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2013-12-04 7:10 AM

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Subject: Leg press and squats - why both?
Hey there - I'm not new to lifting weights, I've been doing it at home with my free weights for years. I've just started using the weights at the gym instead, since I don't have to clean them up when I'm done and there are some options I just don't have at home. I'm doing one of the Winter Maintenance training plans from here and there is strength training included in the program. The leg work consists of: squats, hamstring curls, extensions and leg press. I don't do extensions because they're bad for your knees, so I've replaced those with lunges, but I do all the others.

I'm just a bit confused... since I've been doing all my workouts with squats over the years, no leg press, I don't really understand why both are included in the routine. It was my impression that they're pretty much the same exercise, except the press just takes the risk factor for hurting your back out of it. Wouldn't I be better served ditching the press and doing something like dead-lifts or an explosive move? I really need to build some power in my little legs.


2013-12-04 2:22 PM
in reply to: SmallTriGirl

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Subject: RE: Leg press and squats - why both?
this is an older article from bodybuilding.com - and take into account they are talking abotu weighted squats, but it gives you some information:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shannon1.htm
2013-12-04 6:42 PM
in reply to: austhokie

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Subject: RE: Leg press and squats - why both?
Thanks - I get why you might choose one over the other, but I don't get why both would be included in the same workout.
2013-12-11 1:32 PM
in reply to: SmallTriGirl

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Subject: RE: Leg press and squats - why both?
You have both because one is stabilized and the other unstable. The leg press is selectorized machine, meaning is primary purpose is to target glutes, hamstrings, quads and even calfs. No other engagements happen other than tensing the core on extension. The Squat is a free motion. Meaning many more muscle engagements. The entire body is being used to perform the exercise. the entire trunk (core) abdominal, erector spinae to create stability.

thats usually why you would see these two exercises together on a workout.. stable/unstable engagements.
2013-12-21 6:37 PM
in reply to: SmallTriGirl

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Subject: RE: Leg press and squats - why both?
I agree with you - if you are already doing squats and lunges you don't need to do leg presses. You would be better off doing deadlifts. And I'm glad you ditched the leg extensions. Hamstring curls aren't too bad but if you do deadlifts you could ditch those as well.

A lot (too many, IMO) of these weight training programs for athletes are simply rehashed bodybuilding routines. Bodybuilders are only focused on gaining size which does NOT necessarily equate to gaining strength. Training for size requires a ton of volume and bodybuilders like to do a variety of exercises for each muscle group. Athletes don't need that. We need basic compound exercises using barbells and dumbbells. If you really wanted to simplify your entire lower body routine could just be squats and deadlifts.
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