Build Huge Legs With Old School Techniques.
Because of the toughness of the big moves, many resort to more creative, less compound movements because of lack of results. However, more effort should be put into getting these exercises right and exercising a full range of motion as necessary. A half squat is not good for anyone, yet so many people are happy to stack up the 45lb plates and only go half way. Not only will this place stress on the knees, overwork the quads and shorten the hamstrings, but it’ll do absolutely nothing for your leg development.
Leg muscles consist largely of type I muscle fibers (slow twitch) which means that getting the thighs to grow often means pushing through a pain barrier that is hard for everybody. The rep ranges should therefore be around the 12-15 rep range.
These exercises can be performed week in, week out with progressive overload and still produce effective results. It is only until you have mastered these exercises, and that no variation of very high or very low reps will force the muscles to grow that you not need the introduction of a complete change up. Once again, we stress the fact it’s usually that they are not performed correctly that people plateau and feel the need to skimp on the heavy hitting basics – Use a weight you can manage, rather than a weight that means you cannot perform it correctly.
1. Back and front Squats
With both exercises, sit into the weight, pushing through your heels and not your toes. Control on the way down, and explosive on the way up. You want to go to a 90 degree angle to the floor and that’s your quads at 90 degrees, not the hamstrings. With the quads at 90 degrees, the hamstrings will actually be at an acute angle to the floor, about 80 degrees. At the same time, you want to ensure that your knees only slightly go over the edge of your toes. Going ass to the floor is optional but in order to fully activate the hips, glutes and hamstrings you have to have that 90 degree angle.
You want to keep your head up while you sit into the weight as if a piece of string is holding up the tip of your head, and your head ‘pulls’ you out of the squat.
The front squat forces you to eliminate any imbalances in the lower back and core. It’s just as effective as the back squat, but you can’t shift as much weight. It places heavy emphasis on the quads, shoulders and core.
Alternate between the two, but don’t just focus on one or the other.
2. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges are often left out of most routines, probably because it makes sitting down a sore experience the day after a workout. It’s incredibly dynamic and places heavy stress on the glutes and hamstrings.
3. Dead lifts
Dead lifts will build thickness in the hamstrings and hip flexors. Make sure you work the muscles with strict form and not your ego.
4. Explosive jumps
The final component of any leg routine should be explosive movements. Explosive jumps activate the fast twitch muscle fibers when you’re lacking power at the end of a workout.
It’s also good to have power sessions to make the most of fast twitch fiber growth.