Do you know you can work out your legs without leg press machines in the comfort of your home? These leg press alternatives at home are your best bet for that!
Sometimes you can’t access the gym due to bad weather, finances, or distance. Other times, you may get bored with your daily leg workout routine and want to spice things up.
The good news is: You don’t have to quit leg workouts because you can’t access leg press machines as there are alternatives to fix your workout schedule at the convenience of your home.
This article gives an insight into leg press alternatives at home to effectively train your leg and enjoy various benefits.
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LEG PRESS ALTERNATIVES AT HOME
1. LEG PRESS USING RESISTANCE BAND
This is an elastic and portable workout band that you can use at home to strengthen your leg muscles without the fear of a heavy machine dropping on your foot.
You can mimic a leg press’s mechanics using a resistance band by pushing it far away from your body to engage more leg muscles.
Resistance band challenges specific muscles like quad, hamstrings, glute, and calves. You can opt for a shorter or thicker resistance band to increase the muscle resistance.
2. WALL- SIT
Most people overlook wall sit exercise due to its simplicity.
Wall-sit is a static exercise that builds strength and endurance on your legs. You’re only required to hold yourself in a seated position for 30 to 60 consecutive seconds.
Wall-sit exercise predominantly targets the muscles in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings the same way a narrow stance leg does, making it among the recommended leg press alternatives at home.
If you’re a beginner, opt for a standard wall sit. But if you’re a veteran, you can add weight on your thighs or do single-leg wall sit to make the exercise more grueling.
3. WALKING LUNGES
Walking lunges engages both legs by combining both forward and backward lunges.
Lunges improve balance on both your legs, developing them evenly. Lunges target the glute, core, hips, and abdominal muscles.
You can start with static lunges to build stability and coordination. Later, you can incorporate dumbbells or do lunges with a torso twist, to improve strength and endurance.
You can do walking lunges two to three times a week for effective results.
The squat is a functional exercise that works your core muscles, hamstrings, calves, lower back, and abdominals. It involves bending and stretching of leg muscles to improve posture.
Squats improve your flexibility by strengthening the ligaments and tendons, which tend to become less elastic with age. This improves stability, consequently preventing occasional falls.
Step-ups are the most amazing multi-joint resistance exercise that engages your quads, glutes, and hamstring. The act of stepping up each leg at a time improves your stability and balance.
You can either use a small step stool or the staircase of your house to do step-ups.
Ensure you maintain a straight back and tight abdominal muscles for effective results.
You can either opt for barbell step-ups or single-leg dumbbell step-ups to create a killer workout based on the level you’re in.
Speed is also vital according to the goals you want to achieve.
6. BROAD JUMPS
Broad jumps challenge the lower body by targeting your quads, glutes, calve, and hamstring, consequently building leg strength.
Broad jumps improve twitch muscle fibers’ reaction as your legs and core muscles contract generating maximum force with each jump.
You can use resistance bands to do broad jumps for maximum muscle benefits.
7. BRIDGE EXERCISES
Bridge butt requires you to press your heels down while lifting your hips off the floor.
Always remember to tighten your abdominal and glute muscles while doing his leg press alternative at home.
Bridge workout engages your glutes, hamstrings, hips, and quads, consequently improving your posture.
8. BARBELL HIP THRUST
If you want to engage your glutes and hamstring muscles, barbell hip thrust is the best workout for you!
Barbell thrust is an excellent leg press alternative at home as it increases your lower body strength while limiting pressure on your back.
You can either use a bench or a simple barbell at home to thrust your hips, engaging your core and glutes muscles.
If you’re a beginner, you can eliminate the barbell and just do the hip thrust.
9. GOBLET SQUATS
Goblet squats are the most viable leg press alternatives at home as they are easier to learn and safer.
Goblet squats mimic the same pattern as leg press machines and target the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and abdominal muscles.
You need to hold a dumbbell in front of your chest and squat. Repeat the workout 15 times.
10. WALL SQUATS
The most underrated yet effective leg press alternatives at home which require no equipment is the wall-squat. You only need a wall, and you’re set to go.
This exercise involves a lot of muscle tension by building your glutes, calves, and quads the same way leg press machines do.
You can make the exercise even harder by holding dumbbells on your thighs.
IS LEG PRESS BETTER THAN SQUATS?
Do you wish to have a strong and toned lower body composition but aren’t sure whether to do squats or leg press?
Worry no more!
Doing squats or leg press depends on the specific goals you want to achieve and the health impact on your body.
IS LEG PRESS BETTER THAN SQUATS IN TERMS OF SIMPLICITY?
The leg press machine is easier to learn since there is less controlled body movement.
On the other hand, squats with weights are complex exercises requiring body stability, coordination, and a sense of confidence to do it correctly.
If you want to target your leg muscles without many complications, opt for leg press machines.
IS LEG PRESS BETTER THAN SQUATS IN TERMS OF SAFETY
The leg press is effective as it doesn’t put pressure on your back by loading your spine. While
squats with weights, if not coordinated properly, can cause back pain.
Leg press causes you less fatigue as it has quick recovery times compared to squats.
If you have an injury, avoid doing squats until it is completely healed.
HORMONAL RESPONSE IN LEG PRESS VS IN SQUATS
Tense workouts lead to testosterone and growth hormone production responsible for mass growth, increase in bone mass, and reduce body fat.
According to a 2015 study, where blood samples were taken from 10 trainees after intense recreational exercises involving leg press and squats, a high concentration of testosterone, growth hormone, and cortisol were found after performing squats than after performing leg presses.
Therefore, free weight exercises involving squats induce great hormones than resistance training exercises with leg press machines.
LEG PRESS VS SQUATS IN TERMS OF MUSCLE ACTIVATION
According to this study conducted on 10 male weightlifters, who engaged in leg press and squats, it was found that squats activated more of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle leading to better and advanced muscles than the leg press.
The study adds that when doing squats, the knee uses greater force than doing workouts with a seated leg press machine.
LEG PRESS VS SQUATS IN TERMS OF STRENGTH AND SPEED
78 people were studied over an 8-week period to determine the impact of leg press and squats on strength and speed.
It was found that 12.4 % of the participants and 12 % improved their speed performance in jump starts and countermovement jumps, respectively.
Leg press reported less performance with squat jumps incurring 3.5% and counter jumps, 0.5%.
Therefore, squats offer maximum strength and an increase in speed performance compared to the leg press.
Squats report many more functional benefits than leg press as it involves a larger muscle group. Therefore, always choose different squat variations for maximum benefits.
You don’t really need leg press machines to train your legs effectively. Other alternatives target your lower muscles the same way the leg press machine does.
You can pick three of the above leg press alternatives at home and improvise them to attain strong and toned legs.