T Nation

Building the Vastus Medialis


I tried using the leg press guys like you told me with my feet pointed out... I've used it 3 times now and it sucks! Maybe it works but its uncomfortable as hell and the day after my knees hurt. I have tried adjusting the machine a few different ways. Nothing helped much.

Now my question: To build up my inner thigh muscles(namely the vastus medialis), wouldn't I derive better gains from just squatting with a very wide stance and/or going very low??


hack squats are excellent imo


Read Cressey on this topic.


If you can squat deep, perform 1 1/4 squats in which you descend, rise up into a 1/4 squat, descend back down and rise completely again. The 1/4 part is done at the BOTTOM of the rep.

Also try cyclist squats. satnd with heels on 25lb plate or 2x4. Feet 10" wide. Squat deep. Light weights at first.

IRONMIND hip belt squats on 2x2. By far the best builder I've seen to date.

Cycle these two or three for 6 weeks at a time in the 5-12 rep range.


What article(s)? Linkage is in order, sir!


Try backward sled dragging and don't touch the heels to the ground. Get full extension of the knee and ankle.
Walking up-hill, backwards with a weighted vest or carrying a sandbag also works.



Barbell Hack squats with my heels elevated on 25lbs plates worked very well. also, front sguats.


What exercise will maximize the load on my vastus medialis while minimizing the role of the muscles on the outside of the thigh?(sorry guys, I'm not looking at an anatomy chart right now)
I really need to correct an imbalance!


Just front squat.


Sorry I don't remember where he's talked about it. Perhaps it was even in his forum posts. Use the search engine/google and search for both VMO and Cressey as well as vastus and Cressey.

I believe peterson step ups and deep squats but search as my memory is fallible.


I have heard that deep squats help with this. OLers all have a knot right above the knee.


The deeper you go into knee flexion, the more you will recruit the VM, particularly the VMO. That is, if my understanding is correct. Try some deep lunges onto a short box. After, of course, you've become acclimated to regular lunges.



Chad Waterbury talks about VMO recruitment using bottom feeder back squats in one of his branding iron article. Here's the link : http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459384


Just to add something more, I always squated ass to grass and I can tell you that my VM is well developper compared to my VL, so I'm talking from experience, deep squats will build your VM in the long haul.


Actually not true according to the article by Mike Robertson, found here at T-Nation. The deeper you go, the more glute activation. The VMO development that you experienced may have been due to working front squats, OHS, or the OL's. According to Robertson's article, going below parallel, actually uses LESS VMO.



Actually, that's not true and I'm not quite sure where you got that from.

The deeper squats/lunges elicit more contraction of the VMO AND GLUTES, not one or the other. These deep knee flexion positions contribute to great co-contraction of all the hip/thigh musculature (glutes, hams, quads).

Stay strong


like xomegaxprimex said, Just squat normal. I am 6'1" and a high bar squatter and for a few years when I first learned to squat my stance wasnt particularly wide. My VM is almost twice as developed as my VL. Not sure what I was doing it just developed that way. it always comes back fast too.


"Get Your Butt In Gear" by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. 2004. Reference; Caterisano et al. (2002)



Try these...

Terminal Knee Extensions
Petersen Step Up


Thanks guys, really nice discussion going on, good links, LOTS of posts since I last checked this. Nice.
Just a btw, I want read:need to develop my VM to improve knee tracking as my patellas track out to the sides as I bend my knees a bit(rather pronounced when completely bent) and I want to fix this. Probably won't help performance or anything, just an aesthetic thing plus it kind of worries me.
So you know, if there are any articls or whatever on improving knee tracking, I'd love to read 'em!