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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 Mar;58(3):263-270. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06698-6. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Strength, body composition, and functional outcomes in the squat versus leg press exercises.

Author information

1
Institute of Bioscience, Department of Physical Education, São Paulo State University, Rio Claro, Brazil.
2
Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, USA.
3
Department of Health Sciences, CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, NY, USA.
4
Kinesiology Program, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
5
Sport Performance Research Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.
6
Weightology, LLC, Issaquah, WA, USA.
7
Department of Human Performance and Health Education, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
8
Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, USA - jcholewa@coastal.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was to compare strength, body composition, and functional outcome measures following performance of the back squat, leg press, or a combination of the two exercises.

METHODS:

Subjects were pair-matched based on initial strength levels and then randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: a squat-only group (SQ) that solely performed squats for the lower body; a leg press-only group (LP) that solely performed leg presses for the lower body, or a combined squat and leg press group (SQ-LP) that performed both squats and leg presses for the lower body. All other RT variables were held constant. The study period lasted 10 weeks with subjects performing 2 lower body workouts per week comprising 6 sets per session at loads corresponding to 8-12 RM with 90- to 120-second rest intervals.

RESULTS:

Results showed that SQ had greater transfer to maximal squat strength compared to the leg press. Effect sizes favored SQ and SQ-LP versus LP with respect to countermovement jump while greater effect sizes for dynamic balance were noted for SQ-LP and LP compared to SQ, although no statistical differences were noted between conditions.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that both free weights and machines can improve functional outcomes, and that the extent of transfer may be specific to the given task.

PMID:
27735888
DOI:
10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06698-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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