Which is better leg press or barbell squat?

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Which is better leg press or barbell squat?
Which is better leg press or barbell squat?

Some of the exercises are considered ineffective by experts, but no categorical claims should be made. Find out which is the best leg press or squat with a barbell. Almost all athletes use exercises that were considered ineffective by most experts. This list is already quite large and is constantly updated with new exercises. The leg press is also located here, which has recently received a large number of negative reviews.

It is necessary to agree with the results of studies showing that squats may provide more benefits for athletic body development. But at the same time, it was found that this movement must be used to accelerate muscle hypertrophy. It also contributes to an increase in strength indicators at the bottom of the trajectory of movement. Today we will figure out which is better to press the legs or squat with a barbell.

Positive aspects of the leg press

Athlete Performs Leg Press

It should be said right away that when working with large working weights, it is much more difficult to perform squats technically competently. The mechanics of movement should be more precise as the load increases. There can be no trifles here, and all the elements are very important, from the placement of the feet to the location of the shoulder blades.

At the same time, the leg press is a simpler movement from a technical point of view. It is performed almost always without errors, both by trained athletes and by beginners.

It should also be noted that when doing the leg press, it is much easier to use different methods of increasing the intensity, for example, eccentric reps or drop sets. The leg press can be successfully used in the rehabilitation period after a previous injury. So, for example, athletes who have undergone surgery on the knee joint are useful to use one leg press with a working weight of 10% of body weight. This allows the muscles to learn to work together again with minimal stress on the joint.

It is impossible not to note the high effectiveness of the exercise for the development of strength indicators of the thigh muscles. This is due to the ability to perform movement with a greater amplitude, which is known to increase strength.

Leg press myths

An athlete performs a leg press on the Gakka machine

Perhaps we should now not just list all the positive aspects of the leg press, but rather refute the existing negative arguments.

There is no need to maintain balance when performing the movement

Of course, performing a movement in the simulator and squeezing a platform moving in a straight line, unlike squats with a barbell, an athlete does not need to maintain balance in three planes. However, when the athlete is faced with the task of maximizing muscle development, it is precisely due to the need to maintain balance that the muscles can be maximally activated and work with large weights. Thus, the leg press is an excellent exercise to accelerate muscle growth.

With a decrease in stability, the athlete will be forced to reduce the weight of the sports equipment, which will significantly affect a number of factors, for example, muscle adaptation, hormonal response to physical activity, etc.

Leg press is a non-functional movement

Squats are also difficult to call a functional movement, it is possible only in the case when the athlete is faced with the task of improving this movement. A movement can be called functional only if, when it is performed, the movement occurs in three joints. It is according to these criteria that such a definition is more applicable specifically to the leg press.

The only advantage of the bench press is heavy lifting

It must be remembered that in addition to the possibility of using a large working weight, the exercise should be beneficial. Every athlete who has performed a leg press at least once will agree that it makes the heart work well.

Leg press and muscle hypertrophy

Girl training legs

When the athlete is faced with the challenge of increasing muscle mass, the leg press can do a lot of different ways to increase intensity, such as forced negative reps, drop sets, high reps, or rest-pause.

When using drop sets, you should perform the movement the maximum number of times, after which the friend slightly reduces the weight, and the athlete again works to failure. After that, the weight is again reduced and everything is repeated until the platform becomes empty or the athlete does not have the strength to continue performing the exercise.

The essence of the rest-pause method is to perform one or two repetitions with a working weight of 90–95% of the one-rep maximum. After that, you need to fix the platform and rest for 20 seconds. After this, 1 to 2 more repetitions are performed, rest again, and so on until the total number of repetitions reaches from 10 to 12. When using this method, the athlete gets the opportunity to increase the time to complete the approach, while maintaining high intensity.

When using forced negative reps, your companion should push down on the platform as it lowers and hold the load for 3 to 5 seconds. The lifter must then complete the concentric repetition phase. At the same time, it should be understood that the partner must do everything competently, or it is better to choose a different way of increasing the intensity.

As you can see, it is quite difficult to say unequivocally that it is better to press the legs or squat with a barbell. Both exercises are great in certain situations and for solving different problems. Thus, to say that the leg press is an ineffective exercise is at least not correct. For solving certain problems, it is the bench press that can bring more benefit, rather than the squat.

The most important task for an athlete is to understand how to achieve goals and create the right training program. This is the only way to achieve your goals and create a figure close to the ideal.

For more information on the leg press and squat with a barbell, see this video:

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