Muscle group:   The leg muscles

Trained muscle:   Thigh backside

Fitness level:   Beginner, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises

Heel presses represent a quite effective isometric exercise for the muscles of the back thigh that can be practised by beginners as well as experienced athletes.

Heel press

Heel presses can be performed in lying or standing position. Lying we start in supine position with both hands crossed under our head. The knees are bent at an angle of approximately 90° and the heels press into the floor. The tiptoes pull upward. Our lower back pulls toward the floor by tensing the abdominal muscles. We now press our heels strongly into the floor without raising the pelvis. On top of the pressure into the floor we can actively pull the heels upward to our body (without changing the position) to intensify this exercise. The intensity can also be increased by extending the distance between heels and buttocks.

The heel press in standing position is performed one-legged. The trained leg is being elevated on a chair, bench, or similar. The tiptoes point upward and the heel presses downward. Tense your abdominal muscles and increase the pressure with your heel.

Please note that in the one-legged standing version we don’t tend toward a hollow back as much as in the two-legged lying version. But we also activate the hip flexors significantly. So please be careful with your lower back when you perform heel presses.

To increase the intensity level you could also work out familiar exercises, like the stiff man and glute bridges.

Antagonist: Thigh front

Stretching: Back thigh stretches

Heel press lying

Heel press lying

Heel press standing

Heel press standing

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