I only use the leg press because my teacher won't let us squat yet...but most of my weightlifting class are new to lifting and he doesn't want them to hurt themselves...get them introduced to the concept of lifting first. Honestly thought I'd stick with real squats, the squat rack we have is set up in a way so that if you get pinned you can back up a bit and put the bar on some pegs.
In a back squat, if you get stuck in the hole, you have to do a GM in order to fall backward instead of forward. If you're squatting more than you can GM, you're screwed.
I'm not saying front squats are better than back squats--I'm saying that front squats are safer than back squats when you don't have a spotter (or you're not in a power rack) and infinitely better than leg presses, which are worthless.
come on now...nothing is worthless...everything has a place at some point...even the smith machine, and even the leg press...while i agree you should use the squat as your main lift as long as you don't have some sorta issue that prevents you from squatting...but even if you do you should be working on getting that corrected...but leg pressing everyonce and a while isn't gonna hurt...
I agree with the last three posters. Obviously the squat means greater total MU recruitment, but if your goal is hypertrophy then why should you not be allowed to change the movement pattern and as an added bonus, use huge weight in order to blast those muscles? The leg press machine is designed for implementing the biomechanical principle of Accentuation. Naturally there's a great deal of evidence to support the fact that the machine does what it's designed to do properly.
Everyone acts like they're a powerlifter on this site... But if you care about how you look above all else, then who are you trying to fool? The leg press is tremendous for packing muscle onto the quads - I mean can you really deny that?