T Nation

Damnit, How Do I Train My Legs?

I can’t squat to parallel because of anterior pelvic tilt and tight calves, the only exercise I could do was pistol squats while supporting myself with two objects on the left and right side of me, with my left and right hands while pistol squatting, so basically I’m supporting myself with my arms while pistol squatting.

Although this got too easy I did it for three weeks and each time I would shoot for 10 reps, 3 sets, 3x a week. So I would just effortlessly reach 10 reps now and the exercise feels in-effective.

I was wondering if by any chance someone could tell me an exercise I could do that would provide great enough of a leg workout, thanks in advance.

Tried the leg press and hack squat?

Fix your anterior pelvic tilt, tight calves and overall lower body flexibility?

Agile 8 before squatting will fix you right up.

When I couldn’t squat due to hip issues, I made hip thrusts my main lift and supplemented them with glute-ham raises (didn’t work quads because mine are already overactive). Hip thrusts would be great for your anterior pelvic tilt since they require a posterior pelvic tilt to do them correctly.

Just to add I do not have a gym I have 40kg of weight at home and two dumbells. I’ve tried hack squats and leg press in the past when I had access to a gym and I just didn’t have the mobility and the only thing I felt getting worked was my knees.

I have done hip thrusts on a regular along with pistol squats although they got too easy, I don’t have resistance so I just did them with bodyweight.

Any other suggestions?

[quote]watermelon29 wrote:
Just to add I do not have a gym I have 40kg of weight at home and two dumbells. I’ve tried hack squats and leg press in the past when I had access to a gym and I just didn’t have the mobility and the only thing I felt getting worked was my knees.

I have done hip thrusts on a regular along with pistol squats although they got too easy, I don’t have resistance so I just did them with bodyweight.

Any other suggestions?[/quote]

Get a gym membership? Do mobility work? Do you seriously think that anyone is going to be able to offer advice that does not involve these two things?

Don’t you run the risk of making the mobility problem worse, and of injury, if you keep training harder and harder without fixing the mobility?

[quote]seekonk wrote:
Don’t you run the risk of making the mobility problem worse, and of injury, if you keep training harder and harder without fixing the mobility? [/quote]

^This op

What are you doing to address these mobility problems?

You probably can’t high-bar squat very well if you’re that inflexible, but you should be able to low-bar squat in the near future if you start stretching. Do Agile 8 before and after every single workout and you’ll notice improvements.

You are wrong in claiming that you can’t squat. The only people who truly can’t squat are those who have suffered a serious injury to the spine or legs.

Ok I will explain the whole thing.

I don’t have a gym membership and I am doing mobility work, I’m foam rolling and I’m doing mobility drills/stretches and strengthening weak areas.

I can technically squat but on the other hand I can not, just after I finish doing mobility, foam rolling etc. I can break parallel but it is with horrible form my torso reaches nearly a 90 degree angle doing a squat that looks like I’m trying to hug my knees.

If I do not do mobility drills I reach slightly above parallel and if I rotate my legs totally out, in a ‘duck stance’ so to speak at a 180 degree angle externally I can squat deep, then again my torso goes over, I can’t squat without bending my torso or having an excessive arch in my lowerback.

If you want pictures this is what my posture looks like:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/what_is_wrong_with_my_posture_?id=5479241&pageNo=0

I like the goblet squat, it should allow you to rep out while getting deeper.
Will also hit your core.

Agh I’ve tried goblet squats too but I bend my torso over too much, I’m considering just quitting leg work and majorly strengthening my core and then continuing with leg work.

[quote]solarFLARE wrote:
Agile 8 before squatting will fix you right up.[/quote]

Amen to that. I do it before every lifting, muay thai or conditioning session. It was a little humbling the first time as my mobility sucked balls, but now my performance and mobility are much improved.

Takes a few minutes but well worth it.

Oh somke calve stretches and mobility work is winner also

moog

[quote]watermelon29 wrote:
Agh I’ve tried goblet squats too but I bend my torso over too much, I’m considering just quitting leg work and majorly strengthening my core and then continuing with leg work.[/quote]
Don’t give up on the goblet squat. Forget looking up, but rather concentrate on lifting the chest. Don’t worry about going heavy with this one for quite a while. Heck if you are really having problems, do one and a quarters. Down all the way. Stay tight. Come up to parallel, drop back down, go all the way up. Seriously look at how your knees track.

I have been working on correcting the opposite problem that most have. My knees don’t cave in, but rather I splay them out too much. I need to visualize on what seems like allowing the knees to cave in to keep the knees going out over the middle toe. Focus on distributing the weight on your heels.
Just don’t give up.

bulgarian split squats? I have been doing them since coming back from a back problem and haven’t had any issues so far. Do as much as you can mobility wise to fix the problem also. I have really tight hamstrings/prirformis/hip flexors that I have to stretch a couple times a day or else I’ll get some rather uncool sciatica. also natural glute ham raises are good too (for me and my issues anyway :wink:

[quote]Fuzzyapple.Train wrote:
Fix your anterior pelvic tilt, tight calves and overall lower body flexibility? [/quote]

This. It shouldn’t be in question.

try front squats, easier to hit depth due to increase core activation.

Also, do some core work in your warm up. That can lead to a pretty much instant increase in flexibility. Shit works like magic, it’s awesome.

Single leg squats (smith or freeweight), static lunges, walking lunges, RFESS (smith or freeweight),squat with heel elevated.

[quote]watermelon29 wrote:
Just to add I do not have a gym I have 40kg of weight at home and two dumbells. I’ve tried hack squats and leg press in the past when I had access to a gym and I just didn’t have the mobility and the only thing I felt getting worked was my knees.

I have done hip thrusts on a regular along with pistol squats although they got too easy, I don’t have resistance so I just did them with bodyweight.

Any other suggestions?[/quote]

How about fixing your form on your hip thrusts to start with. Hip thrusts should in theory go a long way towards fixing excessive anterior pelvic tilt since you should be posteriorly pelvic tilting against resistance (even if it’s just body weight) while doing them. Add some hip flexor stretches (in which you should also be posteriorly pelvic tilting) and you should be able to fix your lordosis.

Then add some calf stretches (I’d suggest both straight leg and bent leg calf stretches) and do either some weight dorsi flexions (the opposite ankle motion to calf raises) aka “tibialis raises”, or very high rep tib raises and your ankle mobility should improve.

In the meantime (should you continue to refuse to not get a gym membership) try working up to sets of 20 on your pistols with minimal rest. Remember than while load is probably the easiest and most sure fire variable to increase if trying to build muscle, it’s not the only available variable. Fatigue can also be a powerful growth stimulus and the legs (quads especially) tend to respond fairly well to it.