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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on a home gym leg press/hack squat/other exercise if applicable machine?

    Hey all,

    I definitely do not plan on getting any other big pieces of equipment for awhile as I await 1-2 months for my power rack and functional trainer and get that all set up and going, but I'm curious what people's thoughts are regarding a combo leg press/hack squat as this is the one other large piece of equipment I could see myself purchasing and using a decent amount. I can glance through articles such as (https://www.usa-homegym.com/leg-pres...chine-reviews/) for some ideas but I'm curious if people here have any and find them high enough quality to be worthwhile.

    Of course if there are other leg-specific machines out there that would be worth considering, feel free to post about those too.
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  2. #2
    Registered User jk202's Avatar
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    I wouldn't settle for a home gym without a quality seated leg curl and a hack squat. But that's me. Not sure on your goals

    I'd opt for used commercial pieces personally
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    Originally Posted by jk202 View Post
    I wouldn't settle for a home gym without a quality seated leg curl and a hack squat. But that's me. Not sure on your goals

    I'd opt for used commercial pieces personally
    Regarding goals I am just looking for something to do as an accessory for squats for leg development. No specific goal for this. Due to a meniscus tear my squat had always lagged behind my deadlift and it is harder for me to go all out in squat training without risk of injury; it is nice to use a machine of some sort so I do not need to worry about this as much.
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    I used to have a seated leg curl, and regret selling it now.
    I have a decent older Nautilus hack squat/leg press combo, and get some use out of it...

    Another option might be a SSB or what I have is called a Top Squat, IIRC.
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    My advice is from personal experience only, use at your own risk, lol
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    Anyone have or use the Titan Seated Leg Curl/Extension Machine?
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  6. #6
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Personally after experiencing a dedicated belt squat machine I could never buy another leg press/hack squat machine. It's an ego machine that many young guys use at the gym, and comfort will vary greatly depending on which machine you buy. My vote would be for something like the Titan, B.O.S., Edge Fitness, or Rogue Rhino belt squat for additional leg training. These machines are VERY versatile, including the leverage versions, and outside maybe a seated leg extension/curl combo machine I couldn't see buying anything else to compliment leg day.
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Personally after experiencing a dedicated belt squat machine I could never buy another leg press/hack squat machine. It's an ego machine that many young guys use at the gym, and comfort will vary greatly depending on which machine you buy. My vote would be for something like the Titan, B.O.S., Edge Fitness, or Rogue Rhino belt squat for additional leg training. These machines are VERY versatile, including the leverage versions, and outside maybe a seated leg extension/curl combo machine I couldn't see buying anything else to compliment leg day.
    I will think about this for sure. I'll probably make a separate thread asking people's thoughts on the various types.
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    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jk202 View Post
    I'd opt for used commercial pieces personally
    +1 on used commercial in whatever leg machine(s) variation you prefer.

    I've got a 45° leg press, leg extension and leg curl atm. The Rogers Hip Press and Power Squat Pro are on my wish list if I can find them for the right price. The 45° leg press will go if I do.
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  9. #9
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    I will think about this for sure. I'll probably make a separate thread asking people's thoughts on the various types.
    Unless you have a back injury, there is no good reason to own a 45 degree leg press. Belt squat for the win....
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  10. #10
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    Just ordered Bodycraft F660 leg press/hack squat. Called Bodycraft and put my name on the waiting list. They are sold out until January.

    I opted for this unit because of the small footprint. Read a bunch of good things about it but had no opportunity to try it first hand.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    I will think about this for sure. I'll probably make a separate thread asking people's thoughts on the various types.
    Belt squats have been around for 30 years. Try before you buy. They are not all that some make them out to be. They are just OK. YMMV.

    Easy to replicate without a machine. I vote for leg press. If you need something to make squats easier, consider a safety squat bar.
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    Belt squats have been around for 30 years. Try before you buy. They are not all that some make them out to be. They are just OK. YMMV.

    Easy to replicate without a machine. I vote for leg press. If you need something to make squats easier, consider a safety squat bar.
    The biggest differences in favor of belt squat machines are versatility, comfort, and space requirements. The possibilities with a belt squat machine are relatively endless, especially if you buy a cable driven system like the Rhino or Westside Platform. Also, I feel belt squats transition over to barbell squatting far better than pushing weight on a fixed path. It requires balance and stabilization throughout the movement, without the lower back pressure you feel with many leg press machines.
    Last edited by urbanlifter; 09-24-2020 at 05:04 AM.
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    Originally Posted by SmithStreetGym View Post
    Just ordered Bodycraft F660 leg press/hack squat. Called Bodycraft and put my name on the waiting list. They are sold out until January.

    I opted for this unit because of the small footprint. Read a bunch of good things about it but had no opportunity to try it first hand.
    That’s a good one. Linear bearings and adjustable. Bodycraft makes nice stuff I have their hft functional trainer and it’s great.
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    Originally Posted by Mxchino View Post
    That’s a good one. Linear bearings and adjustable. Bodycraft makes nice stuff I have their hft functional trainer and it’s great.
    Now if I could just find some plates...
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    Originally Posted by SmithStreetGym View Post
    Now if I could just find some plates...
    Watch Dick's Sporting Goods, there are three stores within a 60-90 minute drive of me that have the 300lb Fitness Gear sets going for $249. Flipping the bar makes it even cheaper....
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    Thanks for the thoughts above. I will do my best to try anything (with my fiance) prior to purchasing... this is something that can wait until next year. All the leg press/hack squat combos I have looked at appear to have issues with depth with the hack squat for shorter individuals (I'm only 5'7", fiance is 5'5"), though I could likely place on a platform of some sort to get around this. We'll probably look to try a belt squat at some point too.
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    Originally Posted by SmithStreetGym View Post
    Just ordered Bodycraft F660 leg press/hack squat. Called Bodycraft and put my name on the waiting list. They are sold out until January.

    I opted for this unit because of the small footprint. Read a bunch of good things about it but had no opportunity to try it first hand.

    I’ve had my F660 for around seven years. While its a great machine considering it’s relatively compact size, these particular linear bearings are not designed for heavy weight. I’ve replaced them twice already because of the worsening sound (think of grinding metal). Both rods have several grooves from temporarily stuck or loose bearings. That being said, it functions fine. The bearings are a standard industrial design readily found on Ebay or from bearing shops online. If you find you bottom out on the hack too early, Rogue 1 1/2” rubber tiles work perfect on the foot plate (I use a pair for full ROM).

    Also, I have a SquatmaxMD belt squat and a BFS plate loaded leg ext/prone curl.
    Last edited by BAVE; 09-24-2020 at 04:34 PM.
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    I've got an older Body Solid leg press/hack squat combo. It doesn't do either of them particularly well but it's serviceable enough for my needs. The most I've been able to fit on the leg press has been a 100lb plate, 6 45lb plates, and a 35lb plate on each side, mainly because I have a mixture of some deep dish plates and thinner plates. It says it will hold 1000lbs but I have a feeling that's only if you have 10 100lb plates. It was smooth enough with the 810lbs on it. Plus the rollers add friction and make it seem a little heavier. I'm not a fan of the hack squat, but I get by with it. I think you can adjust the footplate to a higher setting to offset the less ROM, since the safety stop is kind of high at the bottom of the hack squat movement. Doing toe presses on it is fine. Keep in mind I got it used for around $200 pre-covid. So for me it's totally worth it and gets used in some way every single leg workout. I'm not a huge fan of barbell back squats any more, I have to elevate my heels to feel it in my quads, plus I don't like the compression on my spine. I did plenty of heavy squats in my youth.
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    I have the Squatmax MD and while the creator of it is a bit of a douche it's a really solid piece. Mine is the old rack attached model which is fine but the new standalone ones look a lot better. I think it is probably a better belt squat machine than any others because of the design but it is definitely less versatile and if you go to failure it's a pain in the ass to get it out of the bottom unless you used a bunch of smaller plates. It works great for deadlifts too but it's such a pain to load in the down position I literally never do them and only use it for belt squats. Still, it's a great piece with a small footprint.
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I have the Squatmax MD and while the creator of it is a bit of a douche it's a really solid piece.
    +1

    I will never buy one because of this alone. He seems like a snake-oil salesman and the 'Science' claims about it's superior effectiveness are kind of embarrassing. Not to knock the machine itself, I'm sure it works just as good as a leverage or cable driven system and the new standalone has some interesting features and looks really compact. The only other thing I'd probably complain about is how you have to load the pin, looks like a PITA compared to the side load design on the cable/leverage versions. Especially if you have multiple users or are limited on weights and have to juggle between machines.
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  21. #21
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    Go on CL/auctions and try and find a reasonable used gym leg press, HS lever or cyber squat press or similar imo.

    It might cost 700+ but it's going to be way better than a home gym chinese multi-function machine

    Edit- I just found a squat press for $5 on an auction near me, its not in great visual condition but you can score crazy bargains for real equipment if you look around.
    Last edited by Halfway; 09-25-2020 at 07:54 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    +1

    I will never buy one because of this alone. He seems like a snake-oil salesman and the 'Science' claims about it's superior effectiveness are kind of embarrassing. Not to knock the machine itself, I'm sure it works just as good as a leverage or cable driven system and the new standalone has some interesting features and looks really compact. The only other thing I'd probably complain about is how you have to load the pin, looks like a PITA compared to the side load design on the cable/leverage versions. Especially if you have multiple users or are limited on weights and have to juggle between machines.
    I didn't really know anything about the guy until after I got the piece so that certainly didn't influence my decision to purchase it. Loading/unloading it with my 6-shooters is really easy because the holes in the weights make it easy to grab the weights. Before when I only had bumpers and small iron plates I would put a 5 or 10 between the 45s and it wasn't too bad but it definitely wasn't ideal. The nice thing compared to leverage or cable machines is you at least don't have to load as much weight on it, especially if you throw some of the green bands (or grey EliteFTS ones) on there.

    I have thought about selling it a time or two and just getting a SSB to add to my squat variation but then there are times like last week were I had a little tweak in my back and it let me hit legs hard without it being an issue.
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  23. #23
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    I didn't really know anything about the guy until after I got the piece so that certainly didn't influence my decision to purchase it. Loading/unloading it with my 6-shooters is really easy because the holes in the weights make it easy to grab the weights. Before when I only had bumpers and small iron plates I would put a 5 or 10 between the 45s and it wasn't too bad but it definitely wasn't ideal. The nice thing compared to leverage or cable machines is you at least don't have to load as much weight on it, especially if you throw some of the green bands (or grey EliteFTS ones) on there.
    The Bells of Steel and Edge units incorporate bands as well, but the ratio is definitely better with the Titan unit because the weight is farther out and closer to your center of gravity. Never used the B.O.S. but apparently it's similar in that you don't have to load nearly as much weight as something like the Pit Shark which I've heard has a terrible ratio. Also, another big factor with the load ratio on these machines is whether you decide to use the handles to support yourself, seems simple but I think alot of people overlook that factor. My barbell squat would go up significantly as well if I had something to hold onto the entire time LOL.
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  24. #24
    Registered User grumpytude's Avatar
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    getting the power rack and weights first is a good plan. While squats can be great for many- there are some people that just never respond to them or just can't or don't want to do them.
    I had a tear in my rotator cuff so holding the bar with any amount of decent weight felt like holy hell. So sometimes its nice to have alternatives just in case.

    That being said- I love having a leg press in my home gym. If you have the room and cash I think it can be a valued piece. I currently have the bodycraft, but maybe someday if possible I would like to maybe get the Cyber squat press ( assuming it will fit through doorway?)
    I was also looking into something like the body solid leverage squat too- but instead decided on getting a Belt squat by edge fitness, which hopefully will be delivered this weekend.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    getting the power rack and weights first is a good plan. While squats can be great for many- there are some people that just never respond to them or just can't or don't want to do them.
    I had a tear in my rotator cuff so holding the bar with any amount of decent weight felt like holy hell. So sometimes its nice to have alternatives just in case.

    That being said- I love having a leg press in my home gym. If you have the room and cash I think it can be a valued piece. I currently have the bodycraft, but maybe someday if possible I would like to maybe get the Cyber squat press ( assuming it will fit through doorway?)
    I was also looking into something like the body solid leverage squat too- but instead decided on getting a Belt squat by edge fitness, which hopefully will be delivered this weekend.
    Have you ever used the Cybex squat press? It is a serious plate eater. I need like 10 on each side and I am not that strong.
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  26. #26
    Registered User grumpytude's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Greybird2 View Post
    Have you ever used the Cybex squat press? It is a serious plate eater. I need like 10 on each side and I am not that strong.
    good to know thanks.
    I am a high rep guy when it comes to legs- I just respond better than loading heavy heavy weights with low reps. Maybe in this way it won't matter as much for me? who knows. Either way its not something I plan on getting in the near future. Will have to do some research of course before making such a big purchase.
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