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Substitute for Leg Press at Home

Question: Is there a way to do leg presses at home? If not what is a good Substitute exericse? I have a nice free weight set with bench and pulleys. Bessie

Answer: Bessie, A good way to strengthen the same muscles you would strengthen in a leg press is to do squats while holding dumbbells, elevating your heels by putting a book under each heel and letting your rear-end drop back behind you as you lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then stand back up to the starting position, making each repetition very slow, and press your heels into the books as you come up. You can also do step-ups: If your bench is sturdy enough, put your whole foot in the middle of your bench. Step up with one foot, tap the top of the bench with the other foot and then lower yourself slowly back down. Do all your repetitions on each leg before you switch to the other leg. Work up to about 20 repetitions on each leg and, as you get stronger, you can add resistance by holding dumbbells. If your bench isn't sturdy enough, use a stair or hold on to something for balance. Be sure to stretch after working your legs to keep your muscles balanced and limber.

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