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  1. #1
    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Question about leg press

    For the sake of argument, if a person had injured knees and was only able to do the leg press for upper leg work, would his quadriceps get built up to notice (the "teardrop" muscle inside the thigh)?
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    Banned Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    There is a huge variation in leg presses. Add to that foot placement and the comparison of leg presses is pretty much impossible.

    But, yes one can in fact train your quads quite well on a leg press.
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    As OTL says - yes...you can train your quads quite well on the leg press. That being said the degree to with the vastus medialis obliquus (the tear drop muscle) stands out will also be defined genetically as well. My vastus medialis is crap, although I train legs religiously, from a variety of angles exercises, and intensely. 28" thighs at 12% bodyfat, and they still suck. So.... as every financial prospectus always says, "actual results may differ from what you read here..."
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    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Good news, then. I wasn't expecting the leg press to completely isolate the quadriceps, but I was hoping that it worked them well enough to notice - with *any* kind of foot placement. Probable ACL issues for me means that leg extensions are strictly verboten, and even light deadlifts hurt my knees the other day. So far my careful increase of poundage on the leg press has brought no pain. :>)) I may try to see how some light squats work out for me soon. I'm pretty sure the leg curls I do aren't working my quads - ha. I wish my gym had a hack squat machine, though. Oh well.

    I'm assuming that my quads will get more work if I point my toes outward on the press vs. straight up or inward.
    Last edited by Tricon7; 06-27-2014 at 06:13 AM.
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    Ultimately, the leg press is one of the most versatile machines out there. Although I am a huge fan of squats, I have a leg press at home, and use
    them often in the gyms I visit on the road. I too have found huge variations in presses, some smoother than others, some I can use more weight on
    etc, but ultimately, it's about the effort to perform reps. I have experimented wildly with foot positions-for three months, a friend and I only did close
    foot placement, and it was amazing to see the outer quad develop, then we only did wide, and the inner quads responded...so generally, I throw a
    little of both in and get good results along with a "neutral" placement. The lower you go, you'll bring in more glute and hams...another great thing is
    going to near failure, then doing a bunch of partials to keep the quads under tension, overload the muscle and build lactic acid tolerance.
    "Common sense is not so common".
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    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, my last leg workout using leg presses re-aggravated my knees, and my knee areas were sore all the rest of the day. Fortunately, the pain didn't linger past that, but clearly the leg press did something that my body didn't like, and I didn't go heavy. I only did the weight I had done the previous leg press workout. I'm now at the point where I can't do a single exercise for my thighs. I'm soon going to have stork legs.
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    I am far from being an expert, but this question crossed my mind: Did you try box squats? They don't focus on your quadriceps, but they take a lot of stress away from the knees. Properly done, your shins can stay perpendicular to the floor or even past that.
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    Originally Posted by Tricon7 View Post
    Unfortunately, my last leg workout using leg presses re-aggravated my knees, and my knee areas were sore all the rest of the day. Fortunately, the pain didn't linger past that, but clearly the leg press did something that my body didn't like, and I didn't go heavy. I only did the weight I had done the previous leg press workout. I'm now at the point where I can't do a single exercise for my thighs. I'm soon going to have stork legs.
    If you plan to build your quads, you're going to have to deal with your knee problem head-on. See an Orthopedist, get a diagnosis of what's actually going on with your knees, then see what can be done about correcting the problem.



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    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    If you plan to build your quads, you're going to have to deal with your knee problem head-on. See an Orthopedist, get a diagnosis of what's actually going on with your knees, then see what can be done about correcting the problem.
    I have an appointment set up next week with an orthopedic physical therapist. In the meantime, I tried another leg workout yesterday, figuring I had nothing to lose at this point. I did try the leg press again - light - and my knees bothered me like before. Considering my options, I did some experimenting. This time instead of moving my feet wider apart like I had done before, I moved them *up* the platform instead of being in the middle - much further up than I would normally go. I immediately noticed less pressure on the front knee-area that had been bothering me, and I was able to go heavier than before and without the characteristic knee pain. I realize that I'm now working the back of my legs more with my feet placed further up, but at this point I'm just happy to do it pain-free. I worked up to almost two 45s on each side before I decided to stop pushing my luck, so I called it quits. So I'm somewhat hopeful that I've stumbled onto a possible solution. Time will tell.
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    Originally Posted by Tricon7 View Post
    I wish my gym had a hack squat machine, though. Oh well.
    Have you tried barbell hack squats?
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    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DocHoss View Post
    Have you tried barbell hack squats?
    If I can barely do a leg press, I'm not going to attempt a squat yet. I did that the other week with a dead lift and regretted it.
    "Franco is pretty smart, but Franco's a child, and when it comes to the day of the contest, I am his father. He comes to me for advices. So it's not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices." - Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron

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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Tricon7 View Post
    If I can barely do a leg press, I'm not going to attempt a squat yet. I did that the other week with a dead lift and regretted it.
    I think you have the wrong picture of a barbell hack squat.

    Think of barbell hack squats as a relative of a deadlift - not a back squat.

    You load up a bar on the floor like a deadlift, but stand in front of the bar so that it is behind your legs. Bend at the knees with your arms extended roughly straight down behind you (almost like you are squatting) till you can grasp the bar behind you - and stand up holding it. The bar should track behind your lower legs and then hamstrings. It focuses on the quads, but I also feel them a lot in my glutes.

    I'm the only person I've actually seen do them in person in the last 15 years or more I have been lifting, they aren't common (although I think a fair number of the people here have or do use them on occasion). They do work.

    Watch a video on it. It will feel ackward as hell the first few times you do it (you may find that you are hitting yourself in the ass with the weight, but that will pass).

    I'm going to the gym in a bit. I will try to film myself doing these (I'm not scheduled to do them so I will just do a light set) if I have time. But, its sufficient to say that some of the lifting experts on-line will have better form than I do.
    Its not enough!
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    Hard to say it will differ from person to person.
    Use a feet/toes pointing out,shoulder width or wider, trying to push with the balls of your feet more and non lockout style.
    With your issue right now if you can't use much weight i don't feel your going to get the benefit of what your after.
    One exercise can only do so much.
    At least you can do something.
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    I have seen legs built with hack squat, leg press, and smith squats. He has to it that way. Broke lower back I believe. Anyways last two years he has won the overall masters at a regional NPC qaulifier. However nothing beats the squat. What else are you doing for your legs? How do your knees fair with leg extensions? And what about lunges? You can also do sinlge leg in place lunges. Just some thoughts.
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    Good Advice Here

    Originally Posted by Tmax55 View Post
    I think you have the wrong picture of a barbell hack squat.

    Think of barbell hack squats as a relative of a deadlift - not a back squat.

    You load up a bar on the floor like a deadlift, but stand in front of the bar so that it is behind your legs. Bend at the knees with your arms extended roughly straight down behind you (almost like you are squatting) till you can grasp the bar behind you - and stand up holding it. The bar should track behind your lower legs and then hamstrings. It focuses on the quads, but I also feel them a lot in my glutes.

    I'm the only person I've actually seen do them in person in the last 15 years or more I have been lifting, they aren't common (although I think a fair number of the people here have or do use them on occasion). They do work.

    Watch a video on it. It will feel ackward as hell the first few times you do it (you may find that you are hitting yourself in the ass with the weight, but that will pass).

    I'm going to the gym in a bit. I will try to film myself doing these (I'm not scheduled to do them so I will just do a light set) if I have time. But, its sufficient to say that some of the lifting experts on-line will have better form than I do.
    In the old days before steroids, hack squats were the core of every bodybuilder out there. Read up on the old school routines. Reg Park would stand on a 2x4 and do barbell hack squats all day. I do these as well and stand on a platform so i can go deep on the way down. i also use wrist straps so that I don't have to focus on gripping the bar so much. Also, I finish my quads off with leg presses. load up as many plates as you can and do sets of 15 reps. i also use the leg press for calf raises.
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    Hack Squats on a Machine

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    Barbell Hack Squat

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    Originally Posted by nexgensupps View Post
    Barbell Hack Squat

    Thank you... I did film a video of me doing them but its

    A) At a bad angle.
    B) Not enough weight to show how the bar tracks with normal weight since it was not my day to do these.
    C) Not the best lifter to show this movement

    and finally I do not know how to post videos here.
    Its not enough!
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    Originally Posted by Tmax55 View Post
    Thank you... I did film a video of me doing them but its

    A) At a bad angle.
    B) Not enough weight to show how the bar tracks with normal weight since it was not my day to do these.
    C) Not the best lifter to show this movement

    and finally I do not know how to post videos here.
    to post videos :

    [youtube] Insert last part of the youtube info here [ /youtube] - No space between the bracket and forward slash.

    So for the video here is a random link: http://youtu.be/p5ic2-xLyZg - However you will want to only use the last part p5ic2-xLyZg . Looks like this [youtube]p5ic2-xLyZg[ /youtube] again remember no space between the bracket and the forward slash.

    Hope that helps.
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    Registered User Tricon7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nexgensupps View Post
    I have seen legs built with hack squat, leg press, and smith squats. He has to it that way. Broke lower back I believe. Anyways last two years he has won the overall masters at a regional NPC qaulifier. However nothing beats the squat. What else are you doing for your legs? How do your knees fair with leg extensions? And what about lunges? You can also do sinlge leg in place lunges. Just some thoughts.
    My legs don't like leg extensions too much right now, and I certainly can't go heavy in them. I'm limited to leg press and leg extensions right now.
    "Franco is pretty smart, but Franco's a child, and when it comes to the day of the contest, I am his father. He comes to me for advices. So it's not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices." - Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron

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    Originally Posted by Tricon7 View Post
    Unfortunately, my last leg workout using leg presses re-aggravated my knees, and my knee areas were sore all the rest of the day. Fortunately, the pain didn't linger past that, but clearly the leg press did something that my body didn't like, and I didn't go heavy. I only did the weight I had done the previous leg press workout. I'm now at the point where I can't do a single exercise for my thighs. I'm soon going to have stork legs.

    I would'nt write myself off just like that because you cant legpress. Ride a bike,run,plyo.
    Theyr'es various ways to work around upper leg issues and still maintain respectable mass
    and definition. As for the term "Stork legs". I definately am cursed to have "Stork calves".
    I need access to a Standing calve machine with pads to rest on shoulders to enable
    usage of humongous muscle fiber tearing weight,resistance in the 600+lb range.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by CropDusterMan View Post
    The lower you go, you'll bring in more glute and hams....
    I'm pretty sure the "higher" your foot placement the more hamstring and glute is activated...
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    Originally Posted by Tricon7 View Post
    My legs don't like leg extensions too much right now, ...I'm limited to ... leg extensions right now.
    ????
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    The statement oddly makes sense to me - I grow with movements that hurt a lot to do.

    No, I'm not talking joint and tendon pain, I'm talking muscle and whole body pain.

    For instance, I absolutely HATE one armed dumbell rows, but they seem to make my lats grow more than any other thing.
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    Originally Posted by davidolson22 View Post
    ????
    Heh - well, I can *do* extensions, but once I hit about a hundred pounds my knees start to twinge. But up to that point I can do them pain-free. At least, until my last workout . :>((
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    Originally Posted by thor93 View Post
    I would'nt write myself off just like that because you cant legpress. Ride a bike,run,plyo.
    Theyr'es various ways to work around upper leg issues and still maintain respectable mass
    and definition. As for the term "Stork legs". I definately am cursed to have "Stork calves".
    I need access to a Standing calve machine with pads to rest on shoulders to enable
    usage of humongous muscle fiber tearing weight,resistance in the 600+lb range.
    Use the Smith Machine for your standing calf raise. You will need to use a bench that will let the upper pad raise all the way up. And step up on the support of the back side of the bench.
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    The fact that a higher foot placement alleviated the pain suggests some flexibility issues in your quads and hip flexors. Stretch and foam roll like mad. You'll cry first few times rolling, but $20 says it fixes your knee pain inside of a week.
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