5 Leg Press Alternatives to Make Leg Day More Interesting

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5 Leg Press Alternatives to Make Leg Day More Interesting

Whether it’s because your back is bothering you, or there’s a line at the rack, or you’re just not feeling up for a full day of squats, the leg press is a fine, safe alternative to be sure you still get in a solid lower-body workout. (At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself, you giant baby.) But deep down, you probably know that although it feels cool to put 1,000 pounds on the leg press and pretend you’re Superman for a half-dozen sets, there are definitely exercises out there that would be much better uses of your time. We asked some friendly fitness pros for their thoughts on what to do next time you hear the leg press’ siren call.

Ben Booker: Smith machine squats. The Smith machine squat, performed with or without a box, allows you to experience the same benefits of the leg press safely and effectively while keeping a solid kinetic chain. The solid plane of motion the allows you to use a heavier load, which is why you see many people who can leg-press 750 pounds but are unable to squat 200 pounds! Still, exercises build great strength and size. Use a weight that allows you to get your thighs parallel to the ground, or even deeper. Keep the feet flat throughout the entire lift while driving the heels through the floor. Keeping your core tight and your chest up throughout the motion will protect your lower back and knees, too.

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5 Leg Press Alternatives to Make Leg Day More Interesting | GQ