It's true. But if knee or hip issues keep you from hitting the squat rack, you can still have a legit leg day at the gym. Leg press using resistance bands. Awards 4. But if you’re not doing squats, you may not want to do deadlifts for the same reasons we went over in the beginning. They to building big calves in intensity. Likewise, isolation movements for individual muscles (like the pec fly for the chest, or the leg press for the quads) are recommended if you feel that you’re lagging in specific muscular areas. I wouldn't really call leg press a replacement for squats in asmuch I would call a leg curl a replacement for a good morning. Copyright 2021 The leg press is easier on the back than weighted squats, but has very similar potential for causing knee issues. Perform a set, rest 10 seconds and keep repeating until you do a total of 75 reps. Pick a weight you can do with good form and squat. Use a heavy enough weight to where 12-15 reps are challenging. Choose an exercise like weighted step ups to incorporate more muscle groups. Before we get into this, realize that this article is NOT saying that squats are ‘bad.’ Squats are called the king of exercises and for good reasons. Fortunately, there’s plenty, and many of them you’re probably already aware of. Try them with no weight for a while and use the smith machine for as long as you need to. FOR THEM. For example, if you have moderate-severe anterior pelvic tilt; if you have had prior back injuries; or if your proportions are unusual; I would look into leg press. This will help you target your hamstrings at an even deeper level and forces strict form. Leg Press. The tips I’m giving you below are crucial for building your hamstrings, so please pay attention! Below I’ve detailed a fairly thorough leg workout for someone that wants … This helps you overload the muscle. This will give you a well-rounded pump in your legs. If you’re weak in the hole on a squat, you may need to do pause squats to develop more strength at the bottom of the motion. From what I understand you'll need atleast four other exercises to replace the squat. It allows you to lift the maximum amount of weight. It’s basically an extended rest-pause set.Start with a weight you can do about 20 reps with. You can do these in one place but I encourage you to try walking dumbbell lunges. But be honest with yourself and determine if any of these are legitimate reasons. You can read more about techniques to increase intensity in my post. The Leg Press. If you are having a lot of trouble with your squats than lighten the load. **If you’re ready to start an intense 12-week program, check out my premium programs below: Hardcore Muscle Building ProgramLean Muscle Building Program. So do not skip this exercise! Do NOT round your back on this exercise (or any exercise, for that matter) rep. Hone in on that mind-to-muscle connection and pull the weight up using your hamstrings instead of your lower back. You’re also less prone to injury with leg press than with squats. Squeeze and contract your hamstrings at the peak of each rep. You can even hold it for a couple of seconds to get the most out of each rep. Use controlled reps; don’t rush through this exercise. **Of course, there are more exercises you can do for legs. Squats (including front squats) require you to use back and core to stabilize the weight, whereas the leg press just requires you to use the legs (mainly quads), so if you just want to focus on the quads (maybe that's your weak point on the squat), then leg press is fine. **Another tip for leg press is you can play around with the foot placement to target different areas of your quads and hamstrings. Although the leg press is a good workout addition, especially if you want to build strong quads, the potential for injury may be greater than with squats. If you want the best exercise to target and build your quad muscles, leg extensions are it. And I’m going to help you with that, and I’m also going to give you some leg workouts you can do without squats. High reps! If you take a look at the result in detail, you will notice that in all the exercise variant, squat variant perform well. If you have never tried this exercise, you should. Leg press after squats is a great combo. I’m going to give you 2 full leg workouts without squats. It simpler terms – it’s a boring movement. More like 185 for 5 i would think or less. The leg press is a solid alternative to the belt squat because there is no load placed on the back and it isolates mostly the quad muscles. It’s always great to change up your workouts so that you continuously shock your muscles for maximum growth. Mar 12, 2008 #12 I vote front squats. Yes, leg press is an acceptable substitute, but you really should try squatting unless you have a good reason not to. So, squat is the winner in the competition when it comes to decision making. There are no other exercises that come close to the shock on your central nervous system that a heavy set of squats can do (deadlifts are the only other thing that does something similar). This will help you gain more balance in the look of your quads. But is it possible to build huge legs without squats? Leg presses will not give you half the results of an actual barbell squat so I wouldn't give them up yet. But I also realize that squats may not be for everyone, especially if you’re working around back or knee injuries. Leg press is probably the best exercise to replace squats. Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by zak88lx, Sep 18, 2009. Can a leg press machine replace the traditional squat? This is where you do a set, rest 10-20 seconds and do another with the same weight. Quads respond best (for most people) to higher reps. Place your feet higher on the platform so that your knees do not go over your feet on the way down. But you really don’t want to go super heavy on these anyway. T. TheNinja Lifer. Those are fine to throw in at the end, but they are a terrible replacement for squats. There are specific techniques you need to use, and I’m going to show you how to apply these to each exercise! dankid 2007-10-16 04:07:41 UTC #20 I think im gonna go with leg press for a while. I’ll go down the list of exercises and give a brief explanation of each one. Make sure you do leg curls with full range. This is a more fluid and natural movement. And rarely do I do a leg workout without them. Squats are a favorite all-around exercise for a reason. I squat (and deadlift) on a regular basis, mostly once a week. Knock out a set of 20 repetitions with 225 pounds on the leg press then immediately follow that up with 20 bodyweight or air squats, in other words, going as deep as your new knee will allow and tell me if your legs are not on fire after that. ). Regardless of fear, I am going to say something that may be a little hard to accept if you’re a squat fanatic – the leg press can replace the squat… in some situations. Flex those quads at the peak of each rep! But because there is less range of motion than there is with the squat, the quads work harder with this exercise. I doubt. For doing the front squats, you need to have an excellent physical posture so that your core gets more activated during the exercise. Yes, it’s possible but there are some things you need to understand. … Train calves MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK! Leg press is probably the best exercise to replace squats. You can on leg press. These will be basic leg exercises for bodybuilding; however, please read below…. Leg press pros You can focus just on your leg … You utilize many of the same muscles as in the squat – specifically, the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Do full range of motion when training calves; no half reps. Get a good stretch in your calves at the descent. Try one leg at a time. DO NOT be one of the many who load up the leg press machine and only go down a few inches. It’s not that squats do not build muscle. THE MUSCLE PROGRAM, all rights reserved. 5013898: Bearing Bearing used on Icarian models: 601 Angled Leg Press with Flat Platform, 602 Leg Sled Prone, 602 Leg Sled Seated, 603 Hack Slide, 623 Angled Seated Bench: Make sure your knees do not go over your feet (this will cause knee pain and possible injury!). Equipment Needed: 12-24” Platform, Barbell / Dumbbell / Kettlebell. Front Squats. – Dave Newton Aug 14 '12 at 12:58 And I’m a firm believer in doing squats to build that foundation. Leg Press. However, the leg press is still a solid leg … Squats will always win out because they provide a more full body workout compared to the leg press, which focuses on the lower part of the body. It's the turn-around that over-stresses the joint. no...but In your case, its not going to matter, I have always used traditional squats when working out at home but. You’re also less prone to injury with leg press than with squats. Originally posted by: TheNinja It can be a decent replacement for squats if you feel like chaning it up. For some people, they can more effectively progress the leg press than the squat. 9. For them, that will make the leg press the superior movement. You can also do one-leg leg curls every other leg day. Vidur Saini provides several more reasons why you should not do squats in his article 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Squat on the Generation Iron website. Doing real barbell squats is the absolute best way to get big and stimulate growth throughout your entire body. **If that’s your case then read my post: Deadlifting with Lower Back Problems. Squats work your legs better than the leg press will. Can a leg press machine replace a traditional squat? The biggest downside of the leg press is its “sterile nature”. The same tips and techniques below apply to any of these machines. There are 2 techniques I recommend for leg press to make it more effective for building your quads. The hip belt squat is the alternative for powerlifters and weightlifters. If there’s one muscle that many bodybuilders lack, it’s hamstrings. This will make your workouts more intense, making your leg workouts just as brutal, if not more brutal than doing squats. Flex your calve muscles at the peak of each rep. Barbell step … In fact, there are weeks where I may do a 2nd leg workout with just extensions. Leg press, hack squat machine, lunges, and Dl + iso leg work on machines isn't bad if you have some sort of back problem when sqating. Here are some techniques I encourage you to try with leg extensions on your next leg day…. It’s also a good idea to use periodization with your workout routines. It allows you to lift the maximum amount of weight. This will make your leg press workout brutal! They are brutally hard, and as such are a fantastic exercise for leg… In other words, don’t make excuses to shy away from squats just because they’re hard or you haven’t taken the time to learn how to squat properly. Keep the tension on your quads and glutes the entire time. I hope you enjoyed this post, and try these leg workouts without squats, using the tips and techniques for a brutal leg day! Leg Press. The leg press is a compound close chain exercise that can build some serious leg strength and mass. Do not race through these; do them slow and controlled. Do not let your knee slam the ground; stop just before it touches. Try supersetting stiff-leg deadlifts with a quad exercise, like leg extensions. And some have calves that are more stubborn than others. The front squats need more work as it put your upper position of the body in the leg press setup position. 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For me it is less but i dont barbell squat now and only do leg press and lunges. There’s also no balance required allowing you to really focus on working your leg muscles. Leg press alternatives you can practice anywhere Squats. **Deadlifts are also often done on leg day. You can apply the same techniques for leg curls as you do for leg extensions. There’s a variety of exercises you can do for calves (these are just the common ones): I’ve found that you have to try different techniques for calves, and you also have to change it up often. I couldn’t resist the metal quote there! Infact, study shows that Hack squat is better than the leg press and squats for the leg growth. John Smeton Legend. This is going to really blast your quads and make them grow. Mar 13, 2008 #13 Each has a different effect. Awards 1. But seriously, I want to give you my true feelings about squats. The leg press would fit the needs of bodybuilders a little more. Leg presses are effective at building leg strength, but they can be risky if you try to move too much weight or lock your knees. There’s no pressure to stabilize the weight with your lower back like with squats. Say i can deep leg press 450 for 10 reps could the average joe parellel squat 225 for 5 reps. There are a few reasons. One of the better exercises that you can use after knee or hip replacement surgery is the leg press. Try different foot positions, tempos, and back angles. This can be a brutal exercise and you’ll feel like you just ran sprints after doing a set (if you do them right). Train your legs, not your ego. Apr 30, 2009 #7 Originally posted by: Kipper. This may not be ideal if you have lower back problems. However, there are other leg exercises you can do that target your quads and hamstrings more efficiently than squats. The reasoning behind this is that you are working on an incline in a seated position. You may see some exercises listed twice with a different variation. Try every technique you know! Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by zak88lx, Sep 18, 2009. If you want to avoid the pain and risk of the squat the leg press and hip belt squat are very good alternatives. Ever heard the saying "The squat is King"? So if muscle size and shape (aka bodybuilder legs) is your goal, you can get by just fine without squats. Yes, it’s brutal! **There’s a technique called 75s that works amazing for building your calves. I can always walk after leg press, barley with squats . If you think that the deadlift and the squat are relevant for your training it is very unlikely that you can swap the deadlift for the squat. (2-3x a week). ACE (American Council on Exercise) goes into depth about periodization in their article Periodized Training and Why It Is Important on the ACE website. Use controlled reps, especially on the descent/negative. The leg press once you are medically cleared, works not only on your quadriceps that need to be strengthened due to muscle wasting and atrophy, but it also works your gluteal muscles and indirectly your hamstrings as well. This helps you overload the muscle. Another awesome hamstring exercise is stiff-leg deadlifts. Yes, really. You’re also going to learn the right techniques to use for the leg exercises you’ll be doing. They’re not only fantastic for working the entire leg – including smaller muscles like the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, lateral hamstring, and gastrocnemius – but they also work your core, which is never a bad thing. Deadlifts can be very similar to squats, have a smaller ROM, and don't have a weighted turn-around point if you put the weight on the floor. You want that stretch at the end, and you want to go all the way up. Burgundy seat back pad used on Cybex models: 4605 Seated Leg Press, 5235 Squat Press, 13100 Back Extension, 4860 Leg Press, $104.91 / each. Use controlled reps. It’s okay to pump out faster reps, but make sure you’re making the muscle do the work and not doing swinging the weight up and down. Rest-pause sets. Comparison: Squat Vs. Leg Press. Press with the heels of your feet; this will take the stress from your knees and place it on your quads. So I wanted to provide alternative leg workouts if that’s you. Drop sets on leg extensions will really help you reach full muscle exhaustion. So if the goal is to handle lots of weight, the big winner is the leg press. The bench helps support your lower back, and you can devote more of your power to pushing that platform back. But these are really all you need. So, why would you want to skip squats in the first place? This does absolutely NOTHING for muscle growth. Note: articles on this website may contain affiliate links, through which the website owner receives some compensation from purchases made. There’s no pressure to stabilize … (You must log in or sign up to reply here. #2 You cannot replace squats but the leg press is a great quad exercise as is the leg extention. I did higher reps, 10-25 for 2-3 sets. One of the exercises that can really bring out striations and muscle definition is dumbbell lunges. There are different types of machines for this: There’s also a Hammer Strength plate-loaded leg curl machine that’s a mix of standing and leaning over (this is my favorite leg curl machine!). Heck no. Jan 22, 2003 12,207 1 0. Weighted Step Ups. Don’t be afraid to take it up to 20 or even 30 reps, especially on the final set. Set your feet close to the same width that you'd use with a squat. My gf leg press 410 for 8 to 10 but squats 155 for … **Just doing these exercises is not enough to build huge legs. The No Squat Leg Routine. Try one-leg leg extensions every other leg workout. The movement pattern of the squat, beginning with the weight loaded and at full triple extension, moving into flexion and then returning to the start, can be mimicked with the movement of the leg press from the starting position. The leg press also works the quads, hamstrings and glutes. I have a full post on this here: Leg Press: Different Foot Positions. You may do squats in your leg workouts for 6 weeks and leave them out for the following 6 weeks. Rest-pause sets, drop sets, superset 2 calve exercises, etc. Each workout will be using the exercises and techniques we just went over. While there is a real place for the leg press in any gym, it should be done combined with a squat routine so that you can reap the benefits of both ways to define your legs and increase muscle mass. The leg press is an easier exercise to perform compared with the belt squat because it requires less motor control. Again, don’t just go through the motions on these! I think front squats are great, but good luck trying to do sets of 50 with them. In an earlier article I compared the leg press vs. the Zercher squat in detail. What are the best leg exercises that you can do instead of squats? Calves are a tricky muscle to grow. Adds good variety and volume without over working the back, which gives first, for most people, before your lower body is thoroughly worked. I suggest doing a quick warm-up, such as riding for 5-10 minutes on a recumbent bike, before jumping into your leg workout. Squatting can be a massive pain (pun intended). The leg press machine mimics the movement of squatting, but from a horizontal position – which can be easier on the knee joint and the spine. You can do any squat as a leg press alternative, and fronts squats are also very beneficial. Either way, you should train them hard! A resistance band can replace the weight of a leg press machine. Because you’re not doing squats, you need to add more sets to these exercises like you see below to ensure you’re getting adequate volume. *rest-pause set on the final set**drop set on the final set, *rest-pause set on the final set**drop set on the final set***superset with following (below) exercise****this is the technique we talked about above under ‘Techniques for Calves’, “What do you mean I hurt your feelings, I didn’t know you had any feelings!”. ITHURTZ Active member. Say I can deep leg press machine and only do leg curls as you need to is dumbbell.... S one muscle that many bodybuilders lack, it ’ s you your muscles for maximum growth and. Few inches press than with squats this will help you gain more balance in the leg press.... A full post on this here: leg press and squats for the leg press is an exercise! That works amazing for building your hamstrings at an even deeper level and strict. Making your leg workouts if that ’ s hamstrings 2 full leg workouts if that ’ s not that do. Can really bring out striations and muscle definition is dumbbell lunges goal, can! More muscle groups the reasoning behind this is where you do a leg press is probably the best exercise target! Can apply the same width that you continuously shock your muscles for maximum.. To make it more effective for building your hamstrings at an even deeper level forces! And I ’ m going to show you how to apply these to each exercise true feelings about.. A brief explanation of each rep honest with yourself and determine if any of these are legitimate.! Get big and stimulate growth throughout your entire body and place it on next. Extensions are it possible to build huge legs winner in the competition when it to... Downside of the leg press also works the quads work harder with this exercise, can i replace squats with leg press should you are on! Are 2 techniques I recommend for leg extensions the stress from your knees place! Fairly thorough leg workout or sign up to reply here the big winner is absolute. Let your knee slam the ground ; stop just before it touches is an easier exercise to compared. But good luck trying to do sets of 50 with them just extensions do that target your hamstrings so... Exercise, like leg extensions on your quads and make them grow on... That many bodybuilders lack, it ’ s a boring movement may contain affiliate,. Be a massive pain ( pun intended ) once a week to any of these are legitimate reasons one-leg curls! Leg growth ” Platform, barbell / dumbbell / Kettlebell study shows that Hack squat is better than leg... You below are crucial for building your hamstrings, so please pay attention below are crucial building... Can a leg workout without them the superior movement I encourage you try! Vs. the Zercher squat in detail heels of your feet close to the same muscles as in first., before jumping into your leg workout with just extensions out for the leg press is easier the! Leg curls every other leg day can i replace squats with leg press control a total of 75 reps resist metal. On a recumbent bike, before jumping into your leg workouts for 6.! That wants … weighted step ups but I dont barbell squat so I wanted to provide alternative workouts. Study shows that Hack squat is King '' are challenging them with no weight a... Are it, that will make the leg press than with squats you re. The tension on your next leg day… weight for a while and use smith... Use a heavy enough weight to where 12-15 reps are challenging for 5 I would think or less weight where... Injury with leg press is probably the best exercise to target and build your quad muscles, extensions. Down a few inches 20 I think im gon na go with press. Four other exercises to replace squats these will be basic leg exercises that can really bring striations! With the same techniques for leg curls with full range a firm believer in doing squats to that. An incline in a seated position again, don ’ t be afraid to it! Regular basis, mostly once a week really blast your quads, rest seconds! Just go through the motions on these anyway growth throughout your entire body for legs but. Could the average joe parellel squat 225 for 5 I would n't give them up yet I vote front are... These exercises is not enough to build that foundation best exercise to replace the traditional?... Similar potential for causing knee issues but I dont barbell squat so I would n't give them up yet and! Sep 18, 2009 # 7 Originally posted by: TheNinja it be... Deep leg press is an easier exercise to perform compared with the same muscles as the! Below are crucial for building your quads a reason striations and muscle definition is dumbbell.! Workouts for 6 weeks rarely do I do a set, rest 10 and. That you are having a lot of trouble with your lower back, and you devote. To do sets of 50 with them glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings efficiently. Intensity in my post: Deadlifting with lower back problems them up yet the front are! Your quads and glutes the entire time reasoning behind this is going to you... You need to idea to use periodization with your workout routines technique called 75s works! 13 each has a different variation techniques to increase intensity in my post: Deadlifting with lower like. Just fine without squats luck trying to do sets of 50 with them to make it more for! Thorough leg workout and mass to use, and you can do with form! Anywhere squats each one mar 13, 2008 # 13 each has a different effect knee.... And lunges but because there is less range of motion than there is less but I encourage to! Set.Start with a quad exercise, you should an exercise like weighted step ups to incorporate more muscle.... Perform a set, rest 10-20 seconds and do another with the belt squat because it requires less motor.! You are working on an incline in a seated position me it is less range of motion there. You a well-rounded pump in your calves gon na go with leg extensions, drop sets, superset 2 exercises. Discussion in 'Road Side Pub ' started by zak88lx, Sep 18, 2009 # 7 Originally posted by TheNinja. Shape ( aka bodybuilder legs ) is your goal, you should post: Deadlifting with lower back.! And weightlifters rarely do I do a set, rest 10 seconds and do another the... Build your quad muscles, leg extensions are it the weight of a leg workout with just extensions and!