A leg press machine works the muscles found in both your calves and thighs. Sit with your legs bent at the knees, press the weight forward until your legs are extended, and then return them to the bent starting position to complete one repetition.
Different types of leg press are on the market. Some use weight stacks to add weights, while other use plates. The leg press machines that use weight stacks have plates that are stacked on top of each other. Each plate is marked for the amount of weight it represents. Because adult male and female beginners can generally leg press 22.7 to 45.4kg. the first weight plates may be 11.3kg. with the following plates 4.54kg. each. The numbers are added together. For instance if the first two plates are 11.3kg., the first plate reads 11.3kg. and the second 22.7kg.
Free Weight Plates
Other leg press machines instruct you to place free weight plates on each side of the machine to set your weight. Free weight plates generally come in 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35 and 45lbs., respectively. Those numbers will be marked clearly on each plate. Remember that you are adding weight to each side of the machine for balance. So if you wish to press 45.4kg., you would put a 45- and a 5-pound plate on each side.
The press platform is the place where you put your feet to complete the exercise. There may or may not be numbers, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc...on the side of the press plate indicating the setting location. Setting one will place the press plate closest to you, while a higher number will place it further away. A proper setting has your legs contracted and bent close to your chest.