T Nation

Cool Tips 2/21/06


So, if ATG squats maximally hit the Vastus Medialis, then what happened to the VMO contracting the last 30 degrees of leg extension? I have a weak VMO and I have tried both ATG squats and hitting the last 30 degrees through Peterson step-ups and the such.
Can we come together and make a decision, because I've heard both ways for over a year.


I had much bigger and more cut as a twenty to thirty pounds lighter rower than I do now as an oly lifter. Leg extension in extremely high volume and extremely light load did it for me.

Of course, the rowing stroke also includes a leg extension at an extremely flexed hip angle. Best of both worlds for the VMO?


I always though it was the last 30 degrees or so as well.

But I can imagine how it would be used at the bottom of a squat as well, but IMO it's the glutes and hammies that are doing by far the lions share at the bottom.

What you really need to do is leg extensions. Tons and tons of them. Then you'll be ripped as. :stuck_out_tongue:


Not sure I'd agree there. While they'll definately work the quads, it's been debated about the stress they put on the knee.
And as far as getting them ripped, that won't come from function of any one specific exercise.


In Mike Roberston's article "Get Your Butt In Gear II" he has figures that show that the deeper the squat, the LESS VMO activation there is and MORE glute and hammie. Confusing.



No way bro! Doing tons of leg extensions puts the cuts into the front of your leg!

You DO know I'm kidding right? That what this :stuck_out_tongue: symbol was supposed to signify.


Maybe Waterbury could reply to this thread?


small ROM leg extensions, ore squats or whatever.

Ok, the picture I'm getting here is stepper or stairclimber.

Anybody disagree with me?


"The vastus medialis is better recruited with terminal knee extension and any movements that send the knee into valgus. Likewise, anecdotally, knee extension exercises from positions of great knee flexion (e.g. deep squats, lunges, and step-ups) preferentially recruit the vastus medialis. This could result from increased activity of the adductor magnus - which also works as a hip extensor ? to assist in hip extension from the low position.

Research has shown that because the vastus medialis oblique originates on the adductor magnus tendon, increasing adductor magnus activity will enhance vastus medialis recruitment. This is the premise behind many physical therapists recommending straight leg raises with the knee extended and femur adducted to strengthen the vastus medialis; unfortunately, this rehabilitation model isn't functional at all, and therefore doesn't have much value beyond the initial stages of rehabilitation."

Don't take my word for. It's Eric Cressey on another site.


I find what works well for me personally are sissy squats.