If you've grown tired of your normal workout routine or find that you have aching joints every time you visit the gym, leg presses with an exercise ball might prove to be an improvement on your current routine. The ball helps provide stability, ensuring your don't injure your joints or overextend your muscles. It also adds intensity to your workout as you squeeze the ball to hold it in place. You'll get a workout in your hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, as well as some stretching in your ankles and lower back.
Warm up your muscles for five to 10 minutes by walking or cycling at a slow pace. Then stretch your legs by sitting and reaching for your toes. Stand up and pull your foot back so that your calf is pushed against your thigh. If you feel intense pain while stretching, it could indicate an injury, so consult your doctor before proceeding with your routine.
Sit with your back flat across the back rest of the leg press machine. Place the ball in between your knees. Your feet should be approximately the same width apart as your hips, so choose an appropriately sized medicine ball. Your knees should be slightly bent.
Push your legs up against the plate while squeezing your knees together to hold the ball in place. Push until your legs are straight, continuing to squeeze and ehxaling. Then, while inhaling, allow your legs to slowly return to their original position while continuing to squeeze the medicine ball. Begin with four to five reps and gradually build up to more.
Things You'll Need
- American Council on Exercise: Seated Leg Press
- Medicine Ball Training; Zoltan Tenke et al.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.