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Vertical Leg Press Machines

Just curious if any of you have used a vertical leg press? If so, how do they compare to a regular leg press?

I do realize that squating is the king of leg movements so please don’t respond and ask why I’m asking about vertical leg presses.

i have no idea what the answer to your question is but… i saw a guy in my gym last week doing those, in such a scary way.

he had a bench put in front of a smith machine, and he was lying on the bench with his feet up, picking up like 300 pounds, rolling it down his feet so the safety hooks cleared. he would do his presses, then tip toe the safety hooks back into place. im so glad i was almost finished my workout, cause i didnt wanna pick 300 lbs off some dudes broken frame.

true story.

PC

I am of course refering to the vertical leg press machine and not a smith machine.

[quote]ProfessorCHAOS96 wrote:
i have no idea what the answer to your question is but… i saw a guy in my gym last week doing those, in such a scary way.

he had a bench put in front of a smith machine, and he was lying on the bench with his feet up, picking up like 300 pounds, rolling it down his feet so the safety hooks cleared. he would do his presses, then tip toe the safety hooks back into place. im so glad i was almost finished my workout, cause i didnt wanna pick 300 lbs off some dudes broken frame.

true story.

PC[/quote]

Good god that seems risky. Has to be the all time worst use of a smith machine. I used a machine like the one in the pic along time ago. I felt your back curled up of the pad too soon, as opposed to the more common leg machines today.

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
I am of course refering to the vertical leg press machine and not a smith machine.

[/quote]

used to do that in junior high.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
I am of course refering to the vertical leg press machine and not a smith machine.

used to do that in junior high.[/quote]

Neat, how did it compare to a regular leg press machine?

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
I am of course refering to the vertical leg press machine and not a smith machine.

[/quote]

I’m no expert… but that machine just doesn’t look too safe to me. I can’t imagine anybody really loading up the weight with their body in that position…

With all due respect, I started this thread with a question - How does the vertical leg press machine compare to a regular leg press machine?

I’m not interested in what someones perception is about the pictured EXAMPLE. I’m interested in your real life experience with the machine and how it compares to a regular leg press.

I’ve loaded up on it before. It’s very stressful to your lower back and I don’t recommend them…or normal leg presses for that matter. There are plenty of better exercises to do than an ego machine.

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
Just curious if any of you have used a vertical leg press? If so, how do they compare to a regular leg press?
[/quote]

In answer to your question, I have one in my garage. I use it sometimes, mainly for high rep movements after squatting or for some variation in calf training.

Compared to other leg presses, it can cause some rounding of the back, depending on how low you go and your limb dimensions. (Then again, that is true of most leg presses.) It’s a lot more comfortable to me that the hammer strength leg press in my gym, which just causes immense joint pain no matter how I set it up.

[quote]Scott aka Rice wrote:
I’ve loaded up on it before. It’s very stressful to your lower back and I don’t recommend them…or normal leg presses for that matter. There are plenty of better exercises to do than an ego machine.[/quote]

Normal leg presses are very stressful on your lower back? That’s interesting. If my lower back is feeling extra sore, I’ll skip squats and do normal leg presses because they don’t effect my lower back at all. Am I missing something?

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
Normal leg presses are very stressful on your lower back? That’s interesting. If my lower back is feeling extra sore, I’ll skip squats and do normal leg presses because they don’t effect my lower back at all. Am I missing something?
[/quote]

Sounds like you’re one of those lucky suckers who never injured his back. I injured that area several years ago and regular leg presses were so painful for me that I couldn’t do them with all the plates off without injury. I would rather squat with a belt.

[quote]BF Bullpup wrote:
BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
Normal leg presses are very stressful on your lower back? That’s interesting. If my lower back is feeling extra sore, I’ll skip squats and do normal leg presses because they don’t effect my lower back at all. Am I missing something?

Sounds like you’re one of those lucky suckers who never injured his back. I injured that area several years ago and regular leg presses were so painful for me that I couldn’t do them with all the plates off without injury. I would rather squat with a belt.[/quote]

Won’t squating with a belt create weakness in that area that could lead to other potential injuries? It seems that you would eventually come to rely on the belt and be unable to perform the exercise without it - or go way lighter so as not to injure your lower back.

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:

Won’t squating with a belt create weakness in that area that could lead to other potential injuries? It seems that you would eventually come to rely on the belt and be unable to perform the exercise without it - or go way lighter so as not to injure your lower back.

[/quote]

Who’s got the stronger core? The guy who squats 600 with a belt or the guy who squats 300 without?

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
Won’t squating with a belt create weakness in that area that could lead to other potential injuries? It seems that you would eventually come to rely on the belt and be unable to perform the exercise without it - or go way lighter so as not to injure your lower back.
[/quote]

Excellent point! I’m sure the guy in the above photo would have agreed with you wholeheartly. :stuck_out_tongue:

As long as you don’t neglect your back exercises, squatting with a belt won’t weaken your lower back.

I wasn’t trying to say that squatting is injury-proof. However, squatting is safer for your back than leg presses because you have to use more weight in leg presses and your back is in a disc-vulnerable position (in most machines). You can’t move or adjust your back using machines when you’re in the middle of a set.

Every time I go too high using leg presses I injure my back. In squats my legs fail before my back does.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:

Won’t squating with a belt create weakness in that area that could lead to other potential injuries? It seems that you would eventually come to rely on the belt and be unable to perform the exercise without it - or go way lighter so as not to injure your lower back.

Who’s got the stronger core? The guy who squats 600 with a belt or the guy who squats 300 without?

[/quote]

Neither.

It’s the guy who can do tucked sack jump squats on a swiss ball!

But seriously, I’ve just started reading Stuart McGill’s “Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance” and I recommend it to everyone.

Anyway, he talks about how he would suggest not using a belt for an individual seeking general fitness and health (as long as they didn’t have a previous injury or preexisting condition), but for the competitive lifter, belts WILL add to additional weight being used. When injuries do appear, they tend to be more severe in thos who were wearing belts than those who were not. Probably because of the increased load handled.

But back to the original topic, depending on your ROM, I think leg presses can be terrible for your lower back.

It all depends on the individual, how it is performed, etc.

I have known a couple people who have blown out their backs from leg pressing (personal trainers) but I’ve heard many stories about people injuring themselves from squats. NO exercise is inherently dangerous…it depends more around the circumstances in which they are performed.

-Matt

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
I am of course refering to the vertical leg press machine and not a smith machine.

[/quote]

I have this exact leg press machine and I admit it does look a little scary. However, it is very sturdy. I only use though, for higher rep training after squats like a previous poster said. I dont feel the stress in my back, but I feel that if I go too low, I may blow out a groin muscle, maybe I should stretch a little more.

You are probably not in the best position for breathing, as your quads will press against your chest at the bottom of the movement.

In addition, your head is lower than the rest of your body, which can cause dangerously high cranial BP levels.

On the positive side, you can keep your legs straight and use the machine to mimic donkey raises for your calves — w/o resorting to the homoerotic tableau of 1 or 2 guys straddling your hips and lower back while you exercise. (I guess that could a plus or a minus, depending upon your tastes)

The leg press machine has to be the most misused “ego” machine I’ve ever seen. I may be biased, coming from a PL background, but I’ve never seen a functional use for one. Almost any variation of the squat, lunge, or step up smokes the ego machine.

As far as the vertical machine, the only viable use I’ve found for one is calf raises! In order to obtain any depth, you have to dangerously round your back. Worthless IMO. Isn’t this what fractured a vertebral body in Chris Cormier’s back?