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Leg press instead of squat

bigdog123

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Aug 8, 2007
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This may seem like a really simple question but for years I squatted week after week doing 495 for reps and built up 29 inch quads.

Then ripped both tendons off my knees 6 months ago.

Anyway now I've moved gym and with my knees recovering to about 70% I'm doing plate loaded leg press instead. Amazingly never used it for years and years.

Today I did 200kg x 12 reps.. Didn't feel that heavy but I was being careful. Unsure the weight comparison between leg press and squat? Maybe 2:1?

My issue is my legs have only really ever grown a lot from squats but I want to try leg press now .. Has anyone else had good results from leg press only ?
 

Primo_criuse

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I have had great results using leg press only. Mind you I still do other leg exercises: lunges, leg ext, curls, stiff legged deadlift, etc. It has not once hindered my ability to gain sizez strength or aesthetics.

Depending on which gym I'm at I may use a hack squat machine as well if it is one that just happens to feel right.
 

bigdog123

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I'm ok with hams
for quads it's only leg press atm.. Leg ext hurt a bit still..

lunges may be ok soon
 

graybass

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I competed in PL for a couple of decades. Yes competed in squats but, always considered the leg press to be just as important. Saw quite a few BB's with massive legs from primarily Leg press. As others said always do your basic assistance moves too. Now I do mostly leg press after a couple of knee operations Still my best body part!
 

graybass

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I'm ok with hams
for quads it's only leg press atm.. Leg ext hurt a bit still..

lunges may be ok soon

Bro try to work the extensions in as soon as possible. My sports doctors says they are the most important for recovery, and yes they hurt! LOL
 

brutus69

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leg press weight compared to squat weight,
sin 45° = sin (pi/4) = about 0.707.
so 200kg leg press is roughly 141kg squat. assuming the leg press is a 45 angle.
 

bigdog123

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leg press weight compared to squat weight,
sin 45° = sin (pi/4) = about 0.707.
so 200kg leg press is roughly 141kg squat. assuming the leg press is a 45 angle.

when you squat though you are also moving your own bodyweight as well as the weight on the bar.. And the leg press fixes you in position where as the squat doesn't so it is hard to do the above equation like you have done.

Someone who leg presses 900kg couldn't squat 635kg?
 

nidnoy

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What do you guys think of those horizontal machine leg press? I know less ideal than the plate loaded ones but how much less? I have chronic back problems and struggle squatting. Even lower weight higher reps is a flare up waiting to happen. Have been frustrated for a while now and the horizontal leg press is all my gym has.
 

tokon

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i wouldn't worry about the weight ratio comparison with a free weight back squat to be honest. Just work the leg press hard, full ROM for high reps and you should see results.
 

FrancisK

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I'm ok with hams
for quads it's only leg press atm.. Leg ext hurt a bit still..

lunges may be ok soon


If lunges are okay then you’re all set if you ask me. Walking lunges with a bar across my back work my legs harder than any squats....

I hope that’s the case for you but honestly I doubt it, I don’t see the motion from a lunge being any easier on your knees than the motion from a squat and if anything maybe worse because it’s one leg at a time.
 

Joshua82

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What do you guys think of those horizontal machine leg press? I know less ideal than the plate loaded ones but how much less? I have chronic back problems and struggle squatting. Even lower weight higher reps is a flare up waiting to happen. Have been frustrated for a while now and the horizontal leg press is all my gym has.
most men dont have the hip mobility to do a horizontal leg press properly, this will probably be just as bad if not worse on your back then squats.
 

nidnoy

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most men dont have the hip mobility to do a horizontal leg press properly, this will probably be just as bad if not worse on your back then squats.

It is interesting you say that as I have noticed that. If I get any depth on them my back does hurt.
 

kingpeon

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Worked out well for Dorian! I'm with Platz on this one, though "the angle's all wrong!"
 

CollinDC

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Pendulum squat is my go to now, dont have the hip flexibility anymore for traditional squats
 

method2madness

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Leg presses have always been my primary go to for legs when training for both mass and pre-contest. No knee, back, or any injury relating to legs in 31 years of bodybuilding. foot position is key and you won't have to go back to relying on squats for mass or refinement.
 

MR. BMJ

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Hitting 1-legged leg presses is very under-rated imo. Even Lyle McDonald recently mentioned it will hit certain groups better than double legged presses and squats....and by no means knocking squats or double leg presses.
 

pickapeck

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I've had several knee surgeries and some low back issues so squats are not the best thing for me anymore but can still be worked in strategically. Pre-exhaute usging other exercises. Every couple years after 40 or so years or so you will find yourself reassessing and adjusting. At this point I'm doing leg curls, leg extensions, hypers, rack pulls and leg press. Reps are higher end usually 12-20 reps. Then 2-3 days a week I bike in the hills. At different points during the year I will cycle in squats but put them last after everything else. Lunges are out b/c of knee issues.
 

nidnoy

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What about front squats? I may try these, I remember them being a little easier on low back, at least for me. Something about just slightly moving where that weight sits helps me not lean forward so much.
 

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