fast pushups or slow pushups

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by tennispal, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. tennispal

    tennispal Rookie

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    which one is more effective-lets say comparing about 25 fast pushups to 12 slow ones.

    i find that its easier to maintain form on slow ones. its also tougher and easier on the back (imo). so i guess im leaning towards the slow one.

    opinions?
     
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  2. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    slow is much better. but i do the fast one...
     
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  3. baseline08thrasher

    baseline08thrasher Semi-Pro

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    I would do slow ones.
    Especially stay in the up position of the push up for a longer time because it will strengthen your core also.
    I know this because my coach made me hold a push up position for a very long time and it works your core and upper body.
     
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  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Super slow reps will not improve your overall strength and is not as effective as quick reps on the concentric portion of the exercise. If you don't believe me, try walking up the steps very slowly and see how much strength you gain from doing that. Super slow is not a very effective exercise routine although it's better than doing nothing at all. Quick concentric movements are the way to go, but slow eccentric movements are a very good thing so keep that in mind. To recap, slow on the way down and fast on the way up.
     
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  5. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    or just do clap or some type of plyometric pushup and that will be better
     
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  6. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    i know a friend who is a muay thai boxer, he said slow better. i rather believe a guy who has fought pro fighters before.
     
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  7. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Are you talking about me, wyu? I'm a former personal trainer with 2 certifications so if you're calling me unqualified to give advice about exercise, you'd better think twice. If you think your muay thai practicing friend knows more than I do regarding exercise, you'd more than likely be wrong about that.
     
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  8. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Let's face it, you have to do many various excercises. Slow reps are GREAT for building muscle mass as you engage more muscle fiber. And fast are good for building the stamina and explosive strength required by most sports. You have to do both, the most important thing to to remember to rest properly as this facilitates max muscle growth and increases strength.
     
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  9. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    nah mate', talking to the OP of course.:)

    all that talk about unqualified stuff, i didnt say that.
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    Yah well I know this female mud wrestler and she said sometimes fast is better and sometimes slow, but it depends on her mood. I think she knows what she is talking about mate.
     
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  11. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    it depends on what you try to accomplish. in pole vaulting we did them fast cause of the time restraint on practice, we pretty much agreed slower would be better.

    if you need to pass a test like my sis does in rotc/national guard, you need to do it superfast within a time limit.

    it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
     
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  12. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    My fault, wyu. Tell your MT fighter friend that slow has been proven to be less effective for strength gains than fast on the concentric portion because slow concentric contractions cause the lifter to struggle with heavy weights.
     
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  13. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    its cool dude. :)

    Anyway, the MT friend sort of prefer the barbell bench press, an alternate version of the push ups. He does like 10 sets of 10 repetitions using 80 percent of his 0ne-rep max. he increases it to 85 percent 5 weeks later. on week 7, he does 90 percent. There are many more type of exercises he do like jumping rope,mirror boxing, suspended push-ups, & parallel dips.

    sounds easy but i've seen him train, looks painful. he offered to train me for tennis, but i refused.
     
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  14. tennispal

    tennispal Rookie

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    Well, im trying to get stronger and fitter for tennis. maybe build up muscle mass
     
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  15. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Eccentric contraction, otherwise known as the negative, helps break down muscle tissue which will help you increase your muscle mass. Going slow both ways will hurt you in the strength department so remember, slow when you go down and fast when you come up.
     
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  16. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Rickson, what would you prescribe for a basic exercise routine for someone whose goals are as follows: build a bit more muscle -- for both looking good for the ladies and to help burn more fat/flab -- and also to keep tennis related injuries at bay.

    Let's say I'd commit to going to the gym twice a week, 45 minutes tops each time. Maybe do a little aerobic stuff on other days. (Plus play tennis whenever I can, of course, which is maybe once a week.)

    So given all that, what should I do at the gym when I get there to meet my goals?

    (btw, I currently do a bunch of little RC and TE related exercises, and a couple of thigh lifts and body weight calf raises and squats, and do some light free weights and pushups and chins. That's been pretty good for keeping tennis injuries at bay, but I want to burn more fat and have more muscle for general vanity purposes, so need to amp up things a bit.)
     
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  17. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Fast movements require more work, but they can make the exercise easier by unintentionally using the momentum of the fast motion's "overshoot" to lessen the workout. This can be compensated for, though. Many therefore recommend a medium speed as a mechanism to eliminate this overshoot, but it is not optimal.
     
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  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Cal, you have to go back to basics in order to get a flashy physique. Compound exercises give you that overall mass and development you seek. Too many clowns in the gym do all kinds of little shapers that are a waste of time. Hammer curl, incline dumbbell fly, lying pullover, decline fly, bent over laterals, etc. are all a waste of time imho. Stick to the basics such as bench presses, dips, pullups, pulldowns, squats, leg presses, and barbell curls. You won't catch me doing the inner thigh squeeze machine. Your physique will get all the shape it needs from compound movements and not those silly little shapers. Who do you think would have a better physique anyway? Someone who does all compound movements with a clean diet or someone who does both compound and shaping movements, but with a junkfood diet? Those shaping exercises don't get you ripped, a calorie cutting diet gets you ripped.
     
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  19. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    i would go so far as to say all you need (lifting-wise) is
    squats
    deadlifts
    press/bench press
    row/pullup

    and with a coach, olympic lifts

    if youve seen olympic lifters, its probably some of the most amazing displays of power, strength and flexibility youll ever see.
     
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  20. Purostaff

    Purostaff Banned

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    and why are we doing these push ups for? A push up competition of some sort?
     
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  21. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I tend to agree with you about compound exercises meeting my needs, and don't intend to do many shapers. But the thing is, aren't those annoying little shaper-type exercises the exact thing we're supposed to do to keep our rotator cuffs strong for tennis and ward off TE, etc?

    Also, what about the belief that if you ignore certain muscles, like not doing exercises for rear delts but only the basic shoulder press, or only doing curls but not triceps, you are setting up imbalances in both strength and appearance?
     
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  22. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    if you get all the basic compounds in i beleive everything will get worked. providing you use correct form
     
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  23. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    If so, then why are tennis specific exercises often recommended to prevent injuries? (I'm 45, btw.) You know, all those little annoying rotator cuff exercises with tubing, or dumbbell wrist curl type movements for TE. Not to mention annoying calf raises to prevent calves tears. (I've torn both, so a particular worry of mine.)
     
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  24. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Rehab exercises and shapers are not the same thing although it may seem that way at times. There are 2 types of calf raises, the standing and the seated. Standing calf raises target the gastrocnemius which is the high and bulky part of the calf. Seated calf raises target the soleus which is more on the inside of the calf area. Do both types of calf raises and call me in the morning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
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  25. heycal

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    We're not really talking about rehab exercises. Aren't many of these kind of exercises, particularly the rototator cuff ones, recommended to prevent injuries, and generally strengthen areas prone to tennis injuries? Meaning even if you've never injured any of these muscles, or maybe injured them long, long ago, you should still be doing these exercises regularly to prevent future trouble. This is the issue I'm curious about, not rehab.
     
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  26. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Injury prevention through exercise is a difficult task. I recommend some deep stretching after a thorough warmup because increased range of motion will help you prevent some injuries. I don't recommend any stretching before lifting weights or before an athletic event (tennis match). Strengthening your muscles can help to a certain degree, but there's no guarantee you won't get injured on the court. I don't believe in shaper exercises for injury prevention. I believe that stretching to increase your range of motion is your best bet and that's not guaranteed either.
     
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  27. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Are you saying that the recommendations on this board and elsewhere that one ought to strengthen certain muscles through exercises in order to prevent injury is baseless?

    Hey, I'd love to toss my stupid little RC and TE and calf routines I do regularly in order to help keep those areas strong and injury free, so give me a good reason to drop them and I will.
     
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  28. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    Heycal,

    the problem most of the time isnt about absolute strength for a specific muscle, but rather about balance. From what I understand injuries tend to occur when a specific muscle group becomes too tense or weak relative to another muscle group... The key word here is relative, because it forces your body to eventually overcompensate.

    For example: tight and overactive hamstrings coupled with dormant glutes = recipe for hamstring pulls.

    Or: tight and overactive anterior delts and pecs coupled with weak and loose posterior delts and scapular retractors = recipe for shoulder injuries.

    And so on.

    So for injury prevention the key is addressing balance issues. Usually a good physiotherapist can tell whats wrong by looking at your posture and looking at how you perform certain movements. You will have to stretch tight muscles and activate (strengthen) inhibited muscles.

    It is a very individual thing, however if you are sedentary and have a desk job it is a safe bet that you will highly benefit from different rowing variations, external rotations of the shoulder, glute activation, etc.

    BTW, concerning the first question about push-ups, Rickson is absolutely right. You want to go fast on the concentric and slow on the eccentric (but more than 3-4 seconds is probably useless).
     
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  29. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    But doesn't this contradict the other recommendation to do compound exercises, and don't worry about doing such area specific exercises like for rear delts?
     
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  30. Sleepstream

    Sleepstream Semi-Pro

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    It's all about muscle balance.

    And there is nothing stupid about training the RC for injury prevention. If you stop doing them and get a shoulder injury, you'll realize that those exercises actually do help.
     
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  31. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    You get more rear delt development from doing pullups or pulldowns than from bent over laterals or that rear delt fly machine, this I will guarantee. The rear delt fly and the bent over lateral work lower trap-ezius and the scapula area more than the actual rear deltoids. Increase the range of motion in your shoulders if you have RC problems. Don't go too heavy on overhead presses and use dumbbells instead of the barbell. The moment you feel a pinch in either shoulder, you have to lower the weight until you find a weight that causes you no pain. Weight training is not about fighting through pain, it's about gaining strength and developing muscles. Increased ROM is more important at this stage for you than lying sideways on a bench and flapping your forearm around. You should warm up first, use light weights that cause you no pain at all, cool down on a treadmill or bike, then stretch slowly but never to the point of pain. Good luck, Cal.
     
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  32. asafi2

    asafi2 Rookie

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    Pushups are a great horizontal push exercise that require the core to play a significant role. If you are doing pushups fast...then they arent hard for you and you should do some variations. Some of my faves are incline pushups and pylo-pushups (these are tough...)
     
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  33. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    . .
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
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  34. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I think were mingling two issues, and I didn't mean for that to happen. Sorry.

    1) The first issue I'm asking about is whether it's useful to do specific exercises, like rotator cuff band work or whatever, or wrist curls, to prevent tennis injuries. Let's keep this separate from the next issue, which is:

    2) The second issue is more about looks and symetry and general muscle balancing. For example, most exercises and machines for shoulder muscles seem to ignore the rear delts. And if look at the little diagrams that accompany chin ups and row machines in the gym, you'll see they don't include rear delts in the many muscles supposedly worked by these compound exercises.

    Same goes for various curl exercises and curl machines that don't work the triceps. So in both these examples, why are we concentrating so much on the front of the arm, or the front of the shoulder, and basically ignoring the other side? That can't be helpful for either looking your best or have nicely balanced strength, can it?
     
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  35. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

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    Slow is tougher on the muscles, that's for sure.
     
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  36. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Cal, I can tell you from many years of training that most back exercises work the rear deltoids. The irony is that the rear deltoid fly or the bent over laterals work the upper back more than the actual rear deltoids. Perhaps the inventors of these exercises decided that since pullups work rear delts anyway, maybe they should come up with a "rear delt" exercise that actually works the upper back as a tradeoff, but they'll just say it works the posterior deltoid because it all evens out in the end.
     
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  37. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    But on the pull up machines, for example, they show all these muscles that are worked by that machine -- biceps, lats, etc -- but not rear delt. There is no logical reason for them to list several muscles but leave out one other than that they believe that to be the case.

    Also, isn't the rear delt one of those tricky muscles that needed be worked on their own preicisely because they are not worked during compound exercises?

    And what of the inner muscles of the thigh/quad? Why, back when my knees were bothering me a bit, would an ortho have recommended I do a version of that excerise by squeezing a pillow between between my knees if a compound quad exercise would have done the same thing?

    I submit it's for the same reason the rear delt should be worked separately -- because compound exercises, while great for you and better than most other excercises, don't meet ALL your needs.

    Along those lines, I would guess that standard delt exercises or lat exercises aren't going to do much to help your rotator cuff stay strong.
     
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  38. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    Isolation work can be done, it is dumb to ban it altogether from your training. It is commonly accepted that it shouldnt amount to more than 20 percent of your training volume though.

    And if you're training for performance or injury prevention rather than aesthetics, I'd suggest spending that 20 percent on more productive isolation work than biceps curls...

    Concerning the rear delt more specifically, dont trust those little pictures next to the machines at the gym... Its usually not the best source of info. They dont make them very detailed.

    Check out
    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/LatissimusDorsi/WtChinup.html

    You will see it in the list of synergists. Rows are also excellent for the rear delts.
     
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  39. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Rows and chins don't feel like they are working the rear delts as much as rear-delt specific exericises like cable pullbacks or whatever do, but maybe you guys are right. I don't know.

    But in any case, if you say isolation work IS smart, but for only 20 percent of your workout, what exactly should be isolated during that 20 percent? Arms, shoulder, legs??
     
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  40. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Here's another question for you guys: If one's goals are just a little bit of increased muscle mass and appearance benfits, as well as helping the legs (and knees) stay strong and healthy for tennis, can I just rely on the leg press machine? Maybe that one where you are sitting back and pushing the weight up in the air? (Incline leg press?)

    I like that exercise. But I pretty much hate all the other exercises that work similar muscles, like squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.

    So can the magic leg press do it all by itself to meet my somewhat modest goals? Maybe even give me a little calve strengthening along the way (at least acccording to that one source linked above)?

    I'd love to be able to skip all those other annoying machines/exercises if I can truly get almost the same benefit from a couple of sets of leg press. Can I? Or must I do that other stuff if I want true benefits?
     
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  41. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    i hate leg extensions too, pretty pointless for sports.

    why dont you want to do squats though? they are a lot better for everything in general. If you know who mark rippetoe is, ill leave you with a quote.

    "There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a *****." -- Mark Rippetoe
     
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  42. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Cal, just because a lot of gym members do them, doesn't make it right. Leg extensions may be a popular exercise right after squats, but they're actually bad for the knees. Do you want to know what I do for a leg workout if I haven't been to the gym? I walk up the stairs, 2 steps at a time and come back down and do it again for a few sets. After that, I bring my feet halfway out on one of the steps and do calf raises. If I want to work the soleus, I bend my legs while doing the calf raises on the step. How simple is that?
     
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  43. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Sure, that's simple. But what do I do AT the gym? I'd like to skip squats, which I'm sure are great but which I don't like and which feel slightly dangerous too -- and folks, please skip the lectures about how squats done correctly are actually incredibly safe or whatever, and just assume I'd do them incorrectly and drop the issue -- and I also want to skip extensions and hamstring curls and calve raises, and JUST do a couple of sets of leg press twice a week or so.

    Will that alone be enough for both increased lower body muscle mass and keeping legs and calves strong for tennis? Or must do other exercises and/or more of them?
     
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  44. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    How's this then? Leg presses for your quads, seated leg curls for your hams, standing calf raises for your gastroc, and seated calf raises for you soleus. I could wrap up that leg workout, provided the machines aren't occupied, in 15 minutes. No squats, no leg extensions, no lying on your belly leg curls.
     
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  45. heycal

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    That's four different excercises, Rickson. Not quite as attractive a notion as being able to do one exercise, is it?

    Two pages ago it was we were all about "compound exercises" are the only thing you need. Now I gotta two differents sets of calves exercises, plus two other machines?

    And don't hamstrings (and glutes, and calves) get worked by the leg press machine in additon to the quad? I thought that was one its appeals, it's a compound exercise.
     
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  46. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Will you stop wanting to eat that damn cake? You do not work both the soleus and the gastroc with one kind of calf raise. How about doing the standing calf raise with a bend in your knees? That should cover the calves. As for the hams, you don't get a direct pump from the LP, but you'll work them indirectly. I think you'll be pleased with the seated leg curls.
     
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  47. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Im no expert with multipple certs or anything. But since you dont want to do squats youre elimanting the compound portion. Glutes wont get hit much at all on a seated leg press. You will get a little hammy involved but for the most part once you sit down you hit mostly quad and will need to compensate with other exercises.

    When i do legs I do what rickson suggested, except I do the lying on the belly leg curls, and forgo standing calves raises. After that i usually jump on a stairmaster for 45 and stretch a ton
     
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  48. heycal

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    How about this boys? A couple of tough sets on leg press, to get quad, and hams and glutes and calves indirectly, and then a one or maybe two sets of mellow low weight squats, okay? Will that be enough?

    Oh, how I long for the days of two pages ago, when all one needed to do were a couple of compound exercises and they were done at the gym. Now it's "do seated this, seated that, standing this, standing that, and don't forget this other crazy exercise, etc, etc."
     
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  49. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    learn to do deadlifts, that should hit pretty much everything. Why cant you learn squats? they are probably top 3 lifts you can do (clean and jerk might top it all, but thats another can of worms)
     
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  50. Mikael

    Mikael Professional

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    He is right heycal, the squat and the deadlift would cover your entire lower body. Unless you specifically want to isolate one muscle, those two exercises - and arguably the back squat is enough on its own - work all lower body muscles.

    Generally unless you're a bodybuilder you want to think in terms of movement patterns, not specific muscles. The leg press won't do your entire lower body justice because there is no hip extension involved. So as others have said your glutes and hamstrings wont get as much work as your quads.

    Hey, maybe try different squatting variations and you will like one of them. Personally I hate back squats and usually stick to front squats... But variation is good occasionally.

    As to your previous question about what to isolate, well it is an individual thing, depends on your own goals, weaknesses, etc.

    And don't forget that an injury prevention program shouldn't exist without appropriate mobility work, stretching and soft tissue work. Getting the right muscles stronger is only part of the job, you also want to make the right muscles longer or more flexible.
     
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