What Is The Difference Between A Leg Press and a Squat?
Is a leg press the same as a squat upside down? Both the squat and leg press bend and straighten the legs against resistance. But something special makes opposite forces on the joints.
The post Exercising With A Friend - Partner Leg Press showed a fun leg press without equipment using a friend for resistance, balance, and teamwork. Reader Nina left the comment on the post: "This could being done another way. Sit on a bench or sumthing (sp) else back-to-back with your partner. Interlock arms sitting straight with your backs pressed together. Rise up and down, and feel the pressure on your leg muscles."
What Nina describes is called a squat or half-squat. The exercise in the post is a leg press. Standing on your feet changes it to a squat.
The squat has opposite joint and muscle dynamics to the leg press. In the kind of leg press described in this post, your body is fixed, and the feet move away. In the squat, the feet are fixed and the body moves. The difference in which end is stationary creates different forces on the muscles and joints.
My students Lily and Biji demonstrate one way to do a fun partner leg press. Hold your body (and head) stable.
- Free Exercise and Free Back and Knee Pain Prevention - Healthy Bending
- How Often Should You Be Healthy?
- How Good Would You Look From 400 Squats a Day - Just Stop Unhealthy Bending
Posts explaining disc injury:
- Disc Pain - Not a Mystery, Easy to Fix
- Sitting Badly Isn't Magically Healthy by Calling It a Hamstring Stretch
Posts on preventing injury when squatting:
- Aren't You Supposed To Stick Your Behind Out to Sit Down or Do Squats?
- Save Knees When Squatting
- More Fun Squatting
- Achilles Stretch in the Bathroom
To learn the squat, back-to-back squat, and partner leg press:
- My book Healthy Martial Arts
Your body needs to practice both kinds of leg resistance to be good at both. Have fun building functional squatting into daily life instead of dong artificial squats in a gym, then bending wrong hurting your discs the rest of your day. Have fun doing leg presses balancing friends and family that move and squirm, instead of ignoring real humans to interact only with artificial stationary gym equipment. Get real fitness with real life.
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