I don't do squats or dead lifts because I do not have perfect form and don't want to injure my back. So I just do the inclined leg press and calf raises for my lower body workout (and my quads have gotten pretty big). I'm also having pretty good gains on the leg press (along with bench and other exercises). Now some people say you can seriously hurt your back on the leg press but I think that is caused by not keeping your back flat on the backrest and going way too low (knees touching the chest).
So I guess in short, for someone who is concentrating on chest, shoulders, and arms... isn't the leg press (and calf raises) good enough for the lower body workout? I don't really care much for the squat either, it is one of my least enjoyable exercises.
Oh boy. Here we go again.
5' 11" 155lbs. 13% BF - 10/20/2008
Goal - 180lbs, 10% BF
162lbs 11-12% BF
166lbs 10% BF
Its not worthless per se. It can be used for many reasons. Generally people dont like it because it makes you move in a set way rather than natural form like a squat. There are also far superior movements to do. I would reccommend weening off the leg press with light weight squats. You can guide yourself up using something for an arm ladder. You can do bosuball against the wall squats. The important thing is you need to start squatting asap.
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 10-15-2008 at 09:23 PM.
Squats aren't just about hitting the quads and hamstrings. If you're not squatting then you are cheating your entire body out of some major gains...not just your lower body. The reason you do squats and deadlifts is because they work the entire body as a system, and when the body is worked as a system then everything grows. If you did nothing but squats your upper body would also grow.
And by the way, what is the difference between the leg press and the Smith Machine Squat?
Leg press is great. All different types of athletes use it. The point is, it is only to be used in addition to squats!
Current Age: 23 Height: 6'2" Weight: 195 lbs. [B]
Bench = 205
Squat = 230
To answer the question directly, yes the leg press can get you good development in your legs. If you aren't a serious lifter, you can gain a decent amount of muscle neglecting squats but you will not reach your potential in either rate of gains or overall muscle development over time. You are basically half-assing it. you are also not developing any form of functional strength - you're just getting better at using the leg press machine.
Another point is that the leg press is more of a hamstring/glute dominant exercise, and there isn't a suitable addition for quads without some form of squatting.
Why all da squat hatas in da house tonite?
If you like an exercise and feel it works for you mo powa to ya.
But if you would like to step up and try something will really rock that bubble in back that the girls really like to look at (it's not arms) then learn to squat.
Don't be afraid to swallow yer pride and go ahead and just use the bar. It won't hurt ya.
Try that for like 2-4 workouts until your comfortable with the proper execution of the maneuver. It'll be light so go ahead and practice going deep. As deep as your flexibility will allow you at first. Work on that issue as well. Then add weight slowly. Keep doin that for a while.
That leg press might be just fine. The one I tried at the local Y was a POS. Very uncomfortable. I'm sure both exercises are equally dangerous if done incorrectly while trying to push a heavy load. Besides I've already proven that squatting is
It is currently a fad, at this writing, for boys to think they need a "six pack", although most of them don't have an ice chest to put it in.
Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185
Gym PRs: 365/240/440=1045
People need to quit ****ing asking what they need to do, exercise wise, until they reinforce their technique - Dave Tate
The never-ending pursuit of becoming Strong(er) - My Westside journal
I did leg press only for 14 years and got great development in my legs.Enough to place second in a few bodybuilding shows.I never squatted when I was young(besides football) because of lower back and knee problems.Basically I was afraid of injuring myself and never felt comfortable doing the movement.A few years back when I switched to powerlifting I forced myself to learn proper technique and used very low weight.I may not be the strongest squatter right now but I can tell you its far superior as far as a strength and size builder.My legs have grown bigger than I ever thought from a couple years of squatting.I would highly reccomend you give it a shot and stick with it for awhile.
Yes, it is worth learning to squat and deadlift properly. This is done by using light weights that you can handle, and very slowly making weight increases. You can definately hurt yourself by going too heavy, too fast and not knowing what you are doing, but if you "leave your ego at the door" and just work with light weights to learn, you will benefit greatly in the long run.
I love some of Mark Rippetoe's quotes because they can be applied to so many of the questions that we see in these threads...
There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pussy.
CrossFit has the potential to change the popular cultural perception of what exercise actually means over the next decade, and I will watch with delight as selectorized leg machines are melted down into more useful items like re-bar and manhole covers.
"There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you means that you are a pussy. Let me be clear here: if you'd rather take steroids than do your squats heavy and drink enough milk, then you are a ****ing Pussy. I have no time or patience for ****ing Pussies. Please tell everyone you know that I said this." Mark Rippetoe
Squat-will know soon
ColdBlue - as has already been said, you are only cheating yourself. Yes, you can get decent gains on quads, hammies and glutes on the leg press, but you can never get the real, full-body gains (size & strength) unless you squat and deadlift. My first thought about the leg press is that I can't get enough weight on it, so I have to squat - besides, I love doing squats. About every 3rd week, I'll finish up heavy squats with a fully loaded leg press and with feet closer together, do 2 sets of as many reps as I can, just to get a bit of extra burn on the quads.
As far as deads go - I've got a couple of friends I used to (notice USED TO) workout with. When doing tricep extensions behind the head with the cable, none of us could do the stack without the other helping pull the bar forward (no low back strength). After doing deads for a year or so, I didn't need help pulling the bar forward to do them (now I've got lower back strength).
When it comes to functional strength - meaning real-life, usable strength - when a friend asks you to help him move, but you can't pick up one end of a heavy sofa or other furniture, you'll wished you'd been doing squats and deads.
There are no other exercises that match what squats and deads can do for you.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
Read Mark's books - SS, Practical Programming for Strength Training and Strong Enough. There's several quotes in them.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
What I gather from the OP's post is that he is too lazy to learn something that will not only make his legs stronger, but his entire body. HIGH FIVE!
You don't have perfect form? Then correct it. That's no excuse for not doing squats.
BENCH - 330 x 1
SQUAT - 405 x 1
DEADLIFT - 450 x 1
"Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching." -- T.J.
"Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough." -- Unknown