Leg press vs Squats

S

Sirius Black

Guest
Squats...but what are you doing legs for? You've already got two of them.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Squats...but what are you doing legs for? You've already got two of them.
for tennis. Tennis is sport of movement and leg strength. at least at the high levels anyway.

So is Squatt excercises just as good for leg strength as leg presses ?

and also does it work out the Glutes or butt muscles ??
 

T1000

Legend
squats are better for strength and hit every part of your lower body. leg press is good for isolating quads and hypertrophy. if you want to focus on hamstrings/glutes look at romanian or stiff leg deadlifts (romanian are easier and require less hamstring flexibility) and a leg curl (lying or seated, i prefer lying)
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
squats are better for strength and hit every part of your lower body. leg press is good for isolating quads and hypertrophy. if you want to focus on hamstrings/glutes look at romanian or stiff leg deadlifts (romanian are easier and require less hamstring flexibility) and a leg curl (lying or seated, i prefer lying)
I get it now, this guy in the video is talking about doing Squats with Weights on top of you.........lol. I don't like doing that. I thought he was taking about doing it with No weights ?

and Is squats better if you have lower back problems ?? and is there a way to do the squats without using weights ??
 

Ramon

Legend
Squats have been more beneficial for me than leg presses: more gains, better for the back, better for the knees, better for glutes, and the list goes on. I still do leg presses, mostly on days when the squat rack is taken. I think it's best to do a mix of both, but I prefer doing more squats.

The guy on that video only goes down to about 90 degrees. I would call those half squats. A legal squat is when your legs go below parallel. I like to go either to parallel or ATG. Half squats are mainly good for the quads, but full squats work your entire leg, glutes, and back.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Squats have been more beneficial for me than leg presses: more gains, better for the back, better for the knees, better for glutes, and the list goes on. I still do leg presses, mostly on days when the squat rack is taken. I think it's best to do a mix of both, but I prefer doing more squats.

The guy on that video only goes down to about 90 degrees. I would call those half squats. A legal squat is when your legs go below parallel. I like to go either to parallel or ATG. Half squats are mainly good for the quads, but full squats work your entire leg, glutes, and back.
how do you do the squats without weights ? and would that be just as effective ?
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
I get it now, this guy in the video is talking about doing Squats with Weights on top of you.........lol. I don't like doing that. I thought he was taking about doing it with No weights ?

and Is squats better if you have lower back problems ?? and is there a way to do the squats without using weights ??
You can start with bodyweight squats and progress to advanced one legged variations and plyometrics. You should also do an exercise to focus on the posterior chain. If you don't want to lift, you can start with single leg deadlifts or hamstring curls/glute bridges on an exercise ball.
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
We've talked about this a lot and there is tons of fitness information on the Internet, so are you trolling us?
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
You can start with bodyweight squats and progress to advanced one legged variations and plyometrics. You should also do an exercise to focus on the posterior chain. If you don't want to lift, you can start with single leg deadlifts or hamstring curls/glute bridges on an exercise ball.
do you have any picture illustrations ??? I don't know any of those above exercise look like or how to do them.........
 

T1000

Legend
I get it now, this guy in the video is talking about doing Squats with Weights on top of you.........lol. I don't like doing that. I thought he was taking about doing it with No weights ?

and Is squats better if you have lower back problems ?? and is there a way to do the squats without using weights ??
you can do body weight squats but that's not gonna add any significant strength or size. if your lower back problems are a weak lower back then squats can strengthen it but if it's a legitimate injury then squats will make it worse.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
you can do body weight squats but that's not gonna add any significant strength or size. if your lower back problems are a weak lower back then squats can strengthen it but if it's a legitimate injury then squats will make it worse.
What I have is Lower back spasm and Lower back muscle Strain. is there any excercises to strengthen your legs without making these back issues worse ?
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
What I have is Lower back spasm and Lower back muscle Strain. is there any excercises to strengthen your legs without making these back issues worse ?
For goodness sake you need to rest after a lower back strain. How many times do I have to repeat myself?
 

Ramon

Legend
I get it now, this guy in the video is talking about doing Squats with Weights on top of you.........lol. I don't like doing that. I thought he was taking about doing it with No weights ?

and Is squats better if you have lower back problems ?? and is there a way to do the squats without using weights ??
I don't know enough about your back problems to say whether or not you should do squats. In my experience, if you have moderate or mildly sore back or knees, squats are actually a form of rehab, but obviously, there's a point where your back or knees are no longer suited for squats until they heal.

I remember having sore knees from hard court tennis and getting some good advice on rehabilitation from a prominent sports doctor who worked on a lot of top Division 1 college level athletes. One of the exercises he told me to do was to put a large ball behind my back, lean against a wall, and do knee bends. This was basically a squat without barbells!
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
For goodness sake you need to rest after a lower back strain. How many times do I have to repeat myself?
I am talking about after it gets better. I am afraid if I start doing Leg presses again after 2-3 weeks, then the lower back strain will come right back ??
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I don't know enough about your back problems to say whether or not you should do squats. In my experience, if you have moderate or mildly sore back or knees, squats are actually a form of rehab, but obviously, there's a point where your back or knees are no longer suited for squats until they heal.

I remember having sore knees from hard court tennis and getting some good advice on rehabilitation from a prominent sports doctor who worked on a lot of top Division 1 college level athletes. One of the exercises he told me to do was to put a large ball behind my back, lean against a wall, and do knee bends. This was basically a squat without barbells!
did he give you any advice on how to strengthen the legs without hurting your back ?
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
After it gets better you could follow stronglifts 5x5 if you really want to learn to squat. Otherwise progress with bodyweight or continue to leg press. Anything is better than nothing.

The back may be a different issue altogether. You may need to increase flexibility or straighten out imbalances. Have you tried yoga at all?
 

T1000

Legend
What I have is Lower back spasm and Lower back muscle Strain. is there any excercises to strengthen your legs without making these back issues worse ?
if you're hurt you shouldn't lift unless you compete in a sport that requires you to (like powerlifting or olympic lifting) so since you play rec tennis no there aren't
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
After it gets better you could follow stronglifts 5x5 if you really want to learn to squat. Otherwise progress with bodyweight or continue to leg press. Anything is better than nothing.

The back may be a different issue altogether. You may need to increase flexibility or straighten out imbalances. Have you tried yoga at all?
No time for Yoga. and don't like using free weights except dumbells. is there a way to do a effective squats with dumbbells ??
 

Ramon

Legend
did he give you any advice on how to strengthen the legs without hurting your back ?
No, I never asked about that because my back was fine.

Just my opinion, but if your back is bad enough that you have to isolate it, do 45 degree leg presses. When and if you can do a squat without weight, like what I described earlier, and not feel any sharp acute pain (it's ok to feel some discomfort of the right kind) then go ahead and do them because it will help you heal. It might also help if you add supporting devices like a weight belt, for instance. Personally, I work up to about 6 reps where I'm straining to complete the last one, and I do them without extra support because I think that's a good way to strengthen your support muscles.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
It's a night and day comparison, squats are way better than leg presses. Squats are by far the best leg exercise that you can do, in fact it is one of the best overall movements for the entire body.
 
for tennis. Tennis is sport of movement and leg strength. at least at the high levels anyway.

So is Squatt excercises just as good for leg strength as leg presses ?

and also does it work out the Glutes or butt muscles ??
Squats and leg press are useless for tennis. They are too much quad dominant. By far far far the most important athletic muscle group in the body are the gluteals. In e.g. sprinting the glutes extend the hips, and in tennis most all movement and the strokes should be powered from the glutes. Learning to load the glutes and then explode is essential, the stretch-shortening cycle of the glutes, the most powerful human body movement.

Modern sitting oriented lifestyle destroys many backs, weakens the glutes and stiffens the hip flexors. What most of us need is an isolated exercise for the glutes, to make the hip extension more powerful WITHOUT stiffening the hip flexors more. The best isolation exercise for glutes is the Romanian deadlift (RDL). Essential in RDL is to isolate the movement to the hip hinge, with the back staying in 100% static extended position.

RDL strengthens the biggest glute muscles, gluteus maximus. To strengthen the other two glute muscles, gluteus medius/minimus, you'd need to do some other exercises. Just google "glute guy". He knows how to strengthen the glutes!
 

Ramon

Legend
Squats are definitely useful for tennis. Sprinters and jumpers do squats, and if you play tennis competitively you do a lot of both. I found squats to be great for the glutes if you go all the way down or at least to parallel. You also shouldn't ignore the way squats prevent injury to the back and knees. Sore knees are probably one of the biggest reasons people have to quit tennis.
 

T1000

Legend
Lol at squats being quad dominant. Go do some low bar to parallel it's all hips/glutes/hamstrings
 

WildVolley

Legend
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold dumbbells in either hand (same weight in each) at your sides. Bend at the knees and back until the weights touch the floor and then stand up. Dumbbell squats.

The good thing about doing these is they will also strengthen your grip which is good for tennis. Go up in weight as necessary. If you have access to 100lb dumbbells you can do reasonable weight.

This also shows that the squat and deadlift are related exercises. Contra torpantennis, the posterior chain and glutes are also worked, especially with back squats if performed in a powerlifter style (utilizing back muscles more).
 
S

Sirius Black

Guest
I think everyone knows the thread was started by Fedace.

Some of the discussion was useful.
What is this dude's motive? Does acting like a clueless idiot give him entertainment? Is he really clueless, or is he actually smarter than us?
 

Ash_Smith

Legend
Lol at squats being quad dominant. Go do some low bar to parallel it's all hips/glutes/hamstrings
Yep, Quad dominant if you stop at 45 degrees maybe.

Back squats have a proven effect on sprint speed and acceleration (power cleans even more so) with an average speed increase of around 2.2% and acceleration increase of 4.3% (power cleans at 3.2% and 6.5% respectively) in a recent test by the Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (participants only had 7mins between doing 3 reps at 90% and the second 20m sprint test).

So, basically... Squat.Win.Done.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
I like squats and deads for speed but yea, they are good. However any strength exercise with progression will be beneficial.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Yep, Quad dominant if you stop at 45 degrees maybe.

Back squats have a proven effect on sprint speed and acceleration (power cleans even more so) with an average speed increase of around 2.2% and acceleration increase of 4.3% (power cleans at 3.2% and 6.5% respectively) in a recent test by the Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (participants only had 7mins between doing 3 reps at 90% and the second 20m sprint test).

So, basically... Squat.Win.Done.
Totally correct.

I recall when Ben Johnson (first really famous steroid sprinter who was caught) was doing back squat workouts with over 600lbs and crushing the sprint records. Purportedly he'd set up a squat rack next to the track, do heavy squats, and then do full out short distance sprints.

I also recall reading about a study showing that Olympic lifters had better standing verticals than Olympic high jumpers. Doing heavy olympic lifts requires a huge amount of explosive strength.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Squats are definitely useful for tennis. Sprinters and jumpers do squats, and if you play tennis competitively you do a lot of both. I found squats to be great for the glutes if you go all the way down or at least to parallel. You also shouldn't ignore the way squats prevent injury to the back and knees. Sore knees are probably one of the biggest reasons people have to quit tennis.
Ramon, can you do these squats with dumbbell weights ? if so, how ?
 

purple-n-gold

Hall of Fame
Lol at squats being quad dominant. Go do some low bar to parallel it's all hips/glutes/hamstrings
Yep, Quad dominant if you stop at 45 degrees maybe.

Back squats have a proven effect on sprint speed and acceleration (power cleans even more so) with an average speed increase of around 2.2% and acceleration increase of 4.3% (power cleans at 3.2% and 6.5% respectively) in a recent test by the Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance (participants only had 7mins between doing 3 reps at 90% and the second 20m sprint test).

So, basically... Squat.Win.Done.
Agreed on both counts. Partial squats target the quads and a full squat to parallel will work more of everything. Best free weight exercise period.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Agreed on both counts. Partial squats target the quads and a full squat to parallel will work more of everything. Best free weight exercise period.
Can this only be done with those weights like weight lifters use ? or can this be done with dumbbells as well ?
 
Agreed on both counts. Partial squats target the quads and a full squat to parallel will work more of everything. Best free weight exercise period.
Squat to parallel does NOT work the glutes effectively, it's still quad dominant. The most optimal squat for glutes would be kneeling squat. With a basic squat, you'd have to go almost butt to the ground to have good effect for glutes. And even then, glutes ONLY fire at the lowest position. Further up the motion, it's all quads.
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
Speed is all about how hard you push off against the ground and how fast your legs move. You can increase speed either by increasing cadence or increasing force against the ground. Squats increase force against the ground with progression. I think logically they probably do increase speed to some degree.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
Nobody's mentioned lunges..I do walking lunges without weights (opposite knee slightly touching ground) until my legs are fried and I "think" i'm getting my hamstrings and posterior??
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Squats and leg press are useless for tennis. They are too much quad dominant. By far far far the most important athletic muscle group in the body are the gluteals. In e.g. sprinting the glutes extend the hips, and in tennis most all movement and the strokes should be powered from the glutes. Learning to load the glutes and then explode is essential, the stretch-shortening cycle of the glutes, the most powerful human body movement.

Modern sitting oriented lifestyle destroys many backs, weakens the glutes and stiffens the hip flexors. What most of us need is an isolated exercise for the glutes, to make the hip extension more powerful WITHOUT stiffening the hip flexors more. The best isolation exercise for glutes is the Romanian deadlift (RDL). Essential in RDL is to isolate the movement to the hip hinge, with the back staying in 100% static extended position.

RDL strengthens the biggest glute muscles, gluteus maximus. To strengthen the other two glute muscles, gluteus medius/minimus, you'd need to do some other exercises. Just google "glute guy". He knows how to strengthen the glutes!
I somewhat agree with this. Squats do add explosiveness to your step, but suicide drill is probably more effective in developing the explosive first step.

Sometimes people get so focused on the explosive first step that they forget tennis is also a game of balance and quick stop. There are more effective exercises than squats that engage muscles necessary for balance and quick stop.

If I could go back, I would spend half as much time in squats and spend more time on core and hip exercises.
 

Ramon

Legend
Nobody's mentioned lunges..I do walking lunges without weights (opposite knee slightly touching ground) until my legs are fried and I "think" i'm getting my hamstrings and posterior??
That's accurate. You are getting a workout on your hamstrings and posterior. It's a good exercise, but for fast gains there's no substitute for compound exercises with heavy weights. I'm busy enough that my time in the gym is limited, so while I'm there I choose exercises that give me the best workout in the least amount of time. For that, you can't beat squats.
 
squats are better, however they don't mix well with the regeneration of tennis in season. I don't think that any ATP pros do deep heavy squats during season (which is basically 10.5 months of the year) because regeneration is too long.

for high level tennis players I would recommend doing a 5 week block of heavy deadlifts, squats and bench press to add mass and strength for the season because obviously you won't be able to squat or dead lift heavy in season when you play 3 hours of tennis a day. then you will likely do mostly maintenance work.

I mostly play baseball now (some tennis for fun) and I will do squats in the winter and leg presses during baseball season because the squats won't mix well with my baseball trainings and games (regeneration).
 

maggmaster

Hall of Fame
Yes! Yes! Intelligent periodization is so hard with tennis because the season is so long and you have to peak every week of that season to win tournaments. I honestly would love to see some of the pros training blocks.
 
I somewhat agree with this. Squats do add explosiveness to your step, but suicide drill is probably more effective in developing the explosive first step.

Sometimes people get so focused on the explosive first step that they forget tennis is also a game of balance and quick stop. There are more effective exercises than squats that engage muscles necessary for balance and quick stop.

If I could go back, I would spend half as much time in squats and spend more time on core and hip exercises.
Definitely! Balance is key to all in tennis. I consider lunges and single leg Romanian deadlifts the best combo in leg training for tennis. Squat is too "easy" for balance, it doesn't develop your hip region awareness for good balance like the single leg stuff does. These balance developing exercises also tend to develop all the small muscles in the hip region which are mostly neglected when doing leg press/squat. Another great method to "find" and develop those hip region small muscles is Pilates, it challenges core and hip control more than anything if done properly!
 

ShooterMcMarco

Hall of Fame
For legs, I do ATG squats, split squats with dumbbells and deadlifts. If you have access to stairs, look up Apolo Ohno's stair routine, it's killer!
 
step ups on a bench with a barbell on the shoulders are great too, also for Balance and ankle stability.

can be dangerous though, you better use a heavy and stable bench.
 
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