I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize that the leg press IS an excellent choice if your main goal is hypertrophy and building legs the size of Kansas. You can adjust which leg muscles get extra emphasis simply by adjusting your foot position on the footpads. Push hard with the heel, to the point of the toes coming up. There aren’t many sports (or real life events for that matter) which ask for an individual to step into a contraption, slap 400 lbs on, sit down, and proceed to push said 400 lbs up and down an incline at 45 degrees using what mounts to a eight inch range of motion.Valid point. No. | Reply to this comment, July 17, 2014 at 6:47 am Leg presses are seated exercises done on a leg press machine. This apparatus pretty much leaves the lower back out of the picture; whereas in barbell squats, the lower back is stressed significantly. There’s a risk of getting stuck at the bottom of a squat and not being able to get back up. | Reply to this comment, June 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm With back squats, you may be tempted to bow forward a little to help manage the weight on your shoulders. Some runner's faces may take a beating from lack of sun…. Really, the possibilities are endless. Abdominal Bracing Exercises to Take the Strain Off Your Back. Just maybe more along the lines of 97%. | Reply to this comment, August 1, 2012 at 1:27 am Note: Pictures coming soon! | Reply to this comment, October 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm There are also squat machines. You need a leg press machine to do the exercise. | Reply to this comment, September 24, 2011 at 5:59 am | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 7:45 am Leg presses don’t allow for many variations, but there are a few ways to mix things up. | Reply to this comment, August 21, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply to this comment, July 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm This is just MY opinion, and believe me, I’m not that much of a pompous ass to think I’m 100% correct in my line of thinking. They’re done in a vertical position, so your … | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 7:17 am The leg press is a machine-based lower body exercise that can be used to build quadriceps hypertrophy and improve squat strength. Because of poor ankle flexibility I keep my feet high at press plate. Single Leg Press: For those with lower back concerns this is possibly the best and safest way to use the leg press machine as it keeps the pelvis in a more neutral position. Whether you run on an empty stomach or have a snack beforehand is really up to you. But ,why anyone would want to go out of their way to reinforce a faulty motor pattern that will more than likely end up promoting disc herniations is beyond me. In general, cut the depth at the point right before your lower back would start to round and set the stoppers on the leg press right at that height for safety. Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS. You may be tempted to pile on more weight than you can handle. With research pointing to the fact that there are benefits to both free weights and leg machines, a combination of the two workouts may be just what you need to get a leg up on your fitness goals. But, I hope that my off the cuff post was able to shed some light on why I’m not a huge fan of leg presses. Again, just to reiterate, I do recognize that there are extenuating circumstances where implementing the leg press is warranted and worthwhile. Keep your entire back, particularly the lower portion, firmly set against the seat. Pushing with one leg at a time can aid with leg strength imbalances.This is an amazing glute workout. In other variations, the weight — such as a barbell or dumbbells — is in front of you. And that’s why I feel squats have MUCH MORE carryover to sport and real life events compared to the leg press – just by the mere fact that you actually have to, you know, work harder to complete the task. About ‘Runner’s Face’: Fact or Urban Legend? | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 7:11 am Both leg presses and squats primarily work your quadriceps, or quads. In the leg-press-is-useless scenario, the coach is probably looking at the leg press's ability to serve a very specific purpose, like improving the barbell back squat. But if you’re doing squats with free weights, you run the risk of injury by trying to squat too much or losing control of the barbell. . Front squats tend to be easier on the knees than back squats, and they may also be safer for your back. Here is how…, Abdominal bracing is a technique that can help you protect injury-prone areas like the neck and lower back from straining. The truth is that both exercises have their advantages when it comes to building strength and muscle mass. For instance, it’s not uncommon for physical therapists to program leg presses for those post-surgery in order to regain motor control and/or strength in the quadriceps in a more controlled setting. If you’ve got lower back pain, using single-leg exercises is a valuable and safe way to load the legs while minimizing stress on the spine. This exercise works the quads more because there’s less range of motion — and less emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings — than with a squat. Squatting, on the other hand, is a basic human movement pattern that everyone needs to be able to do on an almost daily basis. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 9:36 am The leg press locks your back into position while demanding lower-body movement to accommodate. Trying to perform a deadlift without a good foundation will cause your back to round and the muscles in your back to overwork, this spells trouble, so here is the fix. Squats mimic the movement of leg presses. It might be tacked on to the end of a workout with some lunges, but in most cases, it’s never prioritized. That said, I’d be curious to hear everyone else’s opinion on this. Last medically reviewed on August 26, 2019, You can reduce your muscle mass by doing the opposite of what you would do to increase muscle mass: Consume fewer calories, use lighter weights and…. So you ponder the leg presses versus squats dilemma. It’s just that as a strength coach, and as someone who’s main objective is to help athletes perform better at his or her’s chosen sport, or help regular Joe’s and Jane’s not move like poop, I feel that those circumstances are few and far between. If you’re looking for an allover body workout, then squats have the advantage over leg presses. But if balance is a problem, or you have shoulder or back pain, then leg presses may be a better choice. 2. Leg presses are effective at building leg strength, but they can be risky if you try to move too much weight or lock your knees. Getting back to the topic at hand:  Am I saying that if you perform leg presses, you’re going to herniate your disc(s)? There, I said it……..happy? There’s a risk of back injury, from leaning too far forward during the squat or rounding your back. | Reply to this comment, October 23, 2020 at 7:16 am | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm Granted, this is the small business owner in me speaking, but from a cost-benefit standpoint, leg press vs. squats is a no-brainer. AVOID: Rounding your back during the movement or holding your breath. 2. Outside of the three workshops I got to teach earlier this year in Europe before 2020 turned… Read more, September 23, 2011 at 6:38 am While most bodybuilders will ranks barbell squats as the number # 1 Leg Exercise – the Leg Press is a close second because it’s a heavy compound exercise that works all the major muscles of the lower … Your knees are bent to start the exercise. | Reply to this comment, July 5, 2013 at 1:19 am Squats may help improve flexibility in your knees. More to the point, with a power rack, I can have upwards of two to three athletes using it at once, and I can get A LOT more use out of it – squats, rack pulls, single leg variations, pull-up variations, push-ups off the pins, not to mention I can also hang a TRX off it as well. It requires more effort from your quads and less from your glutes and hamstrings. Kabuki Education Week – Hosted by Kabuki Strength – is a unique opportunity to attend 40+ live hour-long lectures… Read more, That Time I Attended a LIVE Fitness Workshop in 2020 Back in September my good friend David Otey was in town to teach the Pain Performance Specialist Certification (PPSC) at AMP Fitness here in the heart of Boston. But is it real? Lets get it on! | Reply to this comment, July 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm The weight is placed on your shoulders, behind your neck. I have poor ankle flexibility and don't do squats. Here, pretty much every muscle in the body is engaging and playing a role in the movement. The world will go on, I promise you. | Reply to this comment, March 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm Going back to the point above, leg pressing “could” be considered functional in the context of people who are undergoing rehab. Okay, enough of the jibber-jabber. Be sure to get clear instructions from gym staff before you get started. This article tells you whether you can lose weight by walking 1…. Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 12/18/20, Appearance on the Pain Free Performance Podcast, Your Questions About Different Bodybuilding Exercises | Bodybuilding and Wellbeing Fitness, Weekend Fitness Tips #2 « Cube Dweller FitnessCube Dweller Fitness, [R2SR] a weight loss log - Page 7 - www.hardwarezone.com.sg, Weekly Review: Whey Protein Enhanced Coffee, Action Thinking, Garage Home Gym, FIT, Infographics & Leg Press | John PhungWeekly Review: Whey Protein Enhanced Coffee, Action Thinking, Garage Home Gym, FIT, Infographics & Leg Press, How to set up a very affordable home gym | BPPT. One of the most effective ways to prevent your lower back from rounding is to spread your knees outward and ensure that they remain in line with your toes throughout the squat. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that both exercises were beneficial as part of a lower-body workout program. Back squats may be the most familiar to casual weightlifters. | Reply to this comment, December 31, 2015 at 9:13 pm Start with a weight you can handle easily and build up slowly from there. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 11:50 am There are a variety of squat exercises you can do, which allows you to work muscles from different angles and keep your workouts varied. | Reply to this comment, July 5, 2013 at 8:03 am in the knee joint), and that you have adequate flexibility in the hip joint (hamstring and gluteus maximus). 1. | Reply to this comment, April 20, 2017 at 4:42 am Perform 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitions, respectively. I think the phrase “functional training” has gotten so convoluted and watered-down within the past few years, that no one even knows what the heck it means anymore. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 7:44 am In other words, he really doesn't understand how it could be useful in the proper context, like for pure bodybuilding purposes. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 8:07 am Leg presses are seated exercises done on a leg press machine. | Reply to this comment, October 11, 2011 at 1:41 am Conversely, squats are done with your feet on the ground, though there are several variations of this exercise. | Reply to this comment, November 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm From a cost-benefit standpoint, it’s not even close. The best two out of the three are the leg press and barbell squat – though there are hardcore hack machine users who swear that the hack machine is the best. See his butt? A barbell hack squat is done by standing in front of the barbell, bending your knees to reach down behind you to grab the barbell, and then standing up with the barbell across your buttocks or upper hamstrings. "While using this machine, most people start from a rounded position, and then snap back up too quickly with a hyperextension of the lower back, and end up looking like a … | Reply to this comment, December 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm You risk working one leg harder than the other. | Reply to this comment, September 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm Lightly grasp any available handles to stabilize your upper extremity. The study lasted 10 weeks, and participants did two lower-body workouts per week. Well, I kinda am bashing it – my bad. Hack squats tend to put less strain on your lower back than back squats because the weight is under your center of mass, not above or in front of it. But when the world’s ninja of low back research says that leg presses aren’t necessarily a great idea due to the fact that, more often than not, they produce the mechanism for disc herniation, I’m going to listen to him. Using a weight you can’t control can cause knee injuries, back problems, and other issues. Some types of squats are done with the weight starting on the ground and your knees bent. ; Unrack weight and move safety pins out of the way. Kabuki Education Week is Coming I’m excited to announce that I’ll be one of 40+ industry leaders taking part in Kabuki Education Week that’ll be taking place February 1-7, 2021. ; Place feet hip to shoulder width apart on the middle of sled platform with toes pointed out. In that sense, it's sort of like … Adopting a squatting stance with your toes pointed slightly outward helps as well. Starting Position. Because keeping your back straight is key, this exercise can help improve your posture. You risk injuring your knees if your knees move too far in or out during the exercise. Understandably, I realize this post is going to rub some people the wrong way, and it’s going to come across as me bashing the leg press. However, while I can’t really back this up with any recent scientific data, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that global warming can be attributed solely to the effects Tom Sellecks’s mustache has on women. If that doesn’t impress you, I don’t know what will. It’s when the exercise feels impossible to finish. Squats. And that’s cool….I get it. How do leg presses and squats differ from each other? Doing leg press one leg at a time helps prevent rounding of the lower back. Given that there are pros and cons to both exercises, the leg press versus squats question may have to be settled by what’s available to you and what your workout goal is on a given day. People with poor flexibility and/or who try to bring the sled too far back will round their low back terribly. Place your feet on the resistance plate, toes pointing forward and adjust your seat and foot position so that the bend in your knees is at approximately 90 degrees with your heels flat. Does it necessarily have to be loaded? | Reply to this comment, March 3, 2018 at 11:11 am Ever. To start, sit with your back against a padded backrest and your feet on two large footrests. Squats can also be done without any weights. Are you telling me squats are more functional than leg pressing?”. It makes about as much sense as Tom Selleck shaving off his mustache. 6 years ago. Yes, I do realize that I’m lending myself up to public criticism for even bringing this topic up, and that’s okay. | Reply to this comment, February 15, 2016 at 8:18 am Single-leg work is often overlooked and forgotten. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 8:44 am | Reply to this comment, All content copyright © With that flattening out you end up having that changing of the curve in your low back. Try to avoid this as it can strain your back muscles. No. But before I go on, I know what some of you may be thinking:  “Well there aren’t many sports or real lift events that require us to stand in a power rack, place a (loaded) barbell on our back and squat it, either. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Squats also give your quads a great workout, and they work your glutes and hamstrings to a greater degree than leg presses. | Reply to this comment, January 29, 2013 at 9:32 am Does Walking 1 Hour Every Day Aid Weight Loss? Of course, when ANY exercise is done haphazardly it can result in injury – squats included. What’s up with that, huh, Mr. Smartypants? | Reply to this comment, January 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm Without much hesistation, I’d argue that there isn’t any one exercise in the fitness community that’s more hotly debated than the leg press. Also you don't have to load as many plates. There was a recent study on squats showing that to work the Quads … The machine will move the same way whether both legs are pushing equally or if one is doing more of the work. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply to this comment, January 31, 2015 at 4:01 am The leg press is an essential part of a fitness regimen, especially if you have any interest in developing your legs or lower body muscles. Barbell Only. Grasp handles at sides and tense core. | Reply to this comment, September 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm Safety isn't the only reason to avoid the leg press. The most important safety tip for both leg presses and squats is to avoid overloading the weight. Plant butt firmly in seat with back and head againt backrest. | Reply to this comment, July 2, 2014 at 7:47 am There’s no school like the old-school, and barbells are the original old-school training … Benefits extend from…, Walking is great for your health, but how much do you need to walk to aid weight loss? Conversely, with squats, the body itself has to provide the INTERNAL stability to perform the movement correctly so as not to tip over, fall on your face, get stapled by the bar, etc. CHECK THIS OUT FIRST 1. Losing Sleep During COVID-19? With leg presses, don’t lock your knees when you extend your legs. Instead of using both legs at the same time, use one leg at a time to make sure each leg gets a thorough workout. You then bend your knees and straighten back up to complete one repetition. Likewise, they also have their limitations and risks. What is a “Pain Cave” and How Do You Power Through It in a Workout or Race? The exercise has evolved into a kind of a circus act, done with the help of knee wraps, hands on thighs, and abysmal ranges of motion. Leg press machines commonly cause low back injury because of the rounding of the back when the knees are close to the chest. | Reply to this comment, September 21, 2012 at 6:53 am You see, the reason why pretty much everyone can use more weight on the leg press as opposed to squats is because the machine itself provides all the external stability – there’s no inherent challenge to the body to stabilize anything. Here’s Tips on How and When to Exercise That Can Help, Benefits of Strenuous Exercise and How to Add It to Your Workout, The Pros and Cons of Running on an Empty Stomach. So before I continue on, let it be known that I, Tony Gentilcore, do solemnly swear that there IS a time and place to implement the leg press into someone’s program. Looking at the picture above, can someone tell me how in the heck something the size of a small car can be of any value? | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 11:42 am Employ tempo training. You risk injuring your knees if you try to press too much weight or lock your knees when extending your legs. I have no idea why the woman in the video above is wearing an ankle weight, but regardless, this disaster only solidifies why I haven’t included the leg press in any of my client’s programming in like F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Either way, no man should ever give up that kind of power. You'll burn more calories and boost your…, Overstretching can result in an injury, such as a strain or a sprain. | Reply to this comment, September 22, 2012 at 10:48 am This article will take a closer look at both exercises in an effort to help you decide when and why one may be better suited to you. Contract (“brace”) your abdominal muscles to stabilize y… | Reply to this comment, March 26, 2020 at 9:45 am | Reply to this comment, February 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm A useful cue for this is to focus on “spreading the floor apart” with your feet. The research is mixed on what is best. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. | Reply to this comment, September 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm Is one safer or more effective than the other? During an intense workout, the “pain cave” is the point of physical and mental fatigue. Also you can use the free leg for a spotter if your leg press does not have safety pins like the one I use. I just equated leg presses to Tom Selleck’s mustache. The lean, hollow cheeks you may see on some runners aren't directly caused by running. With some squats, you start with your legs straight and the weight behind your neck. Valid point. Personally I’m not a big fan of mustaches. After reaching failure on the last set, have your spotter decrease the weight by half and do as many reps as possible. I’m going to say, in the same way you hurt your back doing a squat or deadlift. | Reply to this comment, April 22, 2014 at 3:13 am But I would only use that position under heavier But when you get to the end position of that leg press, what happens is your low back is flattening out. While this resistance machine offers a lot of benefits, it poses potential danger if stability is not maintained throughout the workout. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 9:39 am I've seen many guys severely injure their lower back on the 45-degree leg press as their lower back rounded while using very heavy weight. Though leg presses and squats work the same muscle groups, they do so from slightly different angles and with greater emphasis on one group or the other. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm A front squat is done with a barbell or two dumbbells held up at shoulder height while you perform a standard squat. Well, I’m going to go pack my meals for the day and head to the facility to lift heavy things. Learn how to avoid pushing your range of motion beyond your capability for…. More power to you. If you do both exercises as part of a comprehensive leg regimen, be careful not to overload the weight when you do either exercise. Well, not really. | Reply to this comment, September 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm Experts say cardio, strength training, and yoga done during the day can help you sleep better, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advantage of Leg Press. You can seriously limit the possible back rounding if you do single leg leg press - one leg at a time. ; Keep a neutral spine throughout the leg press movement. Additionally, with the leg press, you can’t really do much more with it than well, leg press. Doing more strenuous or vigorous types of exercise can boost your overall health and fitness in many ways. Like back squats, hack squats can be done with machines or barbells. Having said that, if we were to jump over to the other side of the fence – the side where yours truely hangs out – we’d find that there many people who deem the leg press as nothing more than an oversized coat rack. With squats, it’s helpful to have a spotter ready to assist you. Doing squats can help strengthen your core and back muscles. | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 8:08 am It’s good. But it DOES need to be done. Leg Press Instructions. On one side of the fence, you have those who are interested soley in aesthetics and really only care about gaining citizenship to Quadszillaville, USA. While many will state that the leg press is a safer alternative to squat variations, I will counter that argument by quoting Dr. Stuart McGill, who in his book Low Back Disorders, states: “the leg press sometimes causes the pelvis to rotate away from the back rest when the weight is lowered. I do leg press regularly already 3 1/2 years without back problems. The Leg Press is an awesome mass building compound leg exercise. You can strain your shoulders if you’re supporting a heavy barbell. For the same amount of money that it would cost to buy a ginormous leg press (which will take up a lot of space, mind you), we could probably buy two power racks. | Reply to this comment, April 15, 2017 at 10:31 pm STARTING POSITION: Sit in the machine, positioning your back and sacrum (tailbone) flat against the machine's backrest. Because most of your body moves to perform squats, they tend to engage other muscle groups, such as your abs and hips, whereas leg presses just involve movement of the legs. It’s leg day and you want to work your quadriceps, the large muscles at the front of your thighs. To move the weight, you must straighten your legs and then return them to the bent position. Placing your feet higher on the footpad will increase the extension and contraction of your hamstrings and glutes, and reduce your knees’ range of motion during the exercise. Instead of compressing the spine, the leg press causes a rounding of the back, which over time might create more damage. If there ever was a case where leg presses give people a false sense of “strength” then this is it. | Reply to this comment, May 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm Just make sure the weight isn’t too much for one leg to handle safely. Move to Single-Leg Work. Not my experience. Sound off below….. Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. 2, 5; Less common causes of SI joint pain include: Infections 3; Scoliosis (abnormal sideways curvature of the spine) 3; Discrepancy in leg length 3 | Reply to this comment, September 23, 2011 at 6:50 am Anabolic window refers to the short time after training when your muscles are repairing and recovering. 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