Leg Presses Without a Machine
There are certain machines at the gym always seem to be busy. You know the ones, you have to circle around them a few times and get on a few other machines while you wait for that machine to become free. The leg press is most definitely one of these machines. Doing leg presses is a fast and effective way to build up those much needed leg muscles, and taking a seat and pushing that big square plate on the leg press machine really gets the job done. But, you don’t need this magical machine to do some leg presses on your own at home. And once you learn these exercises you might just pass up that busy machine and head home to do leg presses on your own.
You know, a leg press doesn’t necessarily have to be a press. You can get the same effect by doing a pull instead. Meaning, instead of pushing on the big plate on the leg press machine you can simply lift some ankle weights. It’s all about added weight and resistance, after all, and pushing or pulling doesn’t matter. Strap the ankle weights on, sit on the edge of a chair and lean back, using your hands to hold either side of the chair for stability. Slowing lift your lower legs and straighten them as much as you can. Hold them straight for a count of five before lowering them slowly, still using the resistance. As you progress you can hold your legs straight for a count of ten.
Doing leg presses with resistance bands is the same idea as doing them with a machine. The band provides the weight and resistance instead of the machine, that’s the only difference. Lie on your back and place the band on the bottom of your foot. Hold the ends of the resistance band, (bands with built-in handles are great for this type of exercise) and slowly press your foot away from your body. Tighten your leg and glute muscles as you push. Straighten your leg as much as possible, working until it is fully straight if you can. Switch legs after about 10 or 20 repetitions.