11 Best Effective Leg Press Alternative for You to Do at Home

The leg press exercise is very popular and effective for building leg muscles and improving leg strength. The leg press is a machine-based exercise that targets the quads and additional glutes. Also, it’s the best compound exercise for the lower body.

The leg press is an excellent way to strengthen your legs by pushing your legs against weights on the leg press machine.  

Well, leg press is great like any exercise, it gives more of a good thing. If you’re running, walking and jumping, that has more benefits to your legs.

However, you don’t need gym membership and expensive gym equipment to work out your legs. With these 11 exercises you can strengthen your legs.

Read the article till the end, we are going to introduce you to 11 best leg press alternatives.

What is Leg Press

The leg press is one of the popular gym equipment, it’s really simple and easy, but the important thing is that you need to learn how to use it correctly. You will find many leg press machines at the gym.

But you need to know the correct form of these exercises, to get maximum benefits of the leg press and avoid injury. You can also take advice from personal trainers or experts to perform correctly and safely. 

Leg Press Benefits

The leg press has many benefits, but as with any exercise this exercise also has some risks and limitations. Leg press is the best compound exercise for the lower body that will help you to reach your fitness goals.

If you want to build strength, muscles and explosive power in your legs, then you can add leg press or leg press alternatives to your workout routine. The leg press is a shorter range of motion compared to squats, so your quads work harder and you can get a more intense workout with very few reps.   

There are some other benefits of leg press including:

  • This exercise is safe for the spine because you are in the seated position.
  • It can target the largest muscle in your body and burn maximum energy.
  • It can strengthen your leg muscles for increased lower body resilience.

What is Leg Press Doing?

Leg press exercises are done in seated position, your both legs can press weights repeatedly. The weight can be adjusted according to your fitness level and strength. This exercise can target your glutes, quads, hips and hamstrings.

To do seated position of leg press requires less balance and you can lift the weight easily. There are many leg press alternatives to hit leg muscle, and we have listed 11 best alternatives.

11 Best Leg Press Alternatives

01. Leg Press Using Resistance Bands

This exercise is the best leg press alternative that you are pushing the weight/resistance bands away for your body. Of course, the load that you achieve with leg press cannot be achieved with this exercise, but resistance bands leg press is great exercise for beginners.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor and face up, lift your feet off of the floor and bend your knees. Creating a 90-degree angle.
  • The resistance band under the arch of your feet and hold the band ends. Try to keep your feet side by side.
  • Push your feet away from you, against the bands until your legs are straight.
  • Hold for seconds of the movement.
  • Then, return back by bending your knees at the starting position.
  • Do this exercise of 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

02. Weighted Wall Sit

The weighted wall sit is one of the best to target your quads and your legs muscles. But add the correct weight that will make it more gruelling!

If you’re starting this exercise then start with your bodyweight, after that you’re doing it safely and correct form the add weight.

How to do it:

  • Take a weight plate of a suitable weight in your hands, now you’re ready to do this exercise.
  • Stand against the wall and keep your feet out.
  • Bend your knees and your toes are on the floor, lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Once you’re in a stable position, keep the weight plates on your legs.
  • Hold this movement for 30 to 60 seconds, it depends on your strength and fitness level.

03. Bridge Exercise

Bridge Exercise

Bridge exercise can strengthen your core and also work well on your butt and thighs.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Keep your hands straight at your sides, palms face down.
  • Tighten your buttocks and your core.
  • Then, slowly push your hips up. Creating a straight line from your shoulder to the knees.
  • Hold for seconds and lower your hips.
  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

04. Resistance Band Broad Jumps

Broad jumps with resistance bands are great exercises for developing power through the lower body and will make it extra challenging. The resistance band broad jumps are a complete lower body workout that may target your quads, calves, glutes and hamstring.

How to do it:

  • Grab a resistance band, and attach it to a cable machine at hip height.
  • Place a resistance band around your hips.
  • Step forward, away from the cable machine, until you can feel some tension in the band.
  • Then, bend your knees, sending your arms backwards, then jump as far forward as possible, creating as much hip drive as possible.
  • You must land in a semi-squat position to avoid any impact damage to your knees.
  • Walk back to the starting position towards the cable machine and repeat your reps.

05. Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Dumbbell Walking Lunges

The walking lunges with maximum weight are best for mass building through your glutes and quads. This exercise also increases the strength of your legs.

How to do it:

  • Take a pair of dumbbells and hold them with each hand by your sides.
  • Begin this exercise by standing in a neutral stance.
  • Then, take a large step forward, then bend your both knees to lower your body towards the floor.
  • Make sure that you look straight and your chest up, your weight in your front heel and your front knee behind the toes.
  • Push yourself upwards and take next step forward.
  • Repeat this exercise as many reps as you can.

06. Barbell Front Squats

Barbell front and back squats are almost the same, weight loaded on the front of your body that makes a more effective alternative to the leg press. This exercise gets the greater workout as opposed to your glutes.

How to do it:

  • Load a barbell with correct weight into the front rack position with the barbell across your collar bones.
  • Keep your back straight and elbows up.
  • Engage your core and bend your knees to lower yourself down towards the floor into a squat.
  • Make sure that you keep your chest and elbows up.
  • Push back up to the starting position, squeeze your glutes at the top.

07. Squats


Squats are the best leg press alternative, while doing squats your lower back absorbs less pressure. The squats are the best leg press alternative for those who have back pain or injuries. Squats work hard on your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

How to do it:

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your heels into the floor and face your toes forward.
  • Extend your arms straight for better balance.
  • Bend your knees and lower your buttocks by sending your hips back.
  • Make sure that your back is straight. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels and stand up to the starting position.
  • Do 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 16 reps.

08. Jump Squat

Jump squat is a very effective exercise for your legs. And it is used in lots of fitness programs. It can give tension to other muscles also like your core.

How to do it:

  • Stand straight on the floor and plant both your feet on the floor shoulder width apart.
  • Make sure that you look straight ahead.
  • Bend your hips and knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. make sure that your back is 45 to 90-degree to your hips. This is your starting position for this exercise.
  • Push yourself into the air, extending your both knees and hips.
  • Correctly land on the floor and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise as many reps as you can.

09. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

This exercise is best for putting tension on your legs and glute, when you put your back feet on the chair or bench, it will put greater tension on the glute of your grounded leg.

Ho to do it:

  • Keep a bench behind you and hold the dumbbells in each hand.
  • Plant your both feet on the floor shoulder width apart.
  • Carefully, step your right leg backwards, allowing your right foot to rest on top of the bench.
  • Extend your arms by your sides and hold the dumbbells in a neutral grip. This is your starting position for this exercise.
  • Inhale, bend your both knees to create a 90-degree angle, make sure that your weight is distributed between both legs.
  • Exhale, push yourself upward through the heel of your left feet. And return to the starting position.
  • You can alternate left and right legs and do an equal number of repetitions on each leg.

10. Barbell Step-Up

The barbell step-up is a great exercise that targets your quads, glutes and core. It is an incredibly versatile exercise and serves as an excellent leg press alternative, and provides cardio benefits and low impact on the body.

The barbell step-up improves range of motion and overall body strength.

How to perform:

  • Carefully load a barbell onto your back.
  • Stand in front of the box or bench or an appropriate height of your knees.
  • Step up onto the box or bench keeping your back straight and your core tight.
  • Make sure both feet are on the bench or box before stepping down.
  • Slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Continue your reps, alternating from one leg to the other.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 14 reps.

11. Smith Rack Squats

The smith rack squats provide stability and maximize your muscle development, and at the same time minimizing injuries. The smith machine allows you to focus entirely on your technique, which helps to promote stabilization and gives confidence to lift heavier weight, as this machine moves smoothly up and down.

How to perform:

  • Load the desirable weight onto the barbell.
  • Stand inside the rack with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the bar on your back.
  • Keep your weight in your heels, head straight, and core tight, lower into the squat position.
  • Hold the position for a second at the bottom and then slowly return back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, and take 60-90 seconds rest between the sets. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is Leg Press Bad?

    As per my opinion the leg press machine is very bad for your body, because it will not allow your joints/muscles to perform in a functional manner. It will put more stress on your lower back and your knees.

  • Is Leg Press a Good Substitute for Squats?

    If you want an all over body workout then squats are the best option, but if you have balance problems or back pain or shoulder pain, then leg press may be a better option.

  • Is Leg Press Bad for Knees?

    When you perform the correct form, then leg press is generally safe for your knees, but if you have pain while doing this exercise then immediately stop.


Basically, you don’t need a leg press machine to effectively train your legs. As you can see there are a number of amazing leg press alternatives.

Here we have listed 11 best leg press alternatives that target every muscle in your lower body that are good for building strength, power, muscles and size.

Hopefully, you like this article, if you have any questions and suggestions kindly put them in the comment box below. 

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