This Trick Will Make Doing Leg Presses Much Easier

Are you hitting the leg press machine on leg day? Leg presses are also called seated leg presses, machine squat presses, and machine leg presses. This is a great strength training exercise where you're lifting weights to get stronger muscles. 

The leg press machine in the gym is what many use on leg days. Livestrong notes leg presses work nearly all the muscles in your legs — quads, hamstrings, calves, shins — as well as your glutes. There are 2 types of leg press machines — the incline leg press machine and the horizontal leg press machine. The setup for each is nearly the same, with the only difference being a pivoted machine. An incline machine uses a 45-degree angle, so you're facing a bit upward and pushing the weight in that direction. In a horizontal machine, you're facing forward and pushing the weight in that direction. Your gym might have one or both machines. 

A 2012 study published in The Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation recommends leg presses for people with osteoarthritis in the knees because the machine can distribute the weight evenly. Leg presses will also help increase knee flexor and extender strength while supporting the back and spine.

What if you aren't going to the gym anymore and don't have access to these machines? What if you just want to work out at home but still want the benefits of leg presses? Maybe you should try something new.

Try this leg press trick

What if you could get the same benefits at home that you get from a leg press machine at the gym? It's true. According to Healthline, all you need is a resistance band. Lie down on your back, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, and point your toes to the sky. Wrap your resistance band around your feet — wear your sneakers to keep the band from slipping off. Loop the band around each foot and hold the other end in your hands above your chest. Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, push your feet toward the wall — not up — until your legs are straight and at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Allow your feet to come back to that 90-degree angle. That's one leg press with the resistance band. 

BIQBandTraining recommends putting the resistance band behind your shoulders and wrapping it around both feet simultaneously. This method can work well if you're using a looped band. Which one you do depends on your personal preference. 

An alternative to this is the seated leg press with a resistance band. You'll need a chair for this one. Sit in your chair with your back and butt pressed up to the back of the chair. Lift your legs and bring your feet in to wrap your resistance band around them. Follow the instructions above for the lying leg presses, and do 8-12 of these.