I see so many exercises being performed in the gym, for which there are FAR BETTER alternatives. So, I’m making a series on it. In this installment of pointless exercises, I’ll be going in on the LEG PRESS.
I’m probably going to annoy you as you’ve probably held this exercise in quite high regard. However, I’m going to tell you why I think this exercise is pretty useless.
The Leg Press
This is probably my favourite pointless exercise. Sure it’s great for making yourself feel like your human hydraulic lift, because, that’s the point, you need an absurd number of 20kg plates for it to be anywhere near difficult. When you’re repping 2-3 times bodyweight for sets of ten, it’s probably not the best-bang-for-your-buck leg exercise.
You have no choice but be that d*ck who hogs all the plates. You basically go on an expedition around the gym floor, foraging for wild, loose 20kg plates just so you have enough.
The leg press is basically a sh*t version of the barbell squat.
The leg press COMPLETELY cancels out the back. The king of leg movements- the barbell squat is not only incredible for the legs as a whole, but incredibly effective at strengthening the spine, overall back strength and core stability.
These three things are incredibly important in general daily life AND training.
Having a strong spine and core means lower risk of injury, meaning a longer career in the gym, meaning more gains. It also means less chance of back/ posture problems later on in life.
But, “HEY,” I hear you cry.
“I’ve got lower back problems, so I can’t do the barbell squat. So I need to do the leg press to train my legs.”
Never fear. Three word:. Bulgarian Split Squats.
You know, the squat variation where you put your trailing foot on a bench and you flex your front knee to at least 90 degrees.
This is perfect if you have lower back problems because you don’t have to load the weight on your spine, like on the barbell squat. You can add resistance by simply holding dumbbells in each hand. This means you don’t burden your spine and there’s no spinal compression.
This, along with weighted lunges, is BY FAR the best leg isolation movement in my opinion.
These two leg exercises only require two mere dumbbells, not 12 plates. You’re able to achieve a FAR greater range of motion than on the leg press, meaning MORE leg gains.
The leg press targets mainly the quads and little else, whereas the Bulgarian Split Squat and Weighted Lunges target quads, hamstrings, glutes and a bit of calf.
I don’t fear squats, as much as I do Bulgarian Split Squats or Lunges. Seriously.
Doing the barbell squat, Bulgarian Split Squat and weighted lunges means using a fraction of the weight you’d use on the leg press, but getting a MASSIVELY superior leg workout. You annihilate the ENTIRE leg, plus you get the benefits of a stronger core and back. See what I mean about it being more bang for your buck?
The only place for the leg press is in gym fail compilations (search for leg press fails to see what I mean. You’ve been warned.) The only people who think the leg press is a ‘great leg exercise’ are those who post videos of themselves quarter repping 14 plates to impress their followers who don’t know any better.
So, if you’re serious about getting BIGGER, STRONGER, MEATIER buns and thighs, forget about the leg press. Pick up the barbell or some dumbbells and get squatting.
That’s all from me.
P.S. If you want to get razor sharp abs by Summer, get my free eBook now.
I show you how to lose 10kg of fat in 3 months. No BS, just what works.