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  1. #1
    Registered User Ziggy CS's Avatar
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    Question Difference between BB Squat, Hack Squat and Leg Press

    Would like to know the difference between the BB Squat, Hack Squat, and Leg Press. I know that the leg press works your thighs, BB Squat works your thighs and back.

    I would like to know the major differences explained in detail about the three. Or are they so similiar that they are used just to change up things in your workout.

    And no I'm not an idiot. An example of what I am looking for is: The difference between a seated calf raise and standing calf raises is: the seated calf for the soleus, the standing calf raise for the gastrocemius.

    Thanks for the input. My main interest is the BB Squat vs. the Hack Squat.

    I am buying a Angeld Leg Press that also has the Hack Squat. I have only been doing BB Squats so I am researching the major differences.
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  2. #2
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    Leg press takes the midsection out of the equation, and increases the stability of the lift. It's an effective leg exercise, particularly if you're playing around with foot placement (higher is more glutes and hamstrings, lower is more quads, wider is more adductors), but I don't like it as much as I like the strong effect squats have on my back and abs. It also has lower gluteus medius involvement, as it's on a stable surface.

    The hack squat uses somewhat less back, and somewhat less abs. It's a more quad-focused movement, though it uses the glutes and hamstrings as well. Again, less gluteus medius involvement as it's a stable surface. If legs are closer together as is common in hack squats, you also have far less adductor involvement, but you can play with that.

    The barbell squat, properly performed, uses the quads, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, lower back, abs, obliques, etc, and works the most muscle mass of the three options you have available. The lower back tends to give out first, which is why it's a common bodybuilding thing to do leg presses after barbell squats as they are easier on a tired lower back but the legs can still do some work.

    Basically, if you want to get your midsection maximally worked in proportion to the rest of your body during the lifts, then squats are the way to go. If you favour an isolation routine where weak links in the kinetic chain are less of a concern, then the leg press works well. A compromise between the two is the hack squat. Personally, I favour the squat.
    Last edited by gordonrumble; 02-21-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by gordonrumble View Post
    Leg press takes the midsection out of the equation, and increases the stability of the lift. It's an effective leg exercise, particularly if you're playing around with foot placement (higher is more glutes and hamstrings, lower is more quads, wider is more adductors), but I don't like it as much as I like the strong effect squats have on my back and abs. It also has lower gluteus medius involvement, as it's on a stable surface.

    The hack squat uses somewhat less back, and somewhat less abs. It's a more quad-focused movement, though it uses the glutes and hamstrings as well. Again, less gluteus medius involvement as it's a stable surface. If legs are closer together as is common in hack squats, you also have far less adductor involvement, but you can play with that.

    The barbell squat, properly performed, uses the quads, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, lower back, abs, obliques, etc, and works the most muscle mass of the three options you have available. The lower back tends to give out first, which is why it's a common bodybuilding thing to do leg presses after barbell squats as they are easier on a tired lower back but the legs can still do some work.

    Basically, if you want to get your midsection maximally worked in proportion to the rest of your body during the lifts, then squats are the way to go. If you favour an isolation routine where weak links in the kinetic chain are less of a concern, then the leg press works well. A compromise between the two is the hack squat. Personally, I favour the squat.
    pretty much /thread with that said.

    To add on, for a leg day you may want to combine the three

    heavy squats
    medium hack squats
    medium leg press
    and finish with some leg extensions and calve work

    but really he nailed it
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  4. #4
    Registered User grumble1's Avatar
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    I like these kinds of questions. They're a lot more fun to think about than the usual 'my biceps won't grow even though I work them 12x a week' or 'how can I increase my bench press, I want it higher even though I have a huge muscle imbalance'.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Ziggy CS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gordonrumble View Post
    I like these kinds of questions. They're a lot more fun to think about than the usual 'my biceps won't grow even though I work them 12x a week' or 'how can I increase my bench press, I want it higher even though I have a huge muscle imbalance'.
    Thanks gordonrumble, that was the response/answers I was looking for. I was hoping I wasn't going to get replies like "you can lift more doing leg press". I want to know how the muscles work and react and how different exercises work the muscles.

    Thanks again.
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