The leg press machine at the gym is one of my favorites and I try to do it every time I go because it’s something that I don’t have access to at home. I usually do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps each with one set at a much lighter weight and I do 20 reps. I also usually alternate seated calf raises on this same machine (drop your weight to 20-50lb) in between sets.
There are 2 types of leg press machines: straight press (pictured below) or an incline leg press (feet are up higher than your hips and press more into the air). The straight one works a little more quads because you are pressing your feet straight out in front, where the incline press works a little more glutes due to the positioning of your feet. They are both great and target the entire lower body. In the pic below, my feet are a little more narrow, but for the incline press I recommend placing your feet a little wider than your hips for best results!
Other than my top tips below, I would also make sure you aren’t using too much weight. You want to make sure you can maintain proper form throughout the movement and if you are using too much weight you may not recruit as much of your glutes and you will end up putting pressure on the knees. Think of this machine as a squat machine and when you lower down into the position – you should be in good squat form with your knees at 90 degrees over your ankles. When you press back to the starting position make sure you do not lock out your knees (keep them slightly bent).
Thanks to Six:02 for the awesome workout gear including my new Nike Shoes!