Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
So are yall saying that wall squats are better than free weight squats?
Hammer that's not necessarily true. Both are complementary. As I recall, all muscle works on contraction. Do an arm curl for example and it's the biceps that lift the weight. When you control lowering the weight, it's not the biceps that relax so much, but rather the triceps that contract to compensate. The biceps and triceps are complementing each other. The same goes for all muscle groups. Wall squats put the main focus on the thigh but if you hold them too long the complementary muscles will have to work harder to compensate for the build up of lactic acid and the intolerable pain it causes. I don't suggest that it's the lactic acid that's the problem, but complementary muscle groups work in tandem and though they don't always work 50/50 in balance, they do work together. So, when you stand from a wall squat the thigh muscles are helping to hold your position while the complementary muscles are lifting you, if you see what I'm getting at?
In that respect, it is sometimes better to exercise complementary groups together though rotation is often better. Free weights and machines are great for opening new metabolic pathways within the muscle. Free weights have the potential to cause greater injury as the weight is being held by skeletal and connecting tissue which has the potential to twist suddenly out of control. On the machines there is generally only one axis of movement to contend with and that helps to target specific groups. I get the impression you know this anyway so apologies for talking down to you if that's how I come across.
I think, personally speaking, that an all-round balance is more useful in the lean months when riding is restricted. At this time of year I tend to do more aerobic than anaerobic though I try and rotate 70/30, 30/70 depending on how many people there at the gym. A great thing I discovered is the spin bikes. Boring, I know, but I get a workout on those that which'll pay big dividends when I get back to regular trail rides.