine.

Exactly how much starting resistance you'll face with the pivot leg press machine can differ greatly depending on the brand, and build of the unit and how well it has been maintained. Although it's going to be anywhere between 5 and 35 pounds.


Leg Press & Hack Squat Combination

Leg Press & Hack Squat Combination

If you want to maximize the space you have in your home, then a great machine to get is the hack squat and leg press combination.

These are special types of leg press machines that can be adjusted to function as either a hack squat or a standard leg press, therefore making them extremely versatile.

In general, you can expect the starting weight of the leg press and hack squat combination to be between 70 pounds and 100 pounds, with around 75 pounds being the average.


Vertical Leg Press

The Vertical Leg Press

Last but not least, we have the vertical leg press. This is one of the most unique types of leg press machines because it's the only one where you push all of the weight by yourself without any kind of mechanical assistance or advantage.

Here, you lay down on your back with your legs facing straight up into the air. There is then a carriage that is inserted into two hollow poles, which you push up with your feet.

The carriage itself doesn't weigh very much and usually tops out at around 20 pounds. But as the weight is directly above you, the starting resistance will be almost 100%.

Related: Looking for leg press alternative exercises? See our top recommendations.


Tips to Use a Leg Press Machine the Right Way

Let's go over some quick tips so you can make the most out of any leg press machine, so you can grow as much muscle as possible while also staying safe.

  • As a rule of thumb in weightlifting, always start slow if you don't know how much you can lift. It's better to start out with a lightweight than it is to injure yourself. That said, leg press machines reduce the force needed to push the weight, which means that even beginners should be able to lift around 200 pounds with ease.
  • Never go right into your maximum weight without first warming up for at least one or two sets. Your leg muscles need time to warm up before you can push that much weight, or else you risk injuring yourself.
  • Move slowly and in a controlled manner, especially on the downward motion. The more controlled and the slower your motion is, the more restrain it will put on your muscles, and at the end of the day, that's a benefit for you.


Rounding Up

Leg Press Machine

As you can see, how much a leg press machine weighs, specifically how much starting weight you'll encounter, depends on the type of machine.

Horizontal and vertical leg press machines may start as low as 20 pounds, hack squat machines at around 75 pounds, and your average 45° leg press machine will start at roughly 125 pounds, and upwards.

What you do always need to take into account when using a leg press machine, specifically your standard leg press machine or a hack squat, is that they reduce the force you need by around 30%, so you're only lifting 70% of the actual.

This is why a lot of people say that using a leg press machine is cheating, because you're not actually lifting as much as you have loaded onto the sled.

However, whether or not this is considered cheating is a debate for another day.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.