Besides Deadlifts, there are 2 great compound exercises for your lower body and especially legs. Squats are definitely the king of leg exercises. However, the leg press is a great alternative to squats and it brings its own advantages to the table. The great thing is that you can perform this exercise easily with resistance bands. This will give you more resistance and therefore will make this a great movement to build up your legs.
This article will give you all the information about how to perform the leg press correctly, what to keep in mind while performing it as well as alternative ways to do this movement.
Leg Press With Resistance Band
Let’s get into it and give those legs a great workout.
Band VS Weights & Machine
Doing your leg press with a resistance band gives you several advantages over doing them with a machine or free weights.
- Follow the natural strength curve of your muscle! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of your muscle, having the most power in the full contraction. With free weights, you often fatigue in the expanded part of your muscle without fully fatiguing the whole muscle.
Especially in the starting position (bottom position) we are weaker than in the finishing position (top position). Band are perfect, since they provide less resistance at the start of the movement and maximize the resistance at the end where we are the strongest.
- Fewer Injuries & Home Workout! You probably don’t have a home gym with a lot of weight at your disposal and doing lunges with weights take quite a lot of time to develop the right technique to be able to handle more weight without risking injury – with resistance bands you can do lunges at home with minimal equipment and very safe, since band force you to perform the exercise in a good form simply by using them. Automatic injury prevention. Nice!
- Versatility! With one band you can simulate a variety of resistances depending on the stretch and also use it to train your whole body.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights or machines, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing triceps Overhead Extension, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and muscle building, check it out here.
How To Leg Press The Right Way
The best way to perform a leg press with resistance bands is in a lying position. You could also call it a lying leg extension. This will make sure that you are stable and that you only have to focus on moving your legs. In this exercise you will use your body to anchor the band.
- Lie down on the floor with a straight back
- Wrap the band around your feet to prevent it from slipping
- Bring the band over your head and rest it on your upper back
- Brace your core and extend your legs in an angle slightly lower than 45-degrees
- Squeeze your quads actively and then return to the starting position
This is the best set up for leg press with resistance bands. I’m sure you will get a hang of it quite quickly. When you’re first doing this movement be patient and start with a lighter band to get a hang of the right movement pattern. Make sure to read the Do’s and Don’ts to keep all the possible mistakes in mind and avoid them.
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
⓵ No Slack – when you’re in the starting position of your leg press (bent legs), there shouldn’t be any slack in the band. The band should already be stretched before you start extending your legs. This will make sure that you have resistance throughout the movement. You can simply wrap the band around your feet to prevent the band of having slack.
If it is not possible for you to extend your legs completely without having a slack at the bottom position you need to use a lighter resistance band (below you find tips how to increase the force with a lighter resistance band).
⓶ Push Forward Not Up – Don’t make the mistake and extend your legs towards the ceiling and not forward. This will give you way less resistance in the end position of the leg press and will also bring you in a less stable position
⓷ Brace Your Core – Actively brace your core. This means your abs and lower back muscles for more stability. This will also give you the ability to move more resistance and therefore give you better results.
Place The Band On Your Upper Back – Make sure to place the band on your upper back and not around your neck. Your legs are strong muscles, and they can move quite a lot of load. You don’t want to have that stress on your neck. The upper back can easily handle the stress.
Alternative Ways To Leg Press With Resistance Bands
In this section you will find great alternatives to the standard version which is described above. Some people simply don’t like or have difficulties with the movement. This is where variations come into play. Try them and find out which variation is a prefect fit for you!
Single Leg Lying Leg Press – This is a great variation to focus on one leg at a time. A huge advantage is that you place the not working leg on the floor. This will give you much more stability. The set up stays the same as described above.
Single Leg Sitting Leg Press – The sitting version gives you a huge advantage compared to the other variations. And this is that you can adjust the resistance mid-set. You will grab the band with both hands and place the band around one of your feet. Now you will extend this leg fully and return to the starting position. Grab the band further towards your foot and you will have more resistance. Let it slip a little and you will lower the resistance. great!
Get Your Pump
If that doesn’t get you that pump, here are some tips that will help you work that butt and thighs to the ground.
Double Time – If you feel that there is only a little bit of resistance missing and a jump to the next thicker band would be too much, simply add a second one of the lighter ones. It will give just that extra resistance you’re looking for without taking it over the top.
Time Under Tension – compared to weights where you have the same force applied to any position of the movement, bands will add more resistance the further you stretch them – this will lower the time under tension your muscle has during a set in the starting position. Focus on doing the exercise controlled and try to hold it for a second or two in the fully contracted position and don’t let the band snap back but slowly go back to the starting position.
Leg Press is a great exercise but it is not a full workout. For a healthy body you need to train it. And this means every muscle and lots of movement patterns.
We offer you a full and individual workout plan to help you to reach your goals. Simply take the quiz right here and get your free workout plan with even more tips to get the best out of training with resistance bands.