Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

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    Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    As I understand it the squat works all the extra balancing muscles that leg press does not generally get.

    I stopped doing squats because I find that my shoulders/back are not strong enough to support the weight and I feel like I am doing damage to my back. So I started working the back better and moved over to hack squat.

    My question is wheter the hack Squat targets the muscles any differently than the leg press?


    Leg Press : 6x610lbs
    Hack Squat : 6x500lbs
    Squat : 9x265lbs (can do more but worried about back as above)

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    Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by spire
    As I understand it the squat works all the extra balancing muscles that leg press does not generally get.


    Leg Press : 6x610lbs
    Hack Squat : 6x500lbs
    Squat : 9x265lbs (can do more but worried about back as above)
    Short answer.....the Leg press depends on the angle of the machine..you are actually doing 50-70% of that poundage...we have posts here on the extra shear pressure it places on the knees.....It's more valuable when used as a changing flexible exercise....heavy. reps, drops, one legged, etc....

    HACKS are awesome and often underated....foot placement, and how you use your hips can vary the 'hit' of the exercise gr8ly....again the w8 is not the w8, but affected by the sine of the angle of the apperatus...

    Squats...well you said it, Squats ARE KING! The w8 is the w8...and usually if your back is a problem..the bar is sitting too hign near the cervical spine...and the descent/accent is at to far of a forward angle....the motion should resemble sitting on a teeny weeny low toilet....driving your heels not toes into the ground, head back, chest out..and using the legs not back! A good solution is to hold onto something w/your hand for stability (no bar..just you), and lower yourself into a sitting position w/o bending forward, go low..then mimic that in the exercise.

    Add front squats/hams/isolation and you have a nice balanced program....DO ALL OF THOSE!


    DP

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    Also to add to that, one thing that I have found is that a lot of people, when performing squats look up towards the ceiling. They do the old "pick a spot on the wall and keep your eye on it through out the range of motion." The problem I have with this is that if you have your head cocked up towards the ceiling when you are squating down it is forcing you to arck your lower back a little bit due to the angle of your spine because you are looking up. I always try and look straight ahead through the entire motion. Never with my head looking up to the sky and NEVER looking down.
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    Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by Dr. Pain
    A good solution is to hold onto something w/your hand for stability (no bar..just you), and lower yourself into a sitting position w/o bending forward, go low..then mimic that in the exercise.

    DP
    That's why I like the safety squat bar. My gym doesn't have one, unfortunately, but I used to use one. Now I use a Mantaray, while not the same, it does help improve my technique.
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    Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by spire
    As I understand it the squat works all the extra balancing muscles that leg press does not generally get.

    I stopped doing squats because I find that my shoulders/back are not strong enough to support the weight and I feel like I am doing damage to my back. So I started working the back better and moved over to hack squat.

    My question is wheter the hack Squat targets the muscles any differently than the leg press?


    Leg Press : 6x610lbs
    Hack Squat : 6x500lbs
    Squat : 9x265lbs (can do more but worried about back as above)
    Christdamn, 500lb hack squats?

    Not long ago i was doing 15 rep sets of those with nothing but my BW.

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    Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by Monolith
    Christdamn, 500lb hack squats?
    No kidding!

    spire, you can squat 265 but "only" leg press 610? How often do you do leg presses? I'm just curious. I can only squat about 185 right now, but I can leg press over 700 (6 to 8 rep sets). One goal I have is to be squatting 225 by the end of this year.

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    Its hard to compare Hack and Leg press as the type of machine can be a big factor in the weight lifted.
    Cool

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    There are a few things that I should clarify.

    For squat, I do use the safty bar (and I place my hands on these bar like things on the frame only when I feel my back is taking too much stress), I assume that the bar weights 65lbs (since it is ovbviously heavier than the 45lb regular bar). The number should have actually read 245, typo on my part, its 2 plates a side.

    For the hack squats, I go down to about a right angle at the knee. This is mainly because the training is for cycliong more than anythign else, so the motions that I do are more related to cycling. I try to keep the feet the same width apart (or maybe a bit wider) as the pedals on the bike.I see some people practically hit the bottom of that thing, and that is an impractical motion for a cyclist, so I don't go down that far. Some people lock their knees at the top, I don't do that either (which actually makes it a bit harder).

    As trainnig for cycling, most of the effort goes into training legs more than upperbody.

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    Safety bar as in a smith machine?

    As for hacks... im pretty sure you're better off doing a full range of motion.

    It's like for people trying to increase their vertical jump... they do wicked deep and heavy squats. They dont jump from that position, but it's the best training technique.

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    With a Smith Machine, isn't the weight placed on the the bar actually lighter than without the Smith Machine? Example-

    If I can squat 225 (two plates on each side) freestyle, it would actually be more like 195 on the Smith Machine though still two plates on the side?
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    Some smith bars are the same weight as an olympic bar (45lbs.) some are lighter and some maybe heavier.

    A smith squat is not a squat though.
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    So, what is it then?
    Cool

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    It is a smith squat

    the only reason i said that was becuase a lot of people think that a smith squat counts as a real squat when in fact they are two different exercises.
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    Here's a pic of the safety squat bar I was referring to. I suspect Spire uses it also judging by his description.
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    Yeah...I agree...HUGE difference b/w using the smith machine when squating and doing the real thing...free from Barball Squats.

    Once again the smith machine takes away the balance and stability requirement.
    Searching for the right balance...

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    Originally posted by Fit Freak
    Yeah...I agree...HUGE difference b/w using the smith machine when squating and doing the real thing...free from Barball Squats.

    Once again the smith machine takes away the balance and stability requirement.
    yup, there is NO comparison to a free barbell squat, overall one of the hardest and most effective exercises you can do.

    I do barbell squats & SLDL every other leg work-out, on the other leg work-out I do leg press, hack squats, extensions and leg curls.


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    Originally posted by Rob_NC
    Here's a pic of the safety squat bar I was referring to. I suspect Spire uses it also judging by his description.
    Bingo! that's it. Slighly different shaped cage though.

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    Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by Dr. Pain
    Squats...well you said it, Squats ARE KING! The w8 is the w8...and usually if your back is a problem..the bar is sitting too hign near the cervical spine...
    I don't know the back terminology, where exactly should be the bar be sitting (using the safety squat bar show elsewhere in the thread). What is the cervical spine?

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    Originally posted by Fit Freak
    Yeah...I agree...HUGE difference b/w using the smith machine when squating and doing the real thing...free from Barball Squats.

    Once again the smith machine takes away the balance and stability requirement.
    I agree that the Barbell Squat is superior to the Smith Machine, but I can't do a Barbell Squat to save my life. Everytime I go down with the bar I go onto my toes. If I force myself to stay on my heels- I go backward. And this is with very little weight. Any suggestions?

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    Practice doing squats without the bar and just worry about balancing the weight in between your heal and toes. Also don't try and go down so low. If you flexibility doesn't allow you to go down to parallel or below paralell yet then only take it down as far as your flexability allows. But keep working on it so that you can get down to and eventually below parallel. Your flexability and balance will improve with time.
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    Originally posted by P-funk
    Practice doing squats without the bar and just worry about balancing the weight in between your heal and toes. Also don't try and go down so low. If you flexibility doesn't allow you to go down to parallel or below paralell yet then only take it down as far as your flexability allows. But keep working on it so that you can get down to and eventually below parallel. Your flexability and balance will improve with time.
    Thank you!

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    also read DP's post above
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    Originally posted by Fit Freak
    Once again the smith machine takes away the balance and stability requirement.
    So, other than balance and stability, they work just as well then?
    Cause i'm more concerned in my quads, from what i see, they both work the same muscles.
    Cool

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    Re: Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by spire
    I don't know the back terminology, where exactly should be the bar be sitting (using the safety squat bar show elsewhere in the thread). What is the cervical spine?
    Well a picture would be worth 200 words.......The bar sits lower, more on the the rear delts and across your back, not on it (esp not on the lower neck).......there are legal limits in PLing as to how low you can go,

    This changes your center of gravity and motion, more or less centering you and allowing full leg implementation!

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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by Dr. Pain
    Well a picture would be worth 200 words.......The bar sits lower, more on the the rear delts and across your back, not on it (esp not on the lower neck).......there are legal limits in PLing as to how low you can go,

    This changes your center of gravity and motion, more or less centering you and allowing full leg implementation!
    I'll try next time I am at the gym.

    Go get on the internet and find that picture worth 200 words!

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    Re: Re: Re: Leg Press vs Hack Squat vs Squat

    Originally posted by I Are Baboon
    I can only squat about 185 right now
    Have you checked out Jodi's journal?

    She's squatting 210.

    Puts us all to shame!

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    Sotty......no there are more differences...your quads WILL get a better w/o..but the easy route is the Smith Machine if that's your chosen path

    AND as for going on your toes...ROCK...sounds like you need to improve your flexibility in your glutes/hamstrings/hip flexors.
    Searching for the right balance...

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    AND as for going on your toes...ROCK...sounds like you need to improve your flexibility in your glutes/hamstrings/hip flexors. [/QUOTE]

    Can it have anything to do with long legs and unflexible ankles? I'm pretty flexible at the legs, but if not what can I do to correct that? Just regular stretching?


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    Can it have anything to do with long legs and unflexible ankles? I'm pretty flexible at the legs, but if not what can I do to correct that? Just regular stretching?


    I think having long legs has a lot to do with it. I have long legs and have to struggle to stay on my heels. Also, tight achilles tendons limit flexibility.
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    Originally posted by Fit Freak
    Sotty......no there are more differences...your quads WILL get a better w/o..but the easy route is the Smith Machine if that's your chosen path

    AND as for going on your toes...ROCK...sounds like you need to improve your flexibility in your glutes/hamstrings/hip flexors.

    FF, I was told just the other day by a trainer that Smith squats are more difficult b/c they force strict form. I don't buy this, mind you, but is there a grain of truth?
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