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seated leg press in use

Strength Range: 5 Reasons why the Leg Press is a great alternative to Squats

Squats and the Leg Press machine are both effective lower-body exercises. Squats engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, promoting functional strength and balance.

However, squats require proper form and can place substantial stress on the spine and knees if done incorrectly. 

In contrast, the leg press machine reduces spinal strain, isolates leg muscles, and is user-friendly, making it suitable for beginners and those with back or knee issues.

seated leg press in use

11th September 2023

Here, we highlight 5 reasons why the Leg Press is a great alternative to squats – and when you include the Fresh Air Fitness Leg Press in your workout routine, you can enjoy all the benefits of being outside in the fresh air and natural daylight too!


1. Reduced spinal load

The Leg Press is a fantastic piece of outdoor gym equipment which places less stress on the spine when compared with a standard squat as the body weight is supported by the structure of the machine, making it a great choice for people who want to exercise but need to minimize spinal compression. 


2. Isolation of Leg Muscles

The leg press is particularly effective at isolating and targeting the leg muscles. It primarily works the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, allowing you to concentrate on these muscle groups without engaging the stabilising muscles to the same extent as squats. 

This isolation can be advantageous if your goal is to specifically develop and strengthen your leg muscles. It also makes the leg press a valuable tool for bodybuilders and athletes who need to focus on these muscle groups for their sport or aesthetics.


3. Lower Learning Curve

Squats require precise technique and balance, and learning to perform them correctly can be a challenge for beginners. 

The leg press, on the other hand, has a lower learning curve. It is straightforward to use, and the guided range of motion reduces the risk of improper form. 

This makes it an excellent choice for individuals who are new to weightlifting or those who want to minimise the risk of injury during leg workouts.


4. Adjustable Foot Positions and Resistance Levels

Leg press machines are versatile and offer the user various foot position options and resistance levels to tailor the workout. 

To target different areas of your legs, for example, a higher foot placement can emphasize the hamstrings and glutes, while a lower foot placement focuses more on the quadriceps. 

Additionally, you can increase or decrease the resistance easily, allowing you to tailor the intensity of your leg press workout to your specific fitness goals and progress. This versatility makes the leg press a flexible option for individuals with varying training needs.


5. Joint-Friendly Exercise

Some individuals, particularly those with knee issues, may find squats uncomfortable or painful due to the sheer load and stress placed on the knee joints during the exercise. 

The leg press can be gentler on the knees because it involves less bending and loading of the knee joint. This makes it a more joint-friendly option, especially for anyone who might be recovering from knee injuries or dealing with chronic knee pain. It allows users to enjoy an exercise which strengthens the leg muscles without exacerbating knee problems.


Find out more about the Fresh Air Fitness Leg Press

With any form of exercise you should always consult your GP to ensure that it is right for you and your specific needs, but the Leg Press is a great starting point in terms of the variety and support it offers during training, as an alternative to squats. To find out more and watch a handy video on how to use the equipment safely and effectively visit

Fresh Air Fitness also offer a seated leg press in the range. This product can be used in the same way as above, and users can add training bands to increase the resistance if desired.


About Us

Since 2007, we have installed over 4000 outdoor gym equipment nationwide and our team of experts provides an end-to-end service from initial site visit to design, delivery, and installation. 

We project-manage your outdoor gym project from inception to completion and provide full after sales care through our dedicated team of outdoor gym specialists – including providing a dedicated telephone number post installation so all customers have a direct point of contact. 

To explore some of our success stories to date visit:

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