The standing leg extension offers a similar movement as a leg extension machine, but changes the exercise from an “open-chain” exercise to a “closed-chain” exercise—meaning your supporting leg and foot are in a fixed position: You can use a hip thrust pad to perform this exercise easier. The quadriceps are one of the biggest muscles in the body, and the classic leg press machine at a gym gives them a great workout. Rather than looking for non-machine options, you could choose to do an entirely different exercise. Do not rest your other leg on the bench/box – just leave it “in the air” for a second before placing it back on the ground. Your next step-up should be with your other leg. Plant your left foot on the plate on a 45-degree angle with your toes … Using a dumbbell, slightly bend one knee and lift the other leg off the ground. It is one of the most effective exercises when it comes to targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The video clip below shows a weighted squat which is perfect for more the more advanced. The leg press targets the quads, hamstrings and glutes. Keep lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive weight into your heels to stand back up to your starting position. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and placing one foot up on the bench. Leaning back into the barbell, bend your knees and lower yourself down into a squat, over a few seconds. This exercise works on the pushing motion in the lower body just like the leg press does. You can do the leg press on a machine in a gym, or you might follow the leg press alternatives like squats. Place your weaker leg on the bench (it will stay there until the end of your rep range). 12. The exercises included in this article target every muscle in your lower body and are good for everything important: strength, power and size. Then wear a weighty backpack or hold a kettlebell/dumbells when lunging and feel the burn! Want to pack some size on your quads? Step forward with one leg, keeping your hips square and bend at the knee to drop forward. For those of you who love “loading up on weight” like you can do on the leg press machine, this one is for you. Pro tip: Hold the dumbbells in front rack position to increase the load on your quads and get your arms working too. Get ready to kiss the leg press machine (and waiting in a queue to use it) goodbye! If you have a spine or lower back problems, a single leg press might be the best way to use leg press machines. There are plenty of other great alternative exercises for the leg press out there. Have a weight plate of a suitable weight in your hands, ready to go. Stand in the rack with the bar on your back as in a back squat. Brian Ward is a fitness writer, founder & editor of TheWorkoutDigest. If you are using the leg press machine as an assistance exercise, step ups may be a great alternative. results — no machine needed. Lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, ensuring your knees are behind or in line with your toes. Squats are the most similar exercises to the leg press, which is why it’s our number one alternative. With your upper back rooted to the floor, lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your hips and knees, squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. One-leg leg press. Have a dumbbell in each hand on extended arms by your sides. Roll a barbell over your lap so that it is in the crease of your hips. Sit in the leg press and rotate your body onto your right side so that you are sitting on your right hip. You can perform most lunge variations at home, working your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Like a standard wall sit, but with added weight to make it that much more grueling! The landmine press is a unique exercise that can build strength, core stability, scapular control, and general body awareness necessary for strength, power, and fitness sports. Lateral Single-Leg Squat. This post may use affiliate links. Why not level-up make your workout even more challenging by wearing ankle weights when executing the movement. Keep your feet hip-width apart, and your toes slightly turned out. Through optimal hip extension, barbell hip thrusts target your glutes and hamstring. Do three rounds of the following exercises: Jumping jacks (or jump rope) – 60 seconds, Forward lunges (right-left equals one) – 30 seconds]. The Leg extensions are perfect if you need to Aim & look on your quads. Sometimes known as standing long jumps, this exercise develops explosive strength and improves your fast-twitch muscle reactions. Step 3: Next, begin the exercise by releasing the pin so that all the weight is now supported by your right leg… Due to the muscles working in the leg press, I recommended it as an alternative to the belt squat and alternative to the front squat. Load the smith rack up with an appropriate weight (don’t be too heroic). The leg press is also a popular choice for those suffering from lower back pain. Without collapsing through your chest (keep upright), engage your core and then bend both your front and back knee to lower yourself into a deep lunge. It works one leg at a time, which means it’s an excellent way to spot and fix left-to-right strength imbalances. Facing away from the landmine, place the barbell on one shoulder and place your toes on the weight plate on the floor so only your heels are on the ground. Not to worry, you can build-up these smaller muscles with another set of leg exercises you can do anywhere. Like the barbell step-ups as mentioned above, but with a greater focus on unilateral strength. This convenience is most important for any exercise that would replace the Leg Extension Alternatives. In this article, I will be introducing you to 11 alternatives to the leg press machine that are designed to sculpt and strengthen your pins! Working one leg a a time helps to build strength and hip symmetry. I find that this exercise and the continuous load on one leg creates a greater level of exertion through the glutes. Whether it be because you don’t have access to a leg press machine, or you simply want to spice up your leg workouts with something different – there’s plenty here to keep you going for a few leg days. The single leg press is good for isolating the major leg muscles including the quads and hamstrings, the same way you use dumbbells to isolate each bicep or tricep. © 2016–2021 TheWorkoutDigest.com - All Rights Reserved TheWorkoutDigest.com is designed for informational purposes only & DOES NOT provide medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. That said, this exercise is a machine variation. As you can see, there are plenty of amazing alternatives to sitting in the leg press machine, day in and day out. Benefits of The Leg Press. Single Leg Press/ Unilateral Leg Press. Each leg pushes up it’ own … Leg Workouts at Home: No Equipment Leg Exercises, At-Home Leg Workouts: Feel Strong and Confident This Summer, 12 Days of Christmas Workout: Holiday HIIT is Here. If you don't have the right exercise equipment to do a leg press at home, you can use dumbbells as extra resistance for several alternative exercises instead. What makes this exercise special is the uneven distribution of weight. This exercise places all the tension on one leg at a time – and without placing unnecessary tension on your spine. You can alternate legs on each rep, train only one leg, or train them at the same time. The problem is that a lot of people restrict their leg workouts to the local gym, but what if you want to do some leg workouts at home? We left this one till last as even though you will still need to use the leg press, this exercise is great for solving an imbalance in legs. Pro tip: Raise the height of the bench/box to keep this exercise challenging you! The leg press functions in all the four segments of our leg muscles in our lower body section. Like the barbell step-ups as mentioned above, but with a greater focus on unilateral strength. This is another exercise that looks nothing like the leg press but is actually a very good alternative, both for the gym and home use. Pro tip: Take a slightly wider foot stance to target your inner thighs and hamstrings, as you would with a wide stance leg press. This heavy-duty piece of fitness equipment isn’t cheap, so unless you’ve got a high-end home gym set-up, you’ll find this at a fitness center near you. The further away your feet are from your hips, the more you will target your hamstrings. Bend your knees, sending your arms backwards and then with as much explosive power as possible, jump forwards creating as much hip drive as possible. Now that you know the benefits of a leg press machine and your home variations, you can start incorporating leg press alternatives into your regular exercise routine. Top 9 Effective Bench Press Alternative Exercises to Try Today, Leg Press Vs Hack Squat: The Quest For Maximum Quadriceps Hypertrophy, 13 Seated & Lying Leg Curl Alternatives (You Can Do at Home), Bench Press Vs Push Ups: Why The Bench Press Isn’t Enough, Top 7 Decline Bench Press Alternatives & Substitutes, 3 Reasons Your Wrists Hurt During Front Squats & How to Fix it, 8 Hardest Ab Exercises to Upgrade your Core Workout, Top 6 Alternatives to Lunges for Bad Knees, 6 Medicine Ball Partner Exercises for a Full Body Workout, Lie on your back with bent knees and the resistance band under the arch of your feet. Check out my other article where I discuss the 5 different foot placements for leg press. All three of these muscle groups can be effectively targeted through other exercises. You can do the following four leg press alternatives easily from the comfort of your home, at the park or in your backyard. They can be done with either a barbell on your back or with dumbbells by your side. Who knows! If you want to target your quads in a similar way that the narrow stance leg press does, then this is the exercise for you! There's a lot of proponents of single leg training, especially in the athletic world with single leg squats, due to lower back injury risk combined with the bilateral deficit which says we can actually produce more force per limb when using one limb at a time (ie a single leg … Single leg press variation. Note, this is NOT for beginners. He has been a contributor for several health and fitness publications, including WealthyGorilla.com, MuscleAndBrawn.com. Leg presses involve pushing your feet against a certain amount of resistance weight on a leg press machine — the more the weight, the more challenging the movement. Instead of using both legs at the same time, use one leg at a time to make sure each leg gets a thorough workout. Step up onto the bench/box with your weaker leg first, driving through your heel and the middle of your foot. Single leg squats (unilateral squats) are a great alternative to two leg squats (bilateral squats). Walking is great for your health, but how much do you need to walk to aid weight loss? The machine is excellent for people who may be recovering from an injury and need to execute movements in a careful, controlled manner minimizing any overextension or incorrect form – often the case with barbell exercises. Ensure that you keep your chest up, your weight in your front heel and your front knee behind your toes. Load a barbell into front rack positions with the bar across your collar bones, soft hands, wrists flexed back and elbows up. By isolating one side at a time, you strengthen the weak areas to create more balance and proportion between both legs. This exercise replicates the biomechanics of the leg press in that you are pushing the weight/resistance away from your body. Driving through your heel and the middle of your foot, push up to be standing on the bench. 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