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How To Build Massive Leg Muscles

January 26th, 2013 · No Comments · Build Muscle

After coaching people in my gym for over 15 years I have developed a set of leg exercises that provide final results quickly. When I say results I’m talking about gains in mass but also concomitant gains in power.

Having trained semi -professional athletes and also working in the area of injury rehabilitation I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of various physical exercise designs and practices.

The 1 physical exercise I use all of the time in its several types is the good old squat. I especially like the heel raised fulll squat simply because of the range of motion it produces but also because it loads the Vastus Medialis Obliqus (VMO) portion of the quadriceps muscle which is very essential for knee stability and strength and power development.

I set this squat technique up so that the client stands on a 4 inch step block with their heels on the block and their toes on the ground. Their feet are positioned at hip width apart and the motion is initiated from the knees. Any load is positioned in front of the centre of gravity, regardless of whether it be a medicine ball or barbell. I instruct the trainee to maintain their torso upright as they squat down to the floor right up until their hamstrings are in contact with their calves before returning to the start position. Typically eight-twelve reps of this motion produces a really good overload and the trainee performs three sets.

I have utilized standing Good Morning lifts for a number of years and like how it effectively conditions the whole of the posterior chain of muscles such as the low back, glutes and hamstrings. Most men and women are really weak in these muscles as they rarely train them but as I found during my time working with athletes sound conditioning of these muscles is required for successful force generation and speed development. I set this exercise up with the barbell across the shoulder blades. I then instruct the lifter to bend forward from the hips maintaining a flat back and braced abdominals. I get them to bend forward until they feel a good stretch on their hamstrings and then return to the start position by using their hamstring and gluteals to drive the hips forward.

The third exercise I like to use to develop strength and power in the legs is the step up. This functional exercise works the quadriceps at the front of the leg along with the powerful hip extensors at the back of the leg namely the glutes and hamstrings. The crucial set up point with this exercise is to make sure the step block is high enough. Ideally when you place your foot on the block your thigh should be parallel to the ground. Another great tip is to encourage the client to press through their heel as they step up onto the block. This will encourage good glute recruitment during the exercise.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about 3 of my favourite leg conditioning exercises and I hope you get the chance to go and use them in your local fitness club.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have about these or any other techniques I have written about in my articles.

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