T Nation

Leg Presses Worth It ?

for the powerlifter, strongman and strength guys, are leg presses a waste of time for strength?

I have always found them to be a good assistance exercise, to be done after a primary exercise, like squats, or on an alternate day for the occaisonal variety. Depending on the machine, they stress the quads/glutes differently, and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise, so you can really concentrate on moving big weights and getting a good burn.

[quote]dswithers wrote:
…and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise…[/quote]

This part of your response is incorrect. You can injure your back just as easily (and sometimes easier) performing leg presses.

[quote]sumabeast wrote:
for the powerlifter, strongman and strength guys, are leg presses a waste of time for strength?

[/quote]

I perform them, if nothing else they’re good for a change of pace.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
dswithers wrote:
…and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise…

This part of your response is incorrect. You can injure your back just as easily (and sometimes easier) performing leg presses.
[/quote]

I have to agree with you here. Think about the bottom position of the leg press for most people…a HUGE amount of lumbar flexion. Take a look at anyone doing deep leg presses next time you’re at the gym.

On the other hand, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the lifters on Elite mentioned that he likes leg presses paused in the bottom position. Feel like it helps with the bottom end of deads.

-MAtt

[quote]Matgic wrote:
Doug Adams wrote:
dswithers wrote:
…and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise…

This part of your response is incorrect. You can injure your back just as easily (and sometimes easier) performing leg presses.

I have to agree with you here. Think about the bottom position of the leg press for most people…a HUGE amount of lumbar flexion. Take a look at anyone doing deep leg presses next time you’re at the gym.

On the other hand, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the lifters on Elite mentioned that he likes leg presses paused in the bottom position. Feel like it helps with the bottom end of deads.

-MAtt[/quote]

I’m sure he’s more than strong enough to handle the lower back flexion.

The leg press is dead. Power Squat is on the rise.

[quote]sumabeast wrote:
for the powerlifter, strongman and strength guys, are leg presses a waste of time for strength?

[/quote]

For someone primaraly concerned with getting strong on free weight exercises id say leg presses are a waste of time. I’ve never found any carry over strength from leg press to squat.

For muscle size they may have some value.

Just make sure there is no low back flexion and you are fine.

I rotate them in from time to time. They allow you to use a ton of weight which is a good thing. Keep your form tight and you will be okay.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
Doug Adams wrote:
dswithers wrote:
…and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise…

This part of your response is incorrect. You can injure your back just as easily (and sometimes easier) performing leg presses.

I have to agree with you here. Think about the bottom position of the leg press for most people…a HUGE amount of lumbar flexion. Take a look at anyone doing deep leg presses next time you’re at the gym.

On the other hand, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the lifters on Elite mentioned that he likes leg presses paused in the bottom position. Feel like it helps with the bottom end of deads.

-MAtt[/quote]

a couple of years ago, I had a really nasty case of tendonitis, where the patellar tendon connects to the shin (I’m sure there’s a name for that spot). I’m pretty sure it was caused by leg presses. It was the type of machine where you lie flat on your back and press on a platform at about 45 degrees. Anecdotal I know, but it was the beginning for me to become suspicious of almost all weight machines.

i’ve only injured my back once and it was doing heavy leg presses. never injured myself doing squats though.

Great acc move but like others sadi watch the back go LOW but stop prior to the back rounding

Phill

I think when done super heavy they are an excuse to use a lot of weight without having to face squats. They also have very little carryover to much besides Bodybuilding for already huge folks who are on the sauce and want to avoid thickening their abs/Glutes.

The two exceptions I have seen are folks who do one leg presses to fix quad imbalances and the sumo pullers/wide stance squatters who have access to a leg press with a super wide base.

Personally, I can’t remember ever using them. Some folks swear by the Power squatter, a sort of combination hack squat/smith machine.

Machines are great for hanging laundry to dry…

I used to put my old '89 Bonneville(POS, i know) in neutral in the middle of a dip and push it back and forth… talk about a workout!

[quote]dhunter wrote:
a couple of years ago, I had a really nasty case of tendonitis, where the patellar tendon connects to the shin (I’m sure there’s a name for that spot). I’m pretty sure it was caused by leg presses. It was the type of machine where you lie flat on your back and press on a platform at about 45 degrees. Anecdotal I know, but it was the beginning for me to become suspicious of almost all weight machines.
[/quote]

This sounds almost identical to what I am dealing with now. Similarly, I’m not sure the problem is attributed strictly to the leg presses, but leg press is how I first noticed it.

Leg Press hurts my knees

Leg Press vs. Squat
by Charles Poliquin

When comparing squats against leg press, squats are far more effective in increasing overall strength. However, there’s some evidence to suggest that the leg press might result in more hypertrophy of the quadriceps. One study showed that for the same number of reps, the leg press resulted in a higher amount of GH being produced than squats. As possible evidence, the leg press is the exercise of choice when it comes to speed skating, and I’ve personally worked with speed skaters whose legs made Tom Platz’s look like Woody Allen’s. While I’m loathe to recommend leg presses instead of squats, I merely present it as an interesting discussion point.

I own an old verticle leg press. Since I kinda allowed my quads to shrink in the last few months, I’m hitting it hard before my front squats, back squats and deads. My quads REALLY grow using that ole’ thing.

No one NEEDS one sure, but since I’m a tad vain about aesthetics, I’m using mine to enlarge my quads.

Leg presses are a decent assistance exersize, but they’re no substitute for squatting and deadlifting IMO.

In a word, No.
Looking for an assistance exercise to Squats, try GM’s, Deads, Rack Pulls, Stiff Leg Deads, etc. etc. etc.

[quote]Florida Titan wrote:
Matgic wrote:
Doug Adams wrote:
dswithers wrote:
…and take some of the balance and low back stress out of the exercise…

This part of your response is incorrect. You can injure your back just as easily (and sometimes easier) performing leg presses.

I have to agree with you here. Think about the bottom position of the leg press for most people…a HUGE amount of lumbar flexion. Take a look at anyone doing deep leg presses next time you’re at the gym.

On the other hand, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the lifters on Elite mentioned that he likes leg presses paused in the bottom position. Feel like it helps with the bottom end of deads.

-MAtt

I’m sure he’s more than strong enough to handle the lower back flexion.

The leg press is dead. Power Squat is on the rise.
[/quote]

It’s not a matter of strength here. If you’re going into lumbar flexion, your erectors are inneffective at providing any kind of injury prevention by resisting the load.

And what makes you think he’s strong enough to “handle” the low back flexion? I have no idea how strong he is, but if he is using a weight that is challenging FOR HIM for lower reps, then the weight will take a toll on the low back.

Just because some people can get away with rounded back deadlifts, SLDLs, and leg presses, it doesn’t mean they and everyone else should keep doing them forever. I saw one bodybuilder at my gym using elevated round back ballistic SLDLs with 315lb. While this looks impressive to some, he was repping it 12-20 times. If he chose to do a set of 5 reps, who knows what would happen?

And I agree with you on the last part, I really like the power squat.

-MAtt