Single LEG Press – Get Twice The Workout With Half The Weight!

The Leg Press is an awesome mass building compound leg exercise. While most bodybuilders will ranks barbell squats as the number # 1 Leg Exercise – the Leg Press is a close second because it’s a heavy compound exercise that works all the major muscles of the lower body – quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and glutes.

In fact, there are a lot of bodybuilders who have used the leg press as their primary mass building leg exercise to build big legs without squats.

Now most folks will use the leg press in the traditional fashion with 2 legs at the same time, but an even harder variation that you can perform is the Single Leg Press – this one has some unique benefits.

Watch the video below to see a demo of the Single Leg Press…

Click Here To Watch The Full Video On YouTube.

Greater Range Of Motion…
When you do the leg press with one leg at a time you’ll work the quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and glutes with a greater range of motion and help to generate more muscle activation. Even though the actual movement may look similar to normal leg presses, it feels totally different.

Develop Balance & Proportion Between Both Legs…
Chances are you may have an imbalance between your left and right sides, where one side is bigger or stronger than the other. This is pretty common, but by doing single limb exercises – such as the Single Leg Press – you’ll force each side to perform an equal workload and this will help to develop balance and proportion between the left and right legs.

More Core Stimulation…
You’ll also get some core work in your abs and obliques from having to stabilize your body. Even though your back is supported on the back rest – you will still feel your abs working during this exercise.

Twice The Workout With Half The Weights…
Another great benefit to this leg press variation is that you won’t have to be a weight plate hog at the gym. Most guys (and some gals) will have to round up at least 10 x 45 pound plates in order to get enough weight to perform the leg press. And the really strong dudes are using 20 or more plates. But with the single leg press you’ll be able to get more muscle stimulation with less than half of the weight plates that you normally use.

Not having to load as many weight plates makes it a lot more convenient to perform leg presses in your leg workout. Normally it takes more time to load the weight plates on and off the machine than it does to perform the actual exercise. But with the Single Leg Press variation even the strongest guys will only need to use a few 45 pound plates per side to get a killer leg workout.

I encourage you to give the Single Leg Press a try for yourself and leave me a comment below letting me know how it works for you.

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • david pearson

    thanks for the tips lee,ive been following you for years

  • mahmoud

    thank you for this post …
    i like this site …

  • Nice tips! Do you guest blog on other sites? I’m looking for content for my new website.

  • Ernest Eulenfeld

    Wish i had a leg machine. I think I’ll look in to buying one.

  • Rachel

    This is so great. I am starting to go to the gym now.
    I am not sure how I often should I go.

  • David

    Thanks Lee for article it’s helpful to do leg press in more productive leg press crossover to squat if it how to effectively use it as an assistance exercise.

  • Josh


    #1 carryover to squats for us older folks is recovery of lower back. This is the beauty of the single leg leg press,just don’t take sled lower than 90 degrees and your squats and DL will be happy you gave them 7 days to recover.

  • Sean O'Brien

    This was my exact thought process. I thought why load so much and put unnecessary stress on my lower back. Use half the weight . So much more, i can focus on each leg. Best thing i ever did and never look back.
    Thank you

  • Valarie Evans

    As a newbie to the gym, I am often puzzled by what I see some of the guys do. Admittedly, as a woman I hesitate to ask for fear of wrong info or rudeness. That’s happened before with sexist comments on specific body parts. Anyway, I use the sled for doing single leg press. You indicate this hits all the major muscle groups. Does that mean I can drop the hamstring machine and save time? Thanks for your reply. Advise sorely needed. Btw enjoy reading your blog.

    • Hi Valarie, The leg press is a good overall leg building exercise that will work the quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes. But there are still benefits to doing different isolation exercises (such as the hamstring curl) to work the muscles from unique angles and aspects. If you’d like some help with your workouts and discuss different strategies, I’d be happy to chat about it. You can book a free 20-minute coaching call with me here:

      all the best,

  • Denise

    Wondering if you can tell me how much the average woman can single leg press? I’ve just finished rehabbing my knee, I fractured the patella and tore the patellar tendon in December. My therapist had me test the strength in left vs. right using just one leg. I was at 100# in my good leg and 90# in my injured one which she thought was pretty good considering I’m 65. I’m just competitive enough that I’m curious what a younger woman would average. I need something to strive for 🙂