Most people involve almost all parts of their bodies during exercises except the legs. They usually come up with the most creative excuses as to why they do so. Some will say that nobody ever sees their legs, while some might claim that they already exercise them every time they run. But the
real reason why people don’t prioritize exercises targeting leg muscles is that they are painful. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, if you want to build massive quads, you have to endure the pain.
There are many benefits associated with training legs the most obvious being enhancing your aesthetic appearance. But other than promoting a symmetrical physic, bigger leg muscles increase the lower body power enabling you to run faster and jump higher. It is especially beneficial to
athletes. But building monster squads is not as easy as doing the right exercises; sometimes even these fail to work. The following are five tips and tricks that will eliminate your tooth-pick leg syndrome.
1. Start With Squats
Almost all workouts will begin with free-weight squats. It is not surprising because no exercise can rival the squat when it comes to thigh building. Although it might not be possible to focus on the quads in isolation, the squats are still essential for anyone looking to build big legs.
Some people will squat on a heel board in an attempt to elevate their heels. However, it is merely a Band-Aid solution. Not only will it fail to solve the problem but it will also put unnecessary strain on the knees. You are likely to generate the most power with a shoulder-width stance while slightly turning you’re your feet outwards. Positioning your feet a few inches in or out will mildly change the muscle-recruitment pattern.
Don’t shy away from using challenging weights. Adding more weight and doing a few low-rep sets will help build your strength. Incorporating a spotter to push you beyond your limit during these difficult sets is also advisable.
2. Leg Press
The leg press has often been discouraged by many for the simple reason that it is not the squat. The thinking was occasioned by the many attempts made to substitute the leg press for the squat. The leg press was, therefore, censored to stop this habit. But this blanket censoring of the leg press is not a smart move.
The exercise can still be useful when applied at the right time. If you do it adequately, it will force the quads to work a little bit harder. It will increase not only their strength but also their muscular endurance.
3. Partial Reps, Full Gains
When you carry heavy weight during a squat and only descend a couple of inches, you are doing partial reps. They may not seem beneficial on the surface, but they can be instrumental in building your squads. If you combine them with full-range reps, they can become a crucial component of your quad workout routine.
It is important to note that partial squats will not build your hamstring or glute. These muscle groups become engaged more the deeper you go. Your posterior muscles will not also be involved unless your thighs are parallel to the floor. Therefore, the shallow squats will only target the quads.
By choosing to concentrate your efforts on partial squats and combining them with full-range ones and heavy weights, you are slowly building your quad size. This exercise is useful because it limits your training to a particular range of motion solely focused on achieving a single objective. You should add thirty percent more weight than you can support during full-range motion when doing the partial hacks.
4. Pre-Exhaust Your Quads
Leg extensions are usually warm-up exercises done during leg day. But nobody ever does these sets to a point where the muscles get overworked. What would happen if you were to do leg extensions to the point of muscle exhaustion? The standard practice is to do warm-up leg extensions before embarking on exercises such as leg presses and multi-joint squats. The reverse of this order is what we are calling pre-exhaust. Because leg extensions focus on quads, pre-exhaust would mean that while the quads are somewhat worked up, the glutes and hamstrings are not.
Pre-exhausting your quads right off the bat ensures that the glutes and hamstrings will not get quickly fatigued when you embark on a set. You will, therefore, not be forced to end your set prematurely because the muscles will still be fresher compared to the quads.This technique allows you to push your quad muscles to their physical limit. It ensures that you will not be forced to stop on account of the other muscles. If you can’t do more, it will be because your quads cannot take it any longer but not because your hamstring or glutes have refused to toe the line.
5. Go Beyond Failure
Training until your muscles can’t stand it any longer is already hard. Attempting to go beyond this point may, therefore, seem impossible to some people. That is why you should consider bringing in a training partner to help you get through it.
Training beyond the limit will pay massive dividends. We have already seen what pre-exhaust and partial reps can do to your quads. This particular technique works even better. When you feel like your muscles can’t take anymore, your training partner should help you lift a few more weights. When the muscles become exhausted, reduce the weight by a few pounds and keep going.
Leg muscles are just as important as the other body muscles. You should never neglect them during your workout exercises. Building big monster quads is not by any means and easy task. You will have to endure a lot of pain before you get there.
However, learning the tricks outlined above is the first step in the long journey. It is up to you to implement them. But remember they are just but tools in your possession. Start small, but do not be limited to only one.