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Leg Presses After Squats?

I always thought leg presses were for pussies afraid to squat, but after my squat workout this evening, just for kicks, I got on the leg press and loaded on a weight I could just barely do in good form for 3 sets of ten.

I gotta tell ya, it was very challenging and seemed to recruit a lot of muscle mass. Hard to see how this can’t be good for size & strength gains.

I am thinking of adding them as an adjunct to my regular (primary) program of squatting and DLing.

Just wondering - why all the hate on the leg press?

  1. it is a machine
  2. even wussies can do like 400lbs
  3. it’s not squats

Leg press is a pretty good accessory; by far the most underrated exercise. It’s a nice change-up to throw in on occasion after squatting or when an injury is preventing squatting. Also takes the strain off the back so I suppose it could be good for deloading.

Steve Goggins did (does?) them. That should basically take care of the pussy theory.

I like to do a high rep set (about 20 reps) after squatting currently. Another tool in the bag for getting some more volume without stressing my back.

I hate it because it locks you into one particular motion (machine on a rail). There’s no natural freedom. But yes, it is very handy for quad work when you’re too fried to do heavy lunges or squat. And good for accessory work too. I use it periodically, but I’ve actually found it’s harder on my low back than the squat. Something goofy in there that makes my lumbar region hurt after a couple weeks, which never happens with the squat.

after squats (usually front squats). I like to do one leg leg press in a rest pause style

right leg to failure
left leg to failure

no rest repeat

really burns out the quads

If you don’t have a leg press machine, trap bar DL is pretty similar. Good accessory, especially if your lower back needs a break.

[quote]skidmark wrote:
I like to do a high rep set (about 20 reps) after squatting currently. Another tool in the bag for getting some more volume without stressing my back.[/quote]

I do the same thing after squatting on my ME days.

Not sure how much further this discussion can go, but I agree with Aragorn in that you’re really locked into a “particular motion”.

Something disconcerting to me about doing compound movements for the lower body on machines… the hip & low back just feel like they’re along for the ride, even though they’re involved to various extents.

That said, I still include it in the rotation for my DC routine. Prevents squat burnout haha and it’s relatively easy to do widowmaker sets.

I actually don’t like leg pressing, cause i feel it does not have as much carry over to sport performance as other lifts do. If i am training legs i want to put my effort and energy into lifts that will have the MOST benefit.

But by no means does that mean there is no place for leg press. If your goal is to add size and strength, leg presses are near the top of the list.

I really don’t understand why there is so much hate on leg presses. They can be an incredibly beneficial tool, depending on what your goals are. Keep doing them!

[quote]skidmark wrote:
I like to do a high rep set (about 20 reps) after squatting currently. Another tool in the bag for getting some more volume without stressing my back.[/quote]

iv hd this ‘problem’ too recently. im doing a push/pull with squats in the push, with smolov esque loading and rep/sets. but 10-15 mins after, i feel like i havnt done enough, so i do a proper 20rep, good fun

Leg press is sweet to throw in the mix. You can get an awesome pump and really feel it afterwards. As good as squats? no. A good tool? yes. There was an article on here a while back about how leg pressing can help you with the initial leg drive of a deadlift. I’ll try to find it.

Edit: here it is, http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/leg_press_for_a_bigger_deadlift

I’ve done them during a whole cycle after my front squat and I strongly believe it didn’t help at all. It put unnecessary volume which make the workout harder to fully recover from.

I’d say if you’re already doing squats sometime in your week, you don’t need any leg press. Increase quality and volume of squat instead.

The bigger advantage of leg press was mentioned numerous time already, it’s the fact that it doesn’t strain lower back. If you’re already doing deadlift, good morning, bent-over rows, clean or snatch at other times in the week, it really adds ups in the lower back. That’s why I’d use leg press instead of squat in a cycle designed to improve one of the other lift I mentioned up here.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
I’ve done them during a whole cycle after my front squat and I strongly believe it didn’t help at all. It put unnecessary volume which make the workout harder to fully recover from.

I’d say if you’re already doing squats sometime in your week, you don’t need any leg press. Increase quality and volume of squat instead.

The bigger advantage of leg press was mentioned numerous time already, it’s the fact that it doesn’t strain lower back. If you’re already doing deadlift, good morning, bent-over rows, clean or snatch at other times in the week, it really adds ups in the lower back. That’s why I’d use leg press instead of squat in a cycle designed to improve one of the other lift I mentioned up here.

[/quote]

Exactly. This in fact was why I was doing leg presses. I needed more volume on the legs but didn’t want to involve the back. I alternated each week with the hack squat machine as well, doing 20 reppers there. I’ve had to stop because the volume finally caught up with me, but the result has been what I planned for: bigger legs.

I’m not usually using the leg press for strength, but to build more muscle tissue and supporting structures that I can convert into strength in the squat, deadlift and variations. while sparing my tired back.

Someone mentioned the lower back problem they got from leg press. That usually happens because of the seat position wherein the rear comes off the pad and the back rounds to support the range of motion. Adjust the seat or limit the range of motion or really concentrate on keeping the butt on the pads and the pain doesn’t occur.

I believe the reason for the hate is the typical wanna-be-gym rat who will load up as many plates as possible, and then proceed to move the sled a few inches each ‘rep’ before jumping up and strutting around like he was Tom Platz.

It usually never occurs to him that his legs look like crap, while the guy a few feet over in the squat rack, doing full ATG squats with a ‘mere’ 275 lbs is sporting some damn impressive quads.

All he cares about is that he can “lift” more weight than that muscle bound pussy over there -lol

I actually love doing the sled after squats. Lately been keeping my feet together, toes slightly angled out, and positioned low on the sled so that my hams and glute involvement is minimized. Like most pieces of gym apparatus, it’s a good tool if you understand how to properly use it.

S

Pussies.

LOLrus. The leg press is fine so long as it’s not taking the place of proper squats. It’s especially good for rehabbing ankle injuries.

Im using it right now for single leg presses to keep the strength of my legs up while i cant do heavy squats. It’s the only lift i can go mad heavy on because it has no balance parameters. Thing like bulgarian split squats limit the weight due to the need for balance.

So in the context of rehabing leg and mid-upper back injuries the leg press thing is key.

I would never use it double legged in a program where and athlete could do both front and back squats. typically only single leg. keeps the CNS burnout down if you keep it unilateral.

-chris

I have always done them after my squats and have always made progress.

Anyone try hip belt squats? No back issues, free range of motion, emphasis on the quads.