T Nation

Building The Legs


So I'm sitting here, just got back from doing legs, which usually means I'm going to sit here for awhile because my legs are shaking. Looking trough this forum you can see a lot of people have problems building up their chest, arms, shoulders but i don't see many posts about making the wheels grow. Now naturally this would mean that we all have huge ass legs, but the reality is that i have yet to see an impressive pair of legs at the gym. In reality not many even show up on this site, so im guessing we may need some help..


This is my problem, i squat a decent amount in the back squat, i can hit 275x8 on the front squat but all the mass in my legs goes in my upper thigh. My hamstrings take over in a lot of the exercises and its a problem. Even today, my hamstrings already feels fatigued, but I'm pretty sure my quads barely got any punishment at all. So my problem is not simply answered with, squat, or squat heavy, or ever squats and milk, because i have been doing that for a year.

Any tricks that you guys use just for quad growth? Specially right above the knee (teardrop).

Guess this is the thread to help you make those wheels grow.

Ill throw something that i picked up on this forum from some guy, i train my calves on the standing calf rise machine, take the weight to the top, take around 5 seconds to lower it, then hold the bottom stretch for 15 seconds. This is all that i do for my calves, and they are my best feature.


Good tips:

-squats with heels elevated (any squat variation for that matter)

-split squats (these always trigger growth in my quads and glutes)

_most machine leg exercises (leg press, hack squat machine) etc

-smith machine squats

-front squats

-negative leg press and leg extensions (lift with 2, lower with 1).


The vastus medialis kicks in at the very bottom of a deep squat. Make sure you bury all your reps. No reason for bodybuilders to be squatting anything but rock bottom, at least most of the time.

If you have a powersquat machine, use that too. Deep hack squats. Leg Extensions with a contraction at the top. Quads can handle a lot of volume so don't be shy...use 30 sets on leg day if that's what it takes.


I bought a pair of Oly shoes, so i hit the very bottom of the squat easier, my ass literally a few inches from touching the ground, it seems to help, i also started squatting with a very close stance.

Thanks to the above advice, I am seriously considering jumping on those smith machine squats so i can really focus on squatting with my quads.


dont get me wrong, i'm impressed, but dumbfounded that you can bury 275 for 8 reps on front squats and dont have any teardrop


Zane leg presses (FULL ROM with feet in calf raise position). Do them slowly and squeeze hard or you may hurt your knees.


Here is my wheels from like 3 months ago, a 2 inches bigger now, but shape is pretty much the same.


How do you do these? Do them with feet all the way off the leg press as if i were working my calves and do them?


how do you compare the powersquat verses smith backsquats (obviously atg) with the feat a little bit out in front?


Ass to the floor, try turning your feet out slightly to recruit more fibres of the vastus medialis, and than on the top of the movement try contracting the quads, squeze your ass off. Personally i find 15+ rep leg presses work well, full ROM.


I've always had issues not really feeling BB back squats in my quads...so I stopped doing them.

Replaced them with hack squat machine and got some good gains on my quads doing those. Just did leg press last night for first time in a while too and I felt that in the teardrop area big time. Just make sure you use a good ROM on whatever you decide to do. Way too many people short change the ROM for squats, leg press and machine hack squat and every other leg exercise.


The thing with bb squats is I don't feel them till the next day. Then I'm barely able to go upstairs the next few days. Sometimes my legs will just buckle randomly when I'm walking the days after a hard leg session.


Like every one has said the teardrop area is grown by going ATG on every bilateral leg movement. I know of no other way. Front squats do wonders for mine, but I see you are already doing those.


Lets talk hammys. I don't have a plate loaded leg curl machine at my gym, I'm going ghrs right now, and squats, dls, etc. If you have acess to free weights and cables what are your havorite hammy movements that are easy on the low back and cns?

edit: I'm all upper thigh, what can I do to bring out the lower part of the quad?


If anything, I need more vastus lateralis development. My quads do not stick out at all :frowning:

tear drop is decent for my level of development, but the leg sweep (I think that's the term) is non-existant


Yah quad sweep is tough. I'm switching my leg press stance up, making my feet almost touch, to hopefully bring it out.


Ya thats a killer. Definitely brings out the outer sweep (at least for me and my friend)


Hate to link to a FLEX video, but this is the best I could do

watch it 0:07 - 0:34


Correct, your heels will probably come off the leg press (if they aren't already hanging off), but you will be pushing with the balls of your feet. I've done these and really feel them as I typically don't feel the leg press as much as I thought I would, but doing it this style really hits my quads especially when I bring it down till my hams touch my calves.

For me, the best gains has been doing high reps. I start my leg workout with 5x5 of front squats with heels elevated but after that I do lots of supersets and extended sets etc.

My chest and bicep day, back and tricep day, they both leave my arms slightly shaking after the workout is over, but the leg workout makes doing everything hard afterwards.


yeah, squatting deep will build big legs. most olympic lifters have big thighs (in relation to their weight class). platz trained with olympic lifters early in his career & swears that squatting deep helped his thigh size.


My hamstrings are pretty solid, and always have been, i think i have genetics on my side with that one, or so I've been told.

Favorite hamstring movements are RDL's, Good mornings and 45 hyperextions (spelling?), they hit my lower back and my hamstrings, i also feel lunges all over but i hate doing them..lol

Thanks for everything so far..

Anyone else have problems with moving any decent weight on the hack squat? I can barely hit 225lb on the cibex machine.