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Leg press(16 posts)

Leg pressBC
Nov 1, 2001 3:26 PM
What is the difference between a leg press sled and the vertical leg press? Does on give better results?


Not much really...Ahimsa
Nov 1, 2001 4:45 PM
I'm NOT an exercise physiologist, so this is only based on personal experience. The two are pretty much the same, but a standing version (vertical) uses a few more odd muscles, whereas the "sled" type tend to be a might easier while more focused on just the large muscles.

NOW...a friend who is a personal trainer instructed me that for my cycling, neither of these is all that great when compared to squats. Apparently they are much better for some reason. I will say that when I do them regularly I feel like I can sprint much harder and for much longer.

BUT....He told me that I should be careful when doing any weight training like that to keep smooth fluid motions and watch the amount of weight I do to avoid nasty knee injuries. It would indeed be hard to ride with a blown out knee...

Squats are better because...dsc
Nov 1, 2001 5:15 PM
like all exercises using free weights, you utilize a bunch of additional stabilizing muscles in completing the motion, as well as the target muscle(s).
Also, with squats, you get the added benefit of pressing your upper body weight, along with all of that iron slung across your shoulder blades :)
Plus, nothing works the glutes better than squats, except perhaps high-intensity sets of deadlifts (no, not the straight-legged "fitness model" kind - the real kind. See any site on competitive powerlifting for what I mean.)
Squats are better because...Largo
Nov 2, 2001 7:42 PM
Hmmm, going to disagree.
Squats are an excellent all around excercise, but for cycling specific, i vote for hack squats and leg press, as you can really hit the fronts of the quads.
Squats are a great meat and potatoes excercise, but the above work very well for me, as well as Romanian dead lifts, lunges and ham curls for the rest of the leg.
Squats are better because...morey
Nov 5, 2001 9:49 AM
Hacks are great, however the angle on machines vary a lot, and they really do a number on knees.
back supportfiltersweep
Nov 1, 2001 5:11 PM
the other issue is back support- I don't know how your vertical press is set up, but the sleds are much kinder to backs than pure squats. Some vertical press machines have no back supports at all. Comparing squats to machines: the weight moves in one plane so they don't involve the support muscles, but they are ultimately safer.
back supportdsc
Nov 1, 2001 5:23 PM
Wearing a good belt while squatting will help support your lower back; ultimately, though, the best way to protect yourself is to learn to do the movement properly in the first place. Have someone who knows what they are doing watch you squat, paying particular attention to your back (should be flat, not hunched over) and knees (never past your toes).
It's also a good idea to squat inside of a power cage, so if you do need to bail on the movement, you can drop the weight safely.
back supportJon
Nov 1, 2001 9:00 PM
The above post contains very good advice. In addition to what has been mentioned, the squat
strengthens core and back muscles, which ultimately are probably more important to cycling economy
than sheer leg strength. All movements emanate initially from core muscle contractions. So a
strong core acts as a reference point for and dramatically increases the efficiency of force production
to the pedals.
core musclesRay Sachs
Nov 2, 2001 5:02 AM
No kidding on this one. I've been doing crunches and various other stomach muscle excersizes all summer along with riding a lot. I decided to get back into light weight training this winter to see if it makes a difference come springtime. Two nights ago I did a couple of sets of squats with really light weight (I use adjustable dumbells rather than a straight bar, so I'm limited to 100 pounds or so). Despite all of my crunch type work, my gut muscles were quite sore yesterday and even more sore this morning, along with a bit of soreness in my gluts and lower back muscles. Didn't feel much in my legs interestingly enough (I guess they're the strongest link in the chain right now). Squats really hit a lot of areas.

I'm going to stick with these through the winter, as well as light upper body work and some weighted step-ups. Even if it doesn't help my riding, I always feel better when I spend time with the weights.

Just a random encouragment.vanzutas
Nov 2, 2001 6:43 AM
Never worry about how much you lift or what the guy next to you is doing. I have been lifting for years and never have I heard a person make fun of someone else for lifting too little. The only time you will get looks is when you do something wrong or if you are lifting too MUCH. I have seen it a million times. Big Guys come in lifting more than they should using horrible form, they get made fun of. the little guy who lifts just the bar but does it with good form is well respected. If I see a new guy doing it wrong I will usually talk to them about it and they are receptive. The big guys just grunt and don't want to hear it.

When learning to do squats start with just the bar and really learn it. I have been lifting for years but never did free squats because the motion is hard to master (for me). this year I am working on the form without any weight.

re: Leg pressmorey
Nov 2, 2001 8:27 AM
I owned a health club for over 20 years, and competed as a bodybuilder for over 20 years. My opinion of Leg Presses is very low. They are primarily aimed at the Vastus group (hip flexors), which are very strong. They also have very little collateral muscle use. I much prefer squats! They work the quadriceps, as well as many other muscle groups. However, one caveat, have someone show you the CORRECT form, use a weight belt, and if available a squat machine or similar machine. The improvement will be evident when the season begins.
How about a smith rack?Ed
Nov 2, 2001 3:35 PM
This may sound like a dumb question, but how does doing squats using a Smith Rack compare to doing squats with freeweights and a straight bar? Any weightlifting experts?
How about a smith rack?dsc
Nov 2, 2001 4:27 PM
I have a smith machine set up at home, and I do use it for squating, as well as just doing free squats inside the cage. Many weight lifters are against the idea of the smith machine because they say it forces your body to compensate for the singular plane motion of the weight moving along the linear track. This is true, so you must be even more aware of your back/knee position (see my earlier post *back support*) while using the smith.
Having said that, you still get most of the benefits of free squatting (you will still feel it in your supporting / stabilizing muscles) plus the safety factor that the machine provides.
Happy (grueling :) )leg workouts!
How about a smith rack?morey
Nov 5, 2001 3:53 AM
A Smith is perfect. It duplicates squats about 90%, eliminates the injury potential that normal squats may have.
How about a smith rack?peloton
Nov 5, 2001 12:39 PM
You really like the Smith morey? It's been my experience that the Smith isn't a great alternative to the squat. I think people get lulled into a somewhat false sense of security on the Smith machine. The fact that the Smith machine inhibits the natural range of motion of the body creates problems from what I have seen. When the feet are placed under the bar, the knees project far out beyond the toes and create a lot of anterior shear force on the knee. Some people move the feet forward in relation to the bar to deal with this, but then it is difficult to maintain a safe locked in posture of the back. The fact that the Smith only moves in a vertical plane, while our squatting motion moves horizontally as well as vertically has always bothered me. A smith machine squat locks you into one plane, and forces compromises to be made by either the back or the knees. My experience and research has made me feel a lot better about a squat in a power rack than any done with the Smith for long term injury preventation and more positive results. I just don't trust what the Smith machine forces you to do by inhibiting your natural range of motion. What do you think?
a couple of thoughtspeloton
Nov 3, 2001 10:29 AM
I would stay away from the advice to do hack squats or smith machine squats. The hack squat creates a lot of tibiofemoral anterior shear force on your anterior cruciate ligament of the knee. The Smith machine is possibly the most useless waste of space in the gym too. You don't follow a natural range of motion for any exercise you do on the smith machine. Using the smith for squats isn't great because of this reason too. You are either going creating shear forces on the knee or compromise your back positon depending on where you place your feet in relation to the bar when doing smith squats. Both of those exercises are best to stay away from. The squat is a more effective and safer alternative to both.

When a squat is done properly it is very safe, and will get you the results that you want the fastest. Just make sure your form is excellent, and don't go overboard on the weight.