Actually I am not a fan of squats in general as if you have a huge amount of weight on your shoulders your using your back like a crane. Many people don't even realise they round their backs until it says click and pain. I know many professional athletes whom retire early from disc hernias. Some of these people have trained since their teens. I have been a gym rat on and off since the age of 22, seen scarey accidents.. Why use your back when your actually training your legs?? I have a known back injury and I bulk up fine using a leg press, if you want a challenge use a angled slegde leg press. This also has safety rules needed to protect the lower back. I can hit my lower back muscles and butt fine on the back extension, I don't have to tease fate with weighted squats. Squats are only reserved when the leg press machines are occupied non stop for me and in a smith machine. I don't do dangerous exercises without a spotter, not funny trying to get a weight bar off someone whom fall over backwards. (Tried this and not fun, they needed a ambulance too..)
Edited by: RENA1965 at: 9/18/2009 (23:10)
Fitness Minutes: (5,291)
454 9/18/09 8:47 P
If you have a problem with your back (or if you do not have a problem with your back but don't want one) NEVER do squats without a belt.
Actually the press machine is a better exercise, because it actually hits more muscles than an old fashion squad, without added pressure on your shoulders and back. Also, you can finish with heel raises to exercise these calves as well in the same motion.
Barbell Lunges is another alternative. Hold barbells on each hand and keep your arms straight down.
You might want to try bent legged deadlifts or hack squats if you have a problem with the weight on your shoulders. Another alternative is to do front squats with the bar across you upper chest. You can also do squats using a resistance band or kettlebell. I do both of those. Kettlebell swings also work the lower body without having to curve the back.
Contact me directly and I may be able to give you other suggestions.
I have a difficult time and find it awkward and uncomfortable to use a barbell weight across my shoulders while doing squats... I believe because of my spinal fusion and the rigidity that causes in my spine. And also I cannot use as much weight in a barbell or handweights as I can rack on a machine. Do you feel you build just as much stregth using less weights doing squats using lighter hand weights as you do using the machines with heavier weights?
To be honest I do not like the angle of attack since you are pushing not only up but also backward. You do not have your feet under your center of mass, they are forward of that point. The motion is unnatural and controlled by the rack reducing the benefit to your core muscles.
I admit a bias I dislike weight machines in general and especially the Smith and Inverted leg press ones. The prone leg press machine is no better in that you are compressing the lumbars under significant weight.
We execute a semi squat every time we sit in a chair then get up so squatting is a natural movement and any machine which alters that natural movement is not functional in my opinion.
SERGEANTMAJOR - how do you feel about the weight machine (I have no idea what the proper name for it is) that is in at an upright slanted position where you stand under the shoulder pads, release the weight bar and go into a squatting postion and then push up with you legs?
Why I will not let my students any where near a leg press machine.
Inverted Leg Press
The angle on most of these machines can cause injury due to the awkward position of the hips and spine. It is very difficult not to push the lower back into the backrest in this exercise. Doing so places stress on the disc when loaded. Additionally, straightening out the torso (as in a squat) gets full recruitment of the hamstring and butt muscles. The leg press keeps your upper body fixed, which takes this out.
First, if you can't keep your back straight and without pain, you're loading up too much on the squats. I can leg press 500 pounds, but I can only squat 225 at max probably. That's a huge difference because of the stabilizing muscles and the necessary powerful core muscles in real squats. Squats will do more for you as a total body exercise, but the leg press is a good option.
Second, you should only do 2-3 strength training workouts a week and do a full body routine. Doing the bigger movements, like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and bent over back rows will do more for you than doing multiple days and too many exercises. Add in cardio on your off days. A schedule may look like this:
Monday - Strength training full body Tuesday - 3 mile run Wednesday - Strength training full body (if recovered) Thursday - 45 minutes high intensity elliptical (or strength if you were sore on Wed) Friday - 5 mile walk Saturday - Strength training full body Sunday - rest
Just an idea. I only do two-three strength training workouts and focus on quality over quantity. But squats work, but it sounds like you need to add in some cardio to get more calorie burning in. You're just putting on muscle, which is fine, since you'll start shrinking with more strength and cardio combined with a good, well focused diet. The diet is key - if you aren't eating right, you won't be doing more than putting on muscle and fat instead of putting on just muscle and losing fat.
when i do squat i try to keep my back straight but then again i face Lower back pain and in leg press, my Lower back is straight ..
is it okay to stop doing squat and shift to leg press machine..
another issue: i workout everyday, weights every alternate days and my Pants have gone very tight.. specially Butt.. i think i am wrong somewhere my family friends and telling me to stop weight training because of which my clothes are getting more tight..
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