compare leg press and Smith squatting

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ApolytonGP
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compare leg press and Smith squatting

Post by ApolytonGP » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:52 pm

I am wondering if I should keep Smith squatting or go to leg pressing? What do you think the tradeoffs are in terms of glutes, quads or hammie development? Back strain? Patella pain?

Also we have a lot of different types of leg press (standing, seated, etc.) If I press, which one is best.

P.s. Sorry, if this comes across as a troll. i know many here love free squats and really I wish I could do them, but just don't think good with my kneecap. Interested in how you compare the LP and Smith squat (my feet are well forward and slightly turned out). Of course, they are really fairly similar exercises, but interested in thoughts on differences.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:12 pm

if i couldn't squat i'd do leg press. bottom line, smith machine just doesn't do it. it feels so unnatural.

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Post by Rucifer » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:24 pm

I feel more strain on my knee with a leg press over a squat or smith squat. Perhaps you could just do regular squats...with a lighter weight? If not I'd choose smiths even though I am sure many here will disagree. After I do the leg press I feel this dull sort of pain in my knees for days afterwards.

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Post by Nevage » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:36 pm

Smith machine squats hurt my lower back when I go far down, my upper body is smaller than my lower body so I have to lean forwards slightly or I'll just fall back.

Leg press is second best to squats IMO. You can go a lot further down than squats, I feel a real good stretch in my glutes and go down til my knees are basically touching my chest. You can also lift til failure as well because you don't have to worry about being crushed by the weight. When I stall on squats I do leg press for a while and I love it.

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: compare leg press and Smith squatting

Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:08 pm

ApolytonGP wrote:I am wondering if I should keep Smith squatting or go to leg pressing? What do you think the tradeoffs are in terms of glutes, quads or hammie development? Back strain? Patella pain?

Also we have a lot of different types of leg press (standing, seated, etc.) If I press, which one is best.
What is best depends on you. We're all different.

You should experiment with Smith machine squats and leg presses and see how you respond to them. Start light, and gradually up the weight, backing off if you feel back or knee pain.

BTW, you don't need to use a ton of weight to benefit from doing freeweight squats. Just concentrate on getting the mechanics of the movement right.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:17 pm

In what way are either Smith squats or LP any safer for the knee? I just don't understand what harm free squats can do that the others can't.

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Post by nygmen » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:09 pm

Rucifer wrote:I feel more strain on my knee with a leg press over a squat or smith squat. Perhaps you could just do regular squats...with a lighter weight? If not I'd choose smiths even though I am sure many here will disagree. After I do the leg press I feel this dull sort of pain in my knees for days afterwards.
I found putting my feet high & wide on the pad, pointing my toes out more and not fully locking out at the top solved this problem. (Not that I LP a ton.) I also try and focus on the tear drop muscle (what ever it is called) while pressing. Seems to help also.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:18 pm

also, what is your with your knee/knee cap?

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Post by ApolytonGP » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:44 am

I have a dime-spot of missing cartilage under the kneecap. It doesn't grow back. Only bugs me at certain spots (90 degrees single leg is the worst).

I've actually never tried the free squat...so can't say for sure if it would hurt the knee. I do know my PT wanted me on the Smith only and to have feet well forward and to "sit down into a chair"...which basically means I have to lean back (use the Smith for support).

There was a while where I wasn't even doing the Smith (or any leg press or squat). Was all isolations. But I'm trying to see what I can do...and had a trainer tell me to add something more for the quads that was compound.

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Post by KPj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:03 am

ApolytonGP wrote: I've actually never tried the free squat...so can't say for sure if it would hurt the knee. I do know my PT wanted me on the Smith only and to have feet well forward and to "sit down into a chair"...which basically means I have to lean back (use the Smith for support).
My advice would be to source another PT.

KPj

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:46 am

ApolytonGP wrote:I've actually never tried the free squat...so can't say for sure if it would hurt the knee. I do know my PT wanted me on the Smith only and to have feet well forward and to "sit down into a chair"...which basically means I have to lean back (use the Smith for support).
If you need to sit back and avoid letting the knees track forward, try to find a trainer who can teach you to box squat. Your knees won't have much (if any) movement and you will sit back in to chair. Well, on to a box anyway.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:03 am

ApolytonGP wrote:I have a dime-spot of missing cartilage under the kneecap. It doesn't grow back. Only bugs me at certain spots (90 degrees single leg is the worst).
I understand. Most of the cartilage is gone, or at least torn up on my right kneecap, and I'm guessing the left (which hasn't been studied) isn't far behind.
ApolytonGP wrote:I've actually never tried the free squat...so can't say for sure if it would hurt the knee.
I suspected as much. Just grab a light bar, or even a piece of PVC pipe, and try it. Then if it in fact hurts, you can look for alternatives. It's just too great an exercise to miss out on.
ApolytonGP wrote:I do know my PT wanted me on the Smith only and to have feet well forward and to "sit down into a chair"...which basically means I have to lean back (use the Smith for support).
Makes no sense to me.
ApolytonGP wrote:But I'm trying to see what I can do...and had a trainer tell me to add something more for the quads that was compound.
In this case, listen to the trainer.

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Post by Ironman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:58 pm

I like leg press.

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