What do you think about the total gym for leg presses ?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by atatu, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I need to start doing leg presses - just had meniscus surgery. Anyway, what do you think about using the total gym for leg work. I know the die hards are going to say "free weights ! go heavy or go home !!" etc. etc. but putting that aside has anyone used the total gym for leg work ?
     
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  2. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Why not just do pistol squats?
     
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  3. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Because I just had meniscus surgery and my knee can't take the stress.
     
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  4. T1000

    T1000 Legend

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    The leg press on that machine will help build up whatever muscle and strength you lost from the surgery and maybe even gain some depending on where you were presurgery.

    As far as building up any meaningful strength after your rehab it doesn’t have a lot of weight so you will plateau pretty quickly if you use it with any regularity.
     
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  5. Daniel-San

    Daniel-San Professional

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    If someone's considering doing leg presses on a total gym I doubt they can do pistol squats
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    The total gym looks good for plyometrics (laying down and jumping). I used one in my condo gym for that purpose.

    I'm 6 months post op from a bad meniscus tear and ACL reconstruction. I recommend getting a gym membership and using all the leg machines.

    My ortho was big on quad work but my opinion is that you need to work all the muscles in the leg. Strengthen the hamstrings, hips, inner thighs and calves strong too. Total leg strength will give you confidence when you return to the court.
     
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  7. Ramon

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    When I had to do rehab for sore knees, my doctor (who worked with athletes at Penn State), recommended doing a squat-like movement with a big plastic ball between my back and a wall with my shins in a perpendicular position. This would be much easier on the knees than pistol squats, and the ball is a lot cheaper than a machine. Personally, I'm not big into machines for weight training. They've been with us for half a century, but still, no one has ever designed a machine that matches the overall benefits of squats.
     
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  8. Harry_Wild

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    If it good enough for Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley; it should be good enough for anyone! I think it would be a great choice since you can start with a low incline and work yourself back up with increase incline using your own body weight! When the infomercial comes around; I watch it all the time. LOL! Chuck Norris is in his late 70s and Christie is in her mid 60s and both look excellent! Could easily pass for 40s and 30s given today's adults.
     
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  9. atatu

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    They do have a weight bar that you can use to add weights as well, I didn't know that but I watched some youtube vids.
     
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  10. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Legend

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    Oh! You have like 30 or 60 days to try it out for free or maybe a small fee! You can use it to do your recovery and ship it back if you do not need it/want it! It is sort of Free!!!!!!!!!! if you can get the Total Gym to credit your credit card but I would tell the credit card company the day after you ship it back just to be sure! LOL!
     
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  11. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    I guess I just meant bodyweight squats generally, you don't have to do them with only 1 leg. You can add weight by holding something, etc

    You can do lots of stuff for rehab from machines to free weights to bodyweight. They all work. I'm just suggesting the easiest and cheapest method really. But if you like the machine, use it. It will work.
     
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  12. atatu

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    Well they can be found on craigslist for around 100 bucks so I was just going to do that instead.
     
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  13. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Legend

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    Great deal! Maybe I will get one myself for only $100-$200! The top line model XLS is close to $1,200? I think new.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    My orthopaedic surgeon recommended machines versus free weights at first since they are more controlled. I was doing those wall squats with no weight during physical therapy. Once the knee gets strong enough, I think it comes down to individual preference. I'm a machine guy and you are free weights. They both get results.
     
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  15. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have been doing leg presses at the LA fitness with machine they have. I have been using this machine below because I was told this one is better for leg and glutes but I really feel like it is putting a lot of stress on my knees and Back. I am really torn about this because I think it is a good leg press machine.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus Talk Tennis Guru

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    I was using this machine below about 6 month ago and I felt like it was putting less pressure on my knees. I am not really sure if there is big difference between one above or this one ??

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    ^^^ Of course the first machine is putting more pressure on you. You have the weights plus gravity.
     
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  18. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have problems with lower back spasms and I think that first machine is putting more pressure on the lower back. so you think 2nd machine is better for leg press for people with lower back issues ?
     
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  19. Ramon

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    I wouldn't worry about the pressure that machine puts on your back. In fact, I use the 45 degree leg press when my back is tired from doing other lifts, so for me it's an alternative to squats when I don't want to put strain on my lower back. Will it put more pressure on your knees than the other machine? It will, but I'm not worried about it because it's still less pressure than heavy squats, which I also do anyway. One of the benefits of weight training is to strengthen your body so it doesn't get hurt by pressure that is applied to it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  20. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    besides adduction and curls... what exercises are you planning to do, that you can't do with normal body weight?
    http://www.total-gym-exercises.com/exercises/legs/index.html
     
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  21. onehandbh

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    If your lower back and knees are hurting from doing leg presses on that machine, that it is possible that you may be rounding your back when you lower the weight.

    Also try putting your feet higher up on platform, toes near the top.
     
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  22. atatu

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    I picked up an XLS for $140 today on offerup, just did some leg work on it and I'm happy with it.
     
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  23. LGQ7

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    Weider Ultimate Body Works is much cheaper and much better. I had it for 25 years. (The cable did snap, cheap plastic coating cracks and shank into the wire. Bought a commercial gym quality cable and it works fine.)

    The "Total Gym" is a reverse gravity machine. Dumbbells, barbells, kettle bell, whatever bell. You pick it up, it falls down. In an empty cube of a room, you cannot do a pull up with any kind of -bells. The machine uses a pulley. A pulley reverses the direction of gravity. You pull down something moves up.

    The machine is great for doing leg press less than ½ your weight. The weight you pull or push is the = sine of the angle X your weight.

    It is the perfect complement to weight.

    Whenever I read "leg press" and "Total Gym" in the same sentence, I just roll my eyes. You don't hear dumbbells and pull up in one sentence (unless you hang up side down). It's a reverse gravity machine (that's what I call it.)
     
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  24. LGQ7

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    I bought a bunch of The Firm exercise videos used on Craigslist. They are great. I have the get the first one. The #1 dvd. The first one is always the best one. Not for exercises, but for the underlying principles it uses. The original, the prototype. They are great, but they are only half.

    TRX, Total Resistance eXercise. It's not total. It's reverse gravity. Dumbbells is gravity.

    You can't do a shoulder press on a TRX, unless you hang up side down.
    You can't do a pull up with dumbbells, unless you hang up side down. (Get the idea? one complement the other).
    And incline and decline is everything else in between.
     
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  25. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru

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    Has anyone used a leg press while in rehab for a knee injury? Single leg presses on a total gym may work but that physio ball wall squats are great too.
     
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  26. Daniel-San

    Daniel-San Professional

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    I’ve seen the leg press used frequently, yes
     
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  27. nvr2old

    nvr2old Professional

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    The enemy of leg injuries in normal range of motion (ROM) are extremes in ROM, in case of the knee hyperextension and hyper flexion. Squats are notoriously bad especially for hyperflexion if the squat is too deep and/or if knee locks out in hyperextension especially under load. These motions damage menisci. Obviously abnormal knee joint motions such as lateral and medial deviations under load (think football injuries) can damage many structures (tendons, ligaments and menisci) and are a different animal. Personally I would stay away from leg presses altogether. Doing quad and hamstring strengthening +/- weights is what I have done in the past after my meniscal surgery or exercises like biking after everything has healed from surgery IMO are better options.
     
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  28. Ramon

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    The correct way to do squats is to go to legal depth, which means hips go below the knees. If that sounds too deep to you, then I disagree. The advice to do half squats is one of the worst myths that's out there. To get enough muscle stimulation you have to put more weight on the bar than you do with full squat. When you get to the bottom of a half squat, all the pressure is on your knees, and that's a bad thing. When you get to the bottom of a full squat, most of the pressure now transfers to your hips, which are better equipped to handle it than your knees. That's also why full squats give you more complete leg and glute development. Half squats only work your quads. They do nothing for your glutes, and most people you talk to would prefer more glute development. I never do half squats, only full squats, and BTW I used to have knee problems. My knees were once so sore I couldn't even run on grass, but full squats fixed that.
     
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  29. Ronaldo

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    Can only do full squats with my heels raised. Any reason I should squat flat-footed?
     
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  30. Ramon

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    That's not uncommon. In fact, Olympic weightlifting shoes are legal in competition and they typically have a 0.75-1.00 inch heel lift, and many lifters compete in them. The heel lift makes it easier to get depth because your knees can go more forward. It makes up for tight ankle dorsiflexion and/or unfavorable body proportions. There are exercises you can do to improve your ankle and hip mobility if you see the need to fix it, but if it doesn't interfere with daily living it's not a big deal.
     
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  31. Daniel-San

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    Ronaldo needs to be sure that his heels are grounded on something, though. I interpreted his post as his heels are in the air, but I may have been wrong

    Raise them up on a slight incline if needed
     
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  32. comeback

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    what do you guys think about "walking lunges"
     
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  33. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I like them. They are harder than they look and you'll be sore the first few times.
     
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  34. Ronaldo

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    Have a slant board for my feet that can either raise toes or heels. Watched guys use a plate under their heels.
     
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  35. kaninfaan

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  36. Rattler

    Rattler Professional

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    Recovering from the type of surgery you had (I’ve done it twice). It all about reps...bending the knee and building the stabilizing muscles...just getting the joint working to a full range again. So if it’s working for you, then it’s working for you.

    2 questions...

    Are you going to PT?

    When are we gonna hit?
     
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  37. Crocodile

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    This is a bad machine and should be banned from all gyms. My advice for people is to stay away from this machine for the sake of your knees and your lower back. Better to find natural exercises you can do yourself to strengthen quads extra.
    And while Im added stay away from tummy twisters, the Smiths machine, pull down behind neck exercises and snything that puts you in a compromised position and instead go for functional exercises you can do on the tennis court.
     
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  38. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I've used that machine in the past (probably past year) and I think that it's fine for light exercise. I can only do machines right now as I'm not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds for a month.
     
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  39. T1000

    T1000 Legend

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    Olympic lifting shoes (I use these because my ankles get tight easily) or put a 5lb plate under your heel. Basically the same thing as the shoe but cheaper.

    They’re hard as hell and extremely painful. I suck at them and really need to do them more. Lunges are the best total lower body developer imo
     
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  40. nvr2old

    nvr2old Professional

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    Not debating depth of squat and efficacy for muscles. Might be great for muscles but not joints in the long run. Simply stating that medically squats potentially put lots of stress on knees in hyper-flexion and hyperextension if knees lock out forcefully especially when weights are involved.
     
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  41. Nostradamus

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    if i did that, my back would permanently break
     
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  42. Ramon

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    To me that’s like saying running puts strain on the heart, so it’s best not to run. Truth is that thoughtfully trained running will make your heart stronger. My personal experience is that if I didn’t do squats I wouldn’t be able to play tennis today because I’d be at homing feeling sorry for myself because of my sore knees.


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  43. Ramon

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    Some of those powerlifters did not go to legal depth. I’m guessing the footage was from one of those smaller leagues where the judges are loose with the rules. They do that purposely so people will go to their meets to break records. That’s every bit as unethical as it sounds, but the good news is no one who matters pays attention to them. If you look at video footage from USAPL, USPA, and IPF meets you will see real judging that people respect.


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  44. atatu

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    Yeah, I'm going to PT once a week and doing the stuff on my own the other six days....I can hit now, but can't really run yet, but we need to play some time.
     
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  45. Rattler

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    PT worked wonders for me.
     
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  46. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru

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    Same here. 1st day though my PT suggested that I sue my legs for non-support.
     
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