Itching to work on those legs but can't make it to the gym? No worries! There are a ton of leg press alternatives you can do at home and this blog is here to guide you through our favorites. We’ve got options that require zero equipment and some that just include basic home workout kit like resistance bands or dumbbells. Either way, help is on hand to get an almighty leg burn going right in your living room!

Understanding the Leg Press

Before diving into the "how-to," it's worth remembering what muscles you’d be working with the leg press machine at the gym, namely, the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Our home-based alternatives are designed to hit these same muscle groups, using similar movements to keep your lower body toned and strong.

A man using a leg press machine in a home gym setup with Major Fitness equipment, while a woman and child interact cheerfully

Leg Press at Home - Recommended Exercises

1. Resistance Band Leg Press

Setup:

Sit on a mat with a resistance band looped around a sturdy object behind you. Position the band across the top of your feet.

Execution:

With your back straight, press your feet forward against the band's resistance, extending your legs fully. Focus on squeezing the quads at the top of the movement.

Tips:

Maintain tension in the band throughout the movement and control the return to the starting position.

2. Resistance Band Leg Press Variation

Setup:

Lie on a mat on your back, lift your knees up so they create a 90-degree angle with your feet in the air. Wrap the band around your feet and hold the ends.

Execution:

Press your feet against the bands until your legs are straight. Bend your knees to return to a 90-degree angle. This version makes you work against gravity, just like leg presses on a machine.

* And remember, if you find the exercise is getting too easy, you can increase resistance by using a shorter or thicker band. We recommend Major Fitness’ Resistance Power Bands for a solid mix of resistances.

3. Dumbbell Wall Sit Squat

Setup:

Stand with your back against a wall, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides (this can also be performed without dumbbells).

Execution:

Lower yourself into a wall sit position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this position briefly, then press through the heels to return to a standing position. Make sure to check that your knees aren’t going past your toes on this one – if they are, adjust your starting position by moving your feet further away from the wall.

Tips:

Keep your back against the wall throughout the movement, maintain an even pace, and engage your core for stability. This exercise not only targets your legs but also engages your core and stabilizing muscles for an all-round workout.

4. Bodyweight Squats

Setup:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Ensure your feet are firmly planted on the ground and distribute your weight evenly. Extend your arms straight out in front of you or place your hands on your hips for balance.

Execution:

Lower into a squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, as if you're sitting back into a chair. Keep your chest up and back straight. Aim to get your thighs parallel to the floor, or as close as you can without feeling any discomfort. Push through your heels to return to the starting position and squeeze your glutes at the top to complete the movement. Remember to keep your head up and eyes forward to maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

Tips:

Keep your knees aligned with your toes throughout the movement, engage your core for stability, and focus on controlling the descent and ascent of the squat.

* To increase the difficulty here, try grabbing a dumbbell and turn this into a goblet squat!

5. Glute Bridge

Setup:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.

Execution:

Engage your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold the top position for a moment, then lower your hips back down to the starting position.

Tips:

Keep your heels planted firmly on the ground, maintain a neutral spine, and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

Warm-Up and Cooldown

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, any time we recommend exercises or workout ideas, a warm-up and cooldown are essential. A decent warm-up should consist of dynamic stretches or light cardio to prepare the muscles, while the cooldown can focus on static stretching.

So, who needs a leg press machine?

Turns out doing a leg press at home is easier than you might have thought! Try out some of the leg press alternatives we’ve suggested and maintain your lower body strength without stepping foot in a gym! Ready for an upgrade? Check out our range of top-selling home gym equipment.


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