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Substitute for Leg Press


Hey Guys, i was wondering if anybody could help me. Whenever i leg press, my quads are on fire, get a massive pump, and grow, but my joints suffer for it, ecspecially my hips and ankles. I hit a strip set today of 600x20,500x10,400x15,300x20,200x20,90x20(approximation of the weights being used, I really dont want to do the math) and my quads were on fire and pumped, but my hips felt horrible, and so did my ankles.

I have yet to find a better quad excercise for hypertrophy(even squats dont compare for quad hypertrophy at least for me) where I can push myself this hard and make excellent quad gains. Anybody have any suggestions for alternatives to the leg press?


Just do high reps/sets on all the leg machine exercises at your gym. And see which ones you can handle.


have you tried different foot positions, high up on the pad will make you use alot less weight, but will transfer weight load to butt, and hammies, also less ankle mobility. It all depends on machine


Have you tried bulgarian squats and hack squats? You won't be able to use as much weight so you probably won't suffer as much.


Is it only after strip sets?
I ask because strip sets, especially the way you do them apparently, can take a long time. The larger muscles can handle that much time under tension but the smaller muscles and the joints might suffer.

Instead of changing up an exercise that is obviously working so well for you, why not heal for a week and forego the strip set method for a while?
And then when you get back to it perhaps do 10 sets of 10 with 600lbs and minimal rest between sets.

If the exercise works so well for you it is better to experiment with different protocols...


Additionally, when I started experiencing similar issues with the leg press, the modification I made was doing them single legged for a while. Cleared everything right up...


I'm wondering if perhaps simply shortening your ROM, if maybe you typically go really pelvis-starting-to-curl-up-off-of-the-seat deep with each repetition, may provide a more comfortable movement.



Bingo Stu!

I had the same issue as this guy. It helps if you can get your pelvis in line with the legpress and keep a ROM that doesn't let your butt role up. It's a killer on my SI joint.


I've been known to bring some good information to the table from time to time :slight_smile:



Although we do not ALWAYS agree, I like your insight. It helps other from trying to reinvent the wheel.


Front squats?


x2 stop doing post failure techniques like strip sets and even stop a couple of reps short of failure for a few weeks. Pre-exhausting both hams and quads also something to consider.


It sounds like you're one of those idiots that overtrains but it too obsessed to toad a break. Leg presses are the substitute hoe.


RapmapantBadger the pre exhaust sounds like a terrific idea on leg days. Thanks for the advice!!


mbbmrb I doubt its the overtraining, as I dont exhibit any of the symptoms. You might be right about being too obsessed to take breaks, but i doubt its the wear and tear, because I only experience pain in the hip area after the leg presses. I think rampant badgers idea of a pre exhaust might just be the thing to work, because it worked for me when doing bicep curls on the straight bar, which usually murder my elbows, but after quite a few sets of pullups and cable rowing, my elbows felt fine, so I think the pre-exhaust might just solve my problem