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Thread: 90 degree angle for leg press and squats

  1. #1
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    90 degree angle for leg press and squats

    Hi, my name is Joel Lieber. As my name states, I want to be a civil engineer.
    Anyway, today I was in the local twenty-four hour fitness. I was doing my usual leg/chest day by starting of with the leg press. Near the leg press machine I saw a friend of mine. He happened to be doing the same machine.
    Well this is why I'm here. So we did the same machine. Eventually, we were both up to 5 plates on each side. That was his max, or as he said it "I don't like to lift heavy on legs cause then I get big in the legs and have to buy new pants." This statement was kinda disturbing and goes beyone why your really there, to have fun and move up in wieght. Anyway,later on, we happen to go to the same machine. He tells me I need to go down and touch my chest with my legs on the leg-press. I'm like " uh no that will hurt your knees." He responed with, "who says."


    - Did I mention that I got up to 18 plates total on the leg press.
    - Did I mention when I outdid him his wife said "wow"

    The main point I'm trying to make here is

    Is he correct or is he embaressed in front of his wife?
    90 degrees on both leg press and squats is correct right?

  2. #2
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    I'll reserve judgement for leg press, because I have trouble doing that one heavy anyway. But for squats - ass to the grass, baby. Below parallel.

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    Do what works for you. Most guys here will prolly encourage ATF (ass to floor) squats and discourage leg press, period.

    Leg presses are dangerous for your back, especially if your touching your knees to chest. Your spine will get really screwed up, not to mention my knees'll get inflamed while at it. I stop going down right before my spine gets curved.

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    My understanding is that leg press, expecially that low, would risk a lower back injury

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    Playoffs!!! leveque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by future_engineer View Post
    Hi, my name is Joel Lieber. As my name states, I want to be a civil engineer.

    Good choice Joel...I'm a civil engineer myself (transportation). It's a great job.
    5'6", 145 lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leveque View Post
    Good choice Joel...I'm a sanitary engineer myself (cleaning). It's a great job.
    I think Joel's engineering department's a bit different, but yeah, I guess it's a good job if you're up to it.

  8. #8
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    I just switched majors from Math to Civil Engineering. I absolutely love it so far. I only wish I had just gone straight into it when I first started at University.

    As for your leg press question, I think you should bring your knees all the way up to your chest, or better yet, just drop the leg press and squat.

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    When I used to do leg presses, I would bring my knees down as far as I could. I ended up messing up something in my back about three different times. I would have to leave the gym and couldn't not bend over or even unrack the machine. It would really hurt for two days then completely heal. The only way that this would not happen is if I did not go down that far, only to about parallel.
    5'9" 159lb
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    Go as low as you can with GOOD FORM. If your lower back starts to round / lift away from the support, you are probably trying to move more weight than you can handle.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sleepy Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built View Post
    For squats - ass to the grass, baby. Below parallel.
    I love that and soo true. Nothing like seeing guys at the gym do 1/64th squats and then you take that weight and sit down on the ground.

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    It is my understanding that ATG is not just an ego thing. When you stop a squat at parallel, the knees take most of the strain in the braking process. When you go ATG, the larger muscles in the hips/hams/glutes take alot of the strain from stopping the downward momentum.

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    Thanks guys

    I have decided after carful consideration to take everyones advice and still do leg press,but at the same time go all the way down on squats. On the leg press, I will be sticking to 90 degrees so I don't hurt myself,while on squats I will be going butt to bottom. My goal is to get to 250 pounds on the squats.
    Right now, I do one set of ten with twenty-five pounds. After that, I do a set of ten with thirty-five pounds. Finally, I do a set of six with fourty-five pounds. The final set, I mentioned, I usually have to have someone spot me.
    If anyone knows of a better way to move up(I plan on adding ten pounds to each side next month)let me know. I would add ten now,but my dad wants me to wait till next month. He's worried about me hurting myself.
    Anyway, for those wondering my routine. I do legs and chest one day and arms and back another. I do cardio Saturdays before class. I'm worried that if I don't my heart will like crash or something while I work out.
    My goal on chest is to get to two-hundred and twenty-five pounds.
    My rountine is as follows:

    first set: one set of ten with twenty
    second: one set of ten with thirty
    third: one set of ten with thirty
    final: one set of two-three with fifty

    By the final set, I am worn out from previos sets. It is my max ,and I have to have someone spot me. On the second one, I am really pushing hard. When I try to go for a third, I can't. I might get half-way on the third, but then I start to drop it. I really enjoy wieght-lifting ,and I love burning my unlimited energy by moving up. If anyone has a better way,let me know

    Oh and civil engineering is very similar to transportation engineering. I can't post a link to my yahoo personals site. Just go to yahoo personals and type in women seeking man. Then type in zip code 80126. My title: "Hi,I'm new at this."There is one facial shot, and one upper-body shot. Later I will post the link on this site. Unfourtantly,for now, it won't let me.



    copy and paste that. There is a face shot and a upper body shot. Well, I really must get back to my trigometry homework now(yes I know this is not civil engineering level math). Luckily, the next class, Calculas 1 will count towards my degree. I know this is not a math forum, but yesterday I just learned radians. I really enjoy it!!!!! I can now convert from radians to degrees and find sin,cos,tan,cosec,sec,and cotan. If there is a way to figure the six trigonomety funtions without converting from radians to degrees, please let me know!!



    Joel

  14. #14
    Ex-Twig. Future Freak. Rock Steady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by future_engineer View Post
    - Did I mention that I got up to 18 plates total on the leg press.
    - Did I mention when I outdid him his wife said "wow"
    OMG OMG OMG... dude you are sooooo strong.
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    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    - Did I mention that I got up to 18 plates total on the leg press.
    Leg press really isn't an example of real world strength. If you tried doing squats, you'd probably only be able to do half of that.


    He tells me I need to go down and touch my chest with my legs on the leg-press. I'm like " uh no that will hurt your knees."
    The leg press in general will probably ruin your knees over time no matter what position you're doing them in. Thus is the nature of machines forcing your joints into a movement that is not natural to them.

    Squats and squat variations are what I'd recommend over leg press. But that's just me.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  16. #16
    Cross trainer & DL addict mikesbytes's Avatar
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    Why bother with the leg press machine, when you can do swats, which is a compound exercise?

    I've decided to reteach myself swats and include some ATF ones. Some old dogs do want to learn new tricks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesbytes View Post
    Why bother with the leg press machine, when you can do swats, which is a compound exercise?

    I've decided to reteach myself swats and include some ATF ones. Some old dogs do want to learn new tricks.
    The leg press is a compound exercise as well, but squats are preferred due to the more natural motion.
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  18. #18
    Wannabebig New Member HahnB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    L
    The leg press in general will probably ruin your knees over time no matter what position you're doing them in

    Squats and squat variations are what I'd recommend over leg press. But that's just me.
    I don't care to start a long debate on squats, but I was told the exact opposite by 2 orthopedic surgeons, and a few other doctors. As it seems to me it's pretty much agreed up on across the board by the medical community that sqauts, regardless of form, have a significant potential to harm your knees-more so than the leg press or other movements. The only people who seem to disagree with them are bodybuilders and personal trainers, not doctors.
    My brother and I were brutal. I once chased him around the house with a spoon that I put on the burner. I burned that little pricks leg. -sharkall2003

    Then I saw a little african boy sleeping, and I thought...that is little Okeke. he is tired from herding all the goats and the big goat got away today - Rock

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HahnB View Post
    I don't care to start a long debate on squats, but I was told the exact opposite by 2 orthopedic surgeons, and a few other doctors. As it seems to me it's pretty much agreed up on across the board by the medical community that sqauts, regardless of form, have a significant potential to harm your knees-more so than the leg press or other movements. The only people who seem to disagree with them are bodybuilders and personal trainers, not doctors.
    I know for a fact that there are plenty of MDs (sports med, orthopedic, etc.) who have no problem whatsoever w. squats. Maybe they're not the ones writing articles or quoting outdated and poorly constructed research, but they're out there.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  20. #20
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    I've been managing around a back injury for over a year now. The physio who helped me the most is at Sports Med in Vancouver, older guy, huge, consults on powerlifting teams. Clyde Smith. Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC Dept. of Family Practice.

    I couldn't squat well after I hurt my back. This guy was delighted when I told him what I was squatting before I hurt my back - and that I squatted ass to floor.

    The deep squat is a natural movement.

    He told me to train natural movements and I'll always be able to do them. And he got me squatting again - although I've switched to fronts because I can hit my quads better that way, and with less weight on the bar.

  21. #21
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    My surgeon recommends squats and "natural movements" like you just said, Built.

    And if you think that's agreed "across the medical community", you really need to get out more, Hahn. And generally the reasons for blaming squats is when people do them wrong and injure themselves. Then when they go to the orthos, the orthos hear "I hurt ______ doing squats". Misinformation and a lack of proper analysis of the actual lift and causes leading to injury have given the squat a bad reputation...for years it has been this way. Add that to horribly outdated information and you got wonderful BS that spreads like wildfire. Proper analysis and updated research suggest squats, when done properly, are the best exercise for the knee joints. If you think joint shearing via forced planes of motion with machines is somehow better than natural squats...the way the body is biomechanically meant to move...then you are kidding yourself.

    And listen to Sensei. He's right.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 02-09-2007 at 06:22 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  22. #22
    Cross trainer & DL addict mikesbytes's Avatar
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    If anyones got any links to any papers on the topic of knee issues associated with leg press and/or swats, I'd be delighted to read them. My knees F****** out at the age of 34 and it took me 10 years to get them better.

  23. #23
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    It's SQUATS, not swats.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 02-09-2007 at 06:32 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  24. #24
    Wannabebig New Member HahnB's Avatar
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    Has the medical community really discovered any mind blowing revolutionary information about the knee in the last few years? The natural movement argument makes no sense at all. I can swing my arm in a cirle like I'm doing a fast ball pitch, it's a natural movement. Does that mean it's completely safe for me to swing a 100lb dumbell in circles as fast as I can? It would without a doubt cause an injury.

    I'm not saying squats are bad, I'm just saying I think that there's some substance in the fact that they are typically ridiculed by most doctors. I'm sure orthopedic surgeons are aware of what a squat is, and what is correct and bad form. I'm yet to make up my mind, I just think you should always look at both sides of the story.
    Last edited by HahnB; 02-09-2007 at 07:14 PM.
    My brother and I were brutal. I once chased him around the house with a spoon that I put on the burner. I burned that little pricks leg. -sharkall2003

    Then I saw a little african boy sleeping, and I thought...that is little Okeke. he is tired from herding all the goats and the big goat got away today - Rock

  25. #25
    Ex-Twig. Future Freak. Rock Steady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    It's SQUATS, not swats.
    The main cause of injury isn't the movement, it's the irony of the misspellings. If you spell it 'swat,' a S.W.A.T. team comes and breaks your kneecaps. Ouch!
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