I recently nailed one of my long-term goals (405 squat), so it was time to re-evaluate my legs and my leg program and figure out where to go from here.
obviously, my legs have gotten stronger
my glutes have gotten bigger
my upper thighs have gotten bigger
the lower portion of my thighs haven’t grown enough
Figure out how to bring my lower thighs up to proportion with my upper thighs, using my limited equipment (power rack and barbells, dumbbells, and a bench with a leg extension attachment).
Leg extensions, step-ups, and reverse lunges are all good options and will be rotated in and out of my routine regularly, but I need a main power movement to start things off.
Revamping my squat:
I love squats, but they are notorious for building big asses and upper thighs (go figure). So I started reasoning through the squat rules.
Stance width: Easy one. Narrow stance hits the quads better. Check.
Break at the hips first: Why? Seems to me that it would recruit more glute and upper thigh, giving you a bigger squat. No safety issues here, so let’s try it the other way around and break at the knees first to recruit more lower quad.
Push the hips back and keep the knees behind the toes: Same as above, but with the added benefit of hitting parallel at a higher point by keeping the knees higher. I figure that placing the feet lower on the leg press is about the same, mechanically, as letting your knees drift in front of your toes while squatting.
The result: I guess it’s somewhere between a front squat and a back squat in execution. The back is held at more of a vertical angle, breaking at the knees first and focusing the tension on the quads through the entire range of motion. I descend to the same height, using the same box to gauge depth that I use for powerlifting-style squats
My first impression, after using this technique for two sessions, is that it’s gonna work exactly the way I want it to. I ‘feel it’ in my lower quads, and they’re sore as hell for the next few days vs. little soreness in my upper quads, glutes, and back.
So I guess my question is about safety. Anybody think I’m screwing up, here? And why?