Wondering about what some of the best leg press alternatives are? Then, this is the best guide for you to learn about the 5 Best Leg Press Alternatives you can try.
Before we jump into that, let’s learn what a leg press exercise is and how it is actually performed. The leg press is a compound movement performed in the gym to train the leg muscles. Most of the time, it is performed on a leg press machine. A leg press machine is a special machine designed to perform leg press.
As the name suggests, in this exercise, one has to press the weight with his/her legs. The leg press machine has weights on it, which are to be pressed. But not everyone has access to a leg press machine, and that’s why they tend to look for leg press alternatives.
The leg press is a good exercise to train your leg muscles. The primary muscle that it trains is the quadriceps, and the secondary muscles to be trained include hamstrings and glutes. The leg press has fewer technical difficulties as it is performed on a machine and can also be performed by beginners.
But there are some downsides to this exercise, including excessive load on your knees and lower back. If not performed correctly, it can exert a lot of stress on your knees and lower back.
Suppose you’re worried about getting crushed by a leg press machine, or you don’t have a leg press machine or don’t want to perform leg presses. In that case, we have a list of exercises that can be equally good or even better alternatives for the traditional leg press exercise.
5 Best Leg Press Alternatives Guide For You
1. Resistance Band Leg Press
One of the closest leg press alternatives is the resistance band leg press. Both the exercises are the same except for the kind of resistance they provide. Leg press using a resistance band can not produce the same amount of resistance that a leg press machine offers. Still, it can be an effective exercise for beginners and intermediate gym-goers.
To perform this exercise, you need to lie down on the ground with one end of a resistance band stuck at the end of your legs and one end in your hand. Raise your legs in such a position that your legs and upper body form a right angle.
This exercise’s basic movement is to bend your knees to the chest and stretch the legs completely until straight. Repeat this movement till 8-12 repetitions according to your strength. There are many other exercises you can do with a resistance band that you can read here.
Squats are the best leg press alternatives, according to some of the experts. Squats work a lot of muscles which include glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and calves. You can learn more about the amazing benefits of squats here. Squats can be done without any equipment, but you should go for weighted squats, which can be done using dumbells or barbells with plates if you need more resistance.
To perform this movement, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. You can keep your hands in any position to find balance. Keep your body weight on your heels.
Bend your knees and send your hips backward; sit until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be on top of your ankles. Stand up straight without locking your knees. Repeat this movement for 8-12 reps.
There can be a lot of variation to squats, and you can hold dumbells and barbells to increase weight. Sumo squats and split squats are some other variations that you might want to try.
This is another leg press alternative that is proven to be very good for the lower body. One advantage of lunges over leg press is that it doesn’t exert any pressure on your back. Lunges can be made standing in the same spot or by walking back and forth. Lunges work your abdominals, back muscles, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Lunges can be performed with or without weights. To perform lunges, stand straight with your chest up, shoulders braced, and feet hip-width apart. Take one step forward with any leg and bend your front knee till your thighs are parallel to the ground, and your back knee is bent at the right angle.
Slowly gather your core and stand straight by forcing your body to move up. Then repeat the process by taking a step with your other leg. You can do 8-12 reps spread over three sets. Lunges can also be made with dumbells in both hands to increase the difficulty and exert more force on your legs.
4. Glute Bridges
Glute bridge is one such leg press alternative that can be done when one doesn’t have a lot of space to exercise. It works your glutes along with your abdominals, hamstrings, quads, back, and calves. It also helps in strengthening your core area.
To perform a glute bridge, lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet just under your knees planted to the ground. Keep both your hands aside with palms facing down, and your core tightened.
Squeeze your glutes and raise your butt off the floor. Straighten your back in such a way that it forms a straight line with your knees. Then lower your back slowly and repeat this process 8 to 12 times.
An advanced variation of the same exercise is barbell hip thrusters which can be performed using barbell and weights, which is also a good leg press alternative.
5. Broad Jumps
Broad jumps, also known as standing long jumps and leapfrog jumps, are an explosive leg press alternative to work your legs. You need a little more space than other exercises to perform this because it requires movement of the whole body from a place to other. It can be done without any equipment and works your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
To perform this exercise, stand straight and bend your knees till your thighs are parallel to the ground keeping your upper body straight, achieving the squat position. The next step is to engage your core and heels and use your hands to propel forward and jump in the air.
Then landing slowly on your feet with your knees bend just like the starting position. Absorb all the force through your knees, hips, and ankles. Repeat this exercise 8-12 times in a set of two with 10 seconds break in between.
To increase the difficulty, one can use ankle weights or wrap a resistance band across thighs.
This was our guide to choose the best leg press alternative or perform all of them to train your legs. If you don’t want to perform leg press, you can definitely try any of these leg press alternatives. These do not require a leg press machine and can be very effective for someone who has just started training legs. Also, make sure to do a warm-up before every exercise to minimize the chances of any injury.
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