You have to drag yourself to the gym to do the lying leg press. It's an effective compound lower body weight training exercise that develops the major muscle groups in your legs, but you need access to a sled or leg press machine. You can effectively train those same muscle groups without having to go to the gym with free weights or body-weight exercises.
The lying leg press exercise primarily develops the quadriceps, which are a collection of four muscles at the front of your upper thighs. The quadriceps, or quads, straightens your knee joints as you push against the platform. Simultaneously, your gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your buttocks, contracts to extend your hip joints, and the soleus, one of your calf muscles, straightens your ankles.
The squat exercise recruits and develops the same collection of muscle groups. You can perform the exercise with a barbell or a set of dumbbells. If you’re using a barbell, set and hold it atop your upper shoulders, behind your neck. If you prefer to use a pair of dumbbells, hold the weights and allow your arms to hang down by your sides. Set your feet so that they’re shoulder-width apart and then bend your knees and push your buttocks back to lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Your quadriceps extends your knees, your glutes extend your hips, and your calves straighten your ankles.
Lunges develop the quadriceps, glutes and calves, but instead of both legs working simultaneously, each leg works independently. This is beneficial in working both legs equally so that a stronger leg doesn't end up doing all the work. During lunges, each leg has to work by itself. Hold a pair of dumbbells down by your side and take a large step forward with one foot. Lower your back knee down towards the floor and then come up out of the lunge, bringing your front foot back to line up again with your trail foot. On the next repetition, step forward with the opposite leg.
Stepups can be completed with a plyo box or a step, and like lunges, your legs have to work independently. The quadriceps, glutes and calves work together as you step up onto the box. Hold a pair of dumbbells down by your sides. Place one foot completely on the box and then drive up off that leg to bring your entire body up onto the box. Keep that initial foot on the box as you lower yourself back down.
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.