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Leg Press Foot Positions for More Mass and Definition

May 13, 2015

leg press leg workout

One of the best ways to change up your leg workouts is by using different leg press foot positions. But what’s the best way to implement this technique on leg day?

In this post, I’m going to share the different positions and what they’re for.

I’m also going to show you how to mix other techniques with different foot positions to make your leg workouts more intense!

Oh, and you’re going get several workouts you can try below using different foot positions on the leg press.

So go make a protein shake and continue reading below! 

Common Leg Press Foot Positions

leg press foo positions

There are 3 common foot placements for leg press:

  1. Wide foot position
  2. Regular (a little more than shoulder-width)
  3. Close foot position

Wide Foot Position

Using a wider foot stance may allow you to leg press a little more weight. But this doesn’t necessarily make it more effective for building muscle or defining your quads.

In fact, it almost creates an illusion by making you think you can leg press more than you actually can (using a regular foot placement). But the ability to lift more weight doesn’t necessarily equate to more muscle growth.

You have to remember that to build muscle requires you to be focused on forcing your muscles to do the work, not just moving weight from point A to B. I talk more about this in my post, FST Workout Routine for Mass Gains.

Now let’s talk about the more effective foot positions you should be doing to build bigger legs…

Regular Leg Press Foot Position

This is the standard leg press foot position. You’re going to set your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart (this will vary from person to person; go with what feels more natural)

I recommend sticking with this foot placement most of the time. It’s going to give you the most muscle development and strength. Doing 4-5 sets of regular leg press after squats is a nice recipe for building big legs. 

Here are some tips for leg press, using a regular foot stance…

  • DO NOT be one of the people who load up a gazillion plates and only go down 2 inches! Sorry, that’s not a leg press! 
  • Considering the above, you don’t have to go down to a ridiculous level. Parallel or a little below is perfect. 
  • Don’t let the weight drop; control is on the descent (force your muscle to do the work).
  • Don’t lock your knees all the way out (this will take pressure from your quads to your knees…you do not want this!).  

Close Foot Position

You’ll see how to implement a close foot placement on the leg press in the workouts below. The cool thing about this position is you can target your outer quads and hamstrings more. 

Some believe a close grip foot position on leg press will give you that quad sweep.

I’m telling you this prematurely (because I’m excited about the results you’re going to get from it), but you’re going to see in the workouts below how I use a close foot placement with the regular. 

Here are some things to remember with a close stance…

  • Place your feet a little higher on the leg press platform (you don’t want your knees over your feet when coming down).
  • Your feet should be close together, but not touching each other. Keep them a couple of inches or more apart.
  •  Be sure to press with your heels, not the balls of your feet (this is the case with leg press in general, but especially when using the close foot stance)

How To Make Your Leg Workouts More Intense

The workouts below are not just doing the leg press. They’re full leg workouts that implement different foot positions on the leg press. So you’ll be doing other exercises, and more, and here’s why…

For building big muscular legs, I believe in using the standard mass building leg exercises like squats, leg press, leg extensions, leg curls, and stiff-leg deadlifts. There are other leg exercises, but these should be your foundation. From my experience, they’re enough.

What creates huge, massive, ripped, shredded (any more cheesy bodybuilding terms??) is applying certain weight training techniques to these basic exercises to make them even more intense.

Of course one of the techniques is the different leg press foot positions. But in preparation for the leg workouts, I’m giving you below, I want to share the other 2 techniques you’ll be using:

  1. Rest-pause sets
  2. Supersets

Each workout below uses different leg press stances but will also use these other techniques. The goal is simple…to make your leg workouts more intense! 

3 Leg Workouts Using Different Techniques and Leg Press Foot Positions

leg press leg workout

Are you ready for some killer leg workouts that use different foot placements and techniques? Go get your pre-workout drink so that you can hit the gym after reading this. 

Before leg training, make sure you’re prepared by. This may be stuff you already know, it’s worth reiterating because leg training takes a lot out of you. 

  • Make sure you have fuel (if you train early mornings, you need to eat well the day before; if you train in the evenings, make sure you have eaten the calories needed to support your brutal leg workout to come!)
  • Warm-up thoroughly before your workout (riding a stationary bike, walking, or even doing several light warm-up sets will do…just get the blood flowing)
  • Consider taking a BCAA supplement before and during your leg workouts; you can read about my recommended BCAA supplement here: Jason’s Xtend Review

Leg Workout 1

This first leg workout uses a typical bodybuilding style format. The difference is you’re going to also be using supersets with 2 different foot positions on the leg press. 

You’ll start with the close foot position for leg press and superset that with a set with a regular foot position. 

The reason the close stance is done first is that you can’t do as much weight with a close placement. Because of this, you don’t have to change the weight between the supersets. 

After the first set of leg press with feet close, you’ll rack the weight, widen your stance to a regular foot placement and continue with the superset. 

**It’s important that you rack/lock the weight between these sets to change foot positions. DO NOT change positions with the load on your legs…that’s just stupid and asking for injury!. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6-8
Leg Press (close) – superset with below 4 x 12
Leg Press (regular) 4 x 12
Leg Extensions 4 x 15
Leg Curls 4 x 15

Leg Workout 2

This workout will look more like a standard bodybuilding leg workout. The caveat is you’re going to burn those legs out at the end with some rest-pause sets using the close foot position on leg press. 

Rest-pause works like this…

  • Do 1 set
  • Rack/lock weight
  • Rest about 7-10 second
  • Do another set with the same weight

The goal here is to perform 12 reps and then do as many you can do on the rest-pause set. This will generally be about another 5-6 reps. 

It’s brutal, it’s painful, and it builds muscle like taking a magic mass building pill (whatever that is…LOL!)

Exercise Sets x Reps
Squats 4 x 6-8
Leg Press (regular) 4 x 12
Leg Extensions 4 x 12
Leg Curls 4 x 12
Leg (close) – rest-pause on each set 4 x 12+

Leg Workout 3

In this leg workout you’ll be starting out with leg press. In fact, you’ll be doing both regular and close foot positions in the beginning of the workout.

You can use this workout on one of those days where you need a break from squats, or if you want to just squat light towards the end of your workout.

**From time to time, I’ll do squats after leg press; you’ll definitely feel your quads more when you do squats!

You’re starting out with a regular stance on leg press. After 4 sets, you’ll do 4 more sets with a close foot position. You’ll obviously want to lighten the weight for your close stance sets. 

Oh, one more thing…you’ll do 1 rest-pause set on the fourth and final set of each leg press position. 

Exercise Sets x Reps
Leg (regular) – rest-pause on final set 4 x 12
Leg (close) – rest-pause on final set 4 x 12
Leg Extensions 4 x 12
Leg Curls 4 x 15
Squats (or Front Squats) 4 x 8

More Gains, Faster

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To get the most out of your workouts, you have to make sure you’re giving your muscles what they need to grow. 

Find out why TestoFuel is my go-to natural muscle builder, and how it can help you make more gains! CLICK BELOW to learn more.

Leg Workout Schedule

Have you ever thought of working legs twice a week? Or maybe you already do that.

Either way, it’s an awesome idea. Especially if you’re trying to catch your leg development up to your upper body. Because seriously, you don’t wanna be ‘that guy (or girl)’ that’s jacked up top with stick legs! 

5-Day A Week Workout Schedule

So I want to give you a twice a week leg workout schedule that uses the leg workouts above using different foot positions on leg press. 

  • Monday: Back
  • Tuesday: Legs (regular bodybuilding leg workout)
  • Wednesday: Chest and Bicep
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Friday: Legs – Choose one of the leg workouts above using different foot positions
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

4-Day A Week Workout Schedule

You could also do a 4-day a week schedule with something like this…

  • Monday: Upper Body (Chest and Back)
  • Tuesday: Legs (regular bodybuilding leg workout)
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Upper Body (Shoulders and Arms)
  • Friday: Legs – Choose one of the leg workouts above using different foot positions
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

You can read more about training legs twice a week and more twice-a-week leg workouts in this post: Training Legs Twice A Week

Building Massive Legs

building massive legs

There you have it, a workout recipe for building massive legs

You can also take the workouts I’ve given you above and use them as a template to build your own. My workouts are fairly simple but you may want to incorporate more leg exercises. And that’s fine. 

And I strongly encourage you to train legs twice a week. I won’t go as far as to say you’ll double your gains, but you’ll come pretty close to it! 

I do hope this post helps you and that you’ll try the different leg press foot positions. Mix that with the superset and rest-pause techniques, you’re going to force those legs to grow! 

**If you’re ready to start an intense 12-week program, check out my premium programs below:

Hardcore Muscle Building Program
Lean Muscle Building Program

Train with Passion,


About the author

Jason Stallworth

Hi, I'm Jason Stallworth and I created The Muscle Program in 2010 for the purpose of helping you build muscle. I know first-hand how weight training and being in the gym has shaped my life in more way than one. And here is where I share that experience with you so that you can continue pushing yourself and becoming the best version of yourself each day!