[quote]andy bumphren wrote:
Thats really not bad weight considering your leverages. As you put on some mass they’ll become easier. I think I’ve read on here that some coachs consider leg presses a better option for taller lifters to put on lower body mass, so you could consider them as a lift to supplement your squats.[/quote]
I have some flexibility problems and a long inseam too, and at 6’2", I was about 190 lbs. a few years back when I came out of a period of extreme laziness to the weight room.
I found it very hard to stay flat foot squatting, and nobody I knew was into going to the gym on any kind of regular basis, so I had no spotter and didn’t feel all that right even in a cage. Additionally, I didn’t really know anything about squatting and was worried I would mess up a back that sometimes was a little bit “iffy.”
So I just did extremely lightweight squats, just to work on trying to get comfy with the balance of a squat and a get a feel for the range of motion.
But most of my work was on the leg press. I started off both the squat and leg press at next to nothing. But working the leg press and being sure to get the weight low enough that my glutes were involved, I worked up enough poundage in what felt to me a very safe and controllable way on the legpress to eventually also be able to work up my way to squats with 330 lbs. This was in less than a year, coming from chickenlegs so scrawny that I couldn’t count the nasty remarks I had gotten about them, there were so many. In less than a year, the legs were very far from spectacular, but they were good enough that wearing shorts wasn’t asking for humiliating drive-by insults anymore, and my legs actually got the occasional once-over by women.
Most of working up to that was on the legpress machine, with squats done only on and off haphazardly.
I think working up to doing squats is a great idea, and if at all possible, you should get yourself doing them. But if you have problems, all is not lost. You can still gain a good deal of strength and size doing something much more easily controlled, like leg presses, and there will definitely be carry-over to squats. General leg health is general leg health, period. It doesn’t matter how you build it.
Of course, expect to drop poundage on your leg squats compared to leg presses. Squatting is quite a skill compared to leg pressing, and your back is taking weight, too. Not to mention, you’re squatting the weight of your own body, too. It just involves a lot more than leg pressing.
So don’t feel like you’re a failure if you’re squatting 90 pounds as a beginner or if you drop 150 pounds off your leg press weight when you start squatting. Just squat! Take your time, warm up MORE than you think you should with stretches before and preferably after, too. Squats are a great friend or a terrible enemy, depending on how good your form and warm-ups and cool-downs are. Don’t let it intimidate you that other squat more; screw the ego problems of a typical gym. Just put in the time at the weight that’s right for you, no matter what it is. It’s a lot better than not squatting at all. And if you want to do other exercises to build up leg strength first, or in addition, go for it. Just try to fit the squat in there somewhere, when you can.