Both leg presses and squats have their advantages, and you might be thinking of shifting to one or the other. If you are someone who is doing leg presses for a long time, you might want to shift to squatting once in a while. But you would still want the same results for leg day, right? So, the obvious question that you might have in mind is “How much can I squat based on leg press?”
Though both these exercises work on the same muscles, their mechanisms are very different and hence they’re not exactly comparable. However, a lot of athletes or bodybuilders will usually be able to leg press 5 times more than they can squat.
This is a subjective figure, as the exact number will differ from person to person, but you can usually leg press more than you can squat. But you should not be choosing one over the other just because you can do leg presses more or because you think you might get the same results faster from squats. In fact, which one is best for you depends on a lot of different factors discussed below.
What is the Difference Between Leg Press and Squat?
Though both leg presses and squats work mainly on the hip joint to the knee region, the mechanisms of these exercises are quite different. They even produce slightly different results as well, as squats improve core strength, while leg press can improve muscle mass.
A leg press is an exercise, in which weights are used for training the muscles of the thigh region. It involves the use of a leg press machine, in which the person pushes away heavy weights away from their body using their legs.
On the other hand, squats do not necessarily require any equipment at all. There are multiple ways to do squats with weights, but essentially the act of squatting can be just limited to body movements. It is a strength-building exercise in which someone “squats” or lowers their hips as if they were sitting and then they stand back up.
Squats can also be done using weights or barbells, to further improve core strength and also size of the muscles in the lower part of the body. Both these exercises work primarily on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. But as the whole body moves during squats, it engages different parts of the body as well, such as the abs and hips.
How Much Can I Squat Based on Leg Press?
Squats and Leg Presses may seem to have similar actions, and you might find yourself wondering “Is leg press equivalent to squat?”. In theory, both exercises use weights to train and build the thigh muscles, but if you have ever done both, you can probably feel the difference yourself.
The actual ratio differs from person to person and can be affected by several factors such as physical problems, weight, equipment, angle, etc. Some can reach a maximum of 315 with squats but can leg press 755 for 10 reps. Others can do 315×5 (lbs) for squats and leg press for 913×6.
So no, leg presses are not equivalent to squats and most people will tell you that they are not too relevant to each other. The range is quite different from person to person. But most people will usually be able to perform leg presses much more than they can squat. And the next obvious question is “Why can I leg press so much more than squat?”
Well, this is because leg presses provide a support system for your back, and your overall weight as well. You are just using your legs to push the weight away from you. This exercise is focused on working the lower regions and is great for people with back problems as this does not put as much pressure on the back.
On the other hand, squats end up using your entire body. As you have to support your weight and upper body as well as the barbell weight, if you are using any. You have to keep your core strong, and your entire body is doing the work. So it is only natural that it is harder, and takes up more energy to do the same number of squats as leg presses.
Is Leg Press Better or Squats?
The leg press and squats have their pros and cons, and how you should design your workout routine depends on your specific physical needs. People usually have a preference, when they have tried both of them. Some tend to prefer the ease of leg press, while others think squatting is better for the whole body, not just the legs.
Even though squats are much harder to learn and take practice to effectively teach your body how to balance the weight and control movement, a lot of people will swear by squats. They think leg presses are not even half as good. While others will choose leg press over squats any day, as they want more focused action with lower effort.
A lot of these preferences stem from physical factors such as back pain, or hamstring injuries, etc. If you have a weak knee or a knee injury, for instance, you might ask “Is leg press better for your knees than squats?” Or if all you have ever done are leg presses, you might wonder if squats are any good.
Well, the answer is subjective. If you have back pain problems or a neck injury you might want to stick to leg press, as the machine itself will provide sturdy support for your spine, neck, and arms. Squatting with heavy weights might not be the best option for you in such a case, and might do more harm than good.
On the other hand, if your problem is your knee then both leg press and squats can strain your knee. One isn’t necessarily better than the other in this regard. The best option is to consult with your doctor or trainer and build a routine that works for you.
Can I Do Both Leg Press and Squats?
You don’t have to choose between these two, and you can do both. But you should know your limits and don’t push yourself too far. Both these exercises have their risks and can cause grave injury, if not performed properly.
A lot of weight-lifters or athletes alternate between leg presses and squats for variety; some do both in the same day, and others just prefer one over the other.
Generally, you should do both if you can. Incorporating both into your routine gives you the pros of both, and cancels out the cons as well. For a well-rounded strength-training program, both should be included.
Now, you might be wondering, should I do squats or leg press first? If you do choose to do both, it’s always a good idea to warm up properly and do physical exercises that do not require machines first, i.e., squats. You are going to be much more tired doing squats, so it’s better to get it out of the way first and leave the support of the leg press for later.
While both leg presses and squats have their fanbase, the question of “how much can I squat based on leg press?” should not be a relevant factor in deciding which of these you should do more. You could try different combinations of the two, or just stick to one which works for you. What’s important is you are taking care of your body’s needs and making an informed decision.
Thanks for reading this article. Wishing you the best of luck with your fitness goals. Until next time, farewell.