Squats vs Leg Press

Both essentially look the same because the leg press looks like reclining squat but I have to say that they are quite different. You can say that they’re like brothers but with rather different personalities. Kind of like Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

Proper squat form

Main Similarities:

1) Compound exercise – multi-jointed movement: hips and knees
2) Predominantly works the glutes, quads and the hamstrings (to a smaller extent the calves)

Main Differences

1) Leg press has a shorter range than full range squats
2) Squats requires more stabilizing muscles

The big question is this: What are your goals and what are your limitations?

Back problems* – Neither. I would go for isolation or isometric exercises like extensions, curls and wall sits.

Hip problems*- Leg presses or box squats

*check first with your physician if it’s serious

Growing your legs (hypertrophy) – Squats AND leg presses and in that order

Jennifer Lopez booty and legs – Squats

Strength – Squats but if you’re trying to get stronger for deadlifts then leg presses (angle mimics the bottom range of deadlifting)

Sports – Depending on what sport you’re playing but most would benefit more from squats. Rowers would do well with leg presses (mimics it)

To impress the girls – Leg presses simply because you can rack it up especially if you’re short like me

Bottom-(pun intended)-line 

Both exercises are pretty awesome but learn proper form and choose wisely depending on your goals and limitations. Most newbies and girls tend to gravitate towards the leg press because they’re unsure. So here’s a great link to learn proper squat form so you don’t look like these gym fails.

References:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/leg_press_vs_squat_the_final_chapter
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/how-squats-superior-leg-presses.htm
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shannon1.htm
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/squatting_from_head_to_toe
http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/squat-technique-101/
http://www.builtlean.com/2010/07/20/how-to-do-proper-squat-technique/

3 thoughts on “Squats vs Leg Press

  1. Pingback: Pop Quiz: Squats or Leg Press? | She's Losing It!

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