Leg press alternatives should be included in any fitness routine if you don’t have the ability to use a leg press machine.
It is one of the most effective exercises when it comes to targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Since these are the exact muscles, you’ll use them throughout the day whenever you use your lower body. It’s a good idea to keep them in shape.
For aesthetic reasons you don’t want a developed upper body and walking around on shrimp legs.
At this point you’ll look like SpongeBob SquarePants
What Is A Leg Press
The leg press is a weight training exercise where the individual sits back at a 45 or 90-degree angle while holding a handhold and pushes a weighted platform away from them.
It’s a prevalent piece of equipment due to how it’s very effective at targeting the leg muscles, but there are a lot of instances where you won’t have access to a leg press machine.
What Can I Do Instead Of The Leg Press
- Broad jumps
- Leg press with bands
- Step ups
- Single leg step ups
- Smith rack squats
- Weighted walking lunges
- Bodyweight squats
- Split squats
- Bridge exercise
- Lateral lunges
- Jump squats
- Alternating lunges
- Wall sit
- Barbell hip thrust
- Sumo squats
- Goblet squats
- Front squat with barbell
- Reverse lunge with barbell
Leg Press With Bands
If you’re in the market for resistance bands check out booty bands from Victorem.
Weighted Walking Lunges
Leg Press Alternatives With Weights
Every fitness routine needs to incorporate strength training into it.
If you’re a little intimidated by free weights than start off with a light pair of dumbbells.
They will add a little bit of resistance to your exercises without creating too much stress.
Smith Rack Squats
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Sumo Squats With Dumbbells
Front Squat With Barbell
Reverse Lunge With Barbell
What Muscles Does A Leg Press Work
The primary muscle used during the leg press are the quadriceps, and the hamstring.
The stabilizer muscle are the calves, and glutes.
The quadriceps muscle group includes the Vastus intermedius, medialis, lateralis, and the rectus femoris.
These muscles are responsible for extending your knee during activities like running, walking, or bending down to pick your kid up.
Your hamstrings are on the back of your leg above your knee. Have you ever seen an athlete who was running and then grabbed the back of their leg? They’re holding it because they pulled their hamstring.
You don’t have to be playing a professional sport to pull your hamstring, you can do it playing with your kids or bringing groceries up your steps.
These exercises are important because you’re developing muscles that are used during everyday activities.
This is especially important for older people.
How you position your feet on the leg presses platform will determine which muscles you work.
If you put your feet at the highest position, you will put more stress on your hamstring and glutes.
If you drop your feet down and you’ll make it a quad exercise.
The benefits of Doing Leg Press Alternatives
It’s a great closer on leg day
A lot of people will tell you to warm up with the leg press or leg press alternative, but I like to do it last to make sure that I thoroughly worked the quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Leg press alternatives will help you with other compound movements
When you’re doing specific exercises like squats and deadlifts, there aren’t many ways to change up your form to help you strengthen those muscles even more or break through plateaus.
With exercises that emulate the leg press, you’ll be hitting the same muscles but by using different angles, and this is precisely how you should stimulate a muscle group to get more out of it.
Since you’re able to stretch your muscles and warm up your joints for depth, it will significantly help you enhance your explosiveness, power, and reps
Leg press alternatives are one of the best ways to build your quads.
If you go to your gym, a lot of people will tell you that squats are the king of all workouts, especially for the quads.
I’m not going to say they’re wrong since squats are incredibly effective, and I happen to love doing them, but they are a more advanced move that a lot of people are intimidated by.
This is why the leg press is so great.
It’s easy to do, the machine does the work for you as far as controlling your form, and it destroys your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
The other main reason is that your quad is used during the concentric and eccentric part of the move.
When you push the platform up, your quad is doing most of the work, and as you lower it back down, it is also engaged.
They will give you a tight butt
The control portion and the eccentric part of these moves will work your glutes, and this is important for everyday activities and body composition.
Lightweight with more reps will help you tighten your butt along with your hamstrings giving it a nice rounded shape.
Strong glutes will also help you sit up and down, and walk up hills and steps.
What Is The Leg Press Good For
The leg press is good for strengthening the muscles that you use on a daily basis to help you move up inclines, get up and down from seated positions, and walk and run.
Everyone thinks that weight training is for bodybuilders but the biggest positive that comes from it is helping individuals maintain their mobility and strength as they get older.
How Can I Do A Leg Press Without A Machine
Below I’m going to show you videos on how to do a leg press without a machine with a resistance band and dumbbells.
It’s nice to have the perfect piece of equipment to do your workouts but sometimes you have to adapt to what’s available to you at the time.
All of these leg press alternatives will help you target your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
If you’re doing any of these for the first time make sure to watch the tutorial videos so that you are doing them correctly to limit the chances of an injury occurring.