T Nation

Vertical Jump- Squats or Leg Press?


Before you judge me for even thinking of dropping the squat, please read..
Being a two foot jumper, It seems that I've gained a lot more progress from quad superior exercises, like lunges and leg press.

I'm doing the Jump Manual, the number 1 jump training program on the web. It recommends leg press as a substitute for squats, claiming that "squats work your back better, but the back will be isolated in other exercises.

If I were to completely drop squats for leg press, I'd be deadlifting heavy twice a week with leg curls and calf raises as an addition to my vertical workout. I'm aiming to go from my current vertical (31") to around 42" or 43" by august of this year. I'm in high school so my schedule is kinda busy, and I'll be traveling over the summer and have sports to worry about all year round.

My main reason for dropping the squat though, is because of the unnecessary stress it puts on my body. Don't get me wrong, I love squatting, and I'm not a pussy, but when I'm looking for explosive strength in the lower body, is it really vital that I heavy squat and deadlift twice a week? This is not from a bodybuilding or powerlifting perspective, and I also need to take relative strength into account. When I squat, I gain weight like crazy, stalling my progress. Not to mention, basketball practice after a day of heavy squats sucks.

Let me know what you guys think, is the leg press really as bad as people say it is? Is my reasoning good enough to give up the king of all exercises? I'm a noob so I could use all the help I could get.


First off, adding a foot to your vert in 6+ months is pretty ambitious. Second, if you're in highschool you have no idea what works for you and what doesn't. 3rd, there are so many questions that need to be answered before addressing your question that it'd be pointless to give an answer right now.


when you jump, its not just your legs moving. when you leg press, just your legs move.
Do Jump squats, you pussy


Any program that suggests leg press as a substitute for squats clearly isn't the number on training program on the web. It might be the number 1 MARKETED program, but that advice is just terrible.

There are many reasons why you should squat over leg press, the number 1 for you will be that it will provide a MUCH better carry over to your vertical jump. Why you would want to do a program that seems to be advocating a path to worse results is mind blowing.

Seriously, man up.


yeah thanks guys, been on the program for about 4 weeks now and haven't leg pressed once. Really feeling the results and I think the squats are a large part of my success. I contacted the creator of the program and he told me he for better results, squats are the way to go. It's definitely true, and i love squatting even more now