For many in the gym it is a recurring ritual. In their efforts to get stronger legs, they use the leg press. But is this machine the most effective training method? A German movement scientist doesn’t think so. In a research he says it is much better to replace working on the leg press with doing squats.

For his research the scientist worked with two groups. The first group trained twice a week, for eight weeks with a leg press. The other group used during the same period a squatrack for their leg training. In the end it turned out that both groups had gained a maximum of 25 percent in strength. But there was a big difference: the group that had done squats had also made huge progress on other facets.


The first thing is that the so-called isometric force of the second group had increased. An isometric muscle movement means that the muscle contracts but doesn’t change in length and there is also no movement. Also, there was clear improvement in the way movement jumps and deeper squad jumps could be done. The group that used the leg press had no visible improvement in these facets. So that’s why the scientist says that force from squats is converted into force and speed in other movements, in contrast to force gained from the leg press.