T Nation

Lagging Quads

My quads are lagging pretty bad, especially compared to my hips/glutes. I’ve tried squatting heavy for some time, I’ve tried squatting for reps and I’ve come to the conclusion that squats are just and ass/hip builder for me. Leg presses don’t seems to do all that much either. Instead of building hips/glutes more, they build the quads and hips/glutes at about the same rate. That would be okay… except that there’s already an imbalance.

I’ve tried hack squats, but those are killer on the knees. Front squats are about on par with leg press as far as what they do. I’ve had some luck with bulgarian split squats, but they mostly only work the inside of my thigh. I’ve tried hindu squats, but those are worse on knees then hack squats. Same applies to sissy squats. Leg extensions are pretty bad for my knees too.

Is there anything left I can do for good quad development?

By the way, the hams are doing just fine.

Here’s my current split (push/pull)

push
front jump squats 25 total reps
push jerk 25
pause bb bench press 25

pull
hang clean 25
explosive chin 25

push
leg press 40
incline 40
neutral grip shoulder press 40

pull
deadlift 35
one leg deadlift 50
chin ups 35

isolation exercises: i choose 1-2 after each workout that won’t interfere with the next workout and that don’t already work a sore muscle group

supps:
glucosamine
fish oil
ginseng
ginger
tribulus
dhea

stats:
5’10" 185 pounds
15%ish bf
squat 325
deadlift 435
bench 240

Ever tried leg extensions? Maybe?

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Ever tried leg extensions? Maybe?[/quote]

They hurt my knees. I even tried going light on them with more reps and I get the same problem.

How deep are you going on the squats? I find if I just go to about parallel,maybe slightly under. My quads get hit real good usually. Have you tried putting a board under your heels? Anyways I have an inch on you and pushing about 180-185 also. I think we just have to keep hitting quads hard with machines (try leg press widowmakers after heavy squats) and heavy squats.

Like I said one day just just warm up on say front squats. Ramp up to a good heavy weight for you, try to hit atleast 6-8 good heavy intense reps. Rest a little, walk over to the leg press machine and pile on a weight you think you can only do for 10-15. Make yourself do 20. Pause a little here or there but just trench through. Your quads should be screaming after this. Mentally or if you got a logbook note the weights used and try to beat them again.

Have you tried smith machine squats also? Front squats in those are brutal.

Well shit seems like nothing is working, knees hurt and everything. Heavy squats, heavy leg presses, and finishers on the leg extension with no more weight that your regular cardio bunny uses (well not that much but enough for 3-4 sets of 20 reps) You gotta keep on hitting them. Some guys have to battle more than others. I think about leg day and my quads grow. Alternate between high volume/medium weight and moderate volume/heavy weight leg days.

Tell me what ya’ll think of this one…

narrow stance leg press 8-12 rep
no rest, half weight or whatever for rep range
wide stance leg press 15-20 rep
no rest
light leg extension 20-25 rep

My rationale behind this one is that narrow stance leg press will inherently focus on quad more so i can go a little heavier, and then when i switch to wide i go light so i can concentrate on contracting my quads and then get a crap load of blood flowing to them with the leg extensions…

If nothing else, it’ll be a hell of a lot of fun and a test of mental fortitude… :slight_smile:

The barbells and machines aren’t all that close so i can’t mix the two unfortunately. The board thing is something i’ve tried and it started hurting my knees. I also go slightly under parallel, any higher and again… the knees.
And thanks for the advice, it gave me ideas.

My quads have always lagged, however lately I’ve paid some more attention to them and they have grown.

All I did was do a close stance front squats. And increase the weight every session. Oh, and bulgarian split squats with a fairly close stance again. The idea is to just put the emphasis on your quads.

I don’t think leg pressing the is way to go personally.

  1. Front squats performed deep, atg if you can.
  2. leg press narrow stance and feet low on the pad. If you go high and wide on leg press you are utilizing more posterior chain and less quads. You may be able to move more weight this way but it won’t help with you weak quads.
  3. BB lunges.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
JayPierce wrote:
Ever tried leg extensions? Maybe?

They hurt my knees. I even tried going light on them with more reps and I get the same problem.[/quote]

Have you tried starting a little light weight with toes outward?

Maybe you should try to fix that knee problem before worrying about your quads, it might be too difficult to work around it.

BTW, if your knees are so damaged, then why the hell are you doing jump squats.

Seriously, if you are so damaged that leg extensions are hurting your knees these are the last exercise you should be doing.

A little basic biophysics: It’s not force applied in the normal range of motion that usually injures a joint. Rather, jarring forces from impact (especially when in the locked or hyperextended position) rotational, and shear forces are what tend to damage joints.

[quote]MC sp3 wrote:
BTW, if your knees are so damaged, then why the hell are you doing jump squats.

Seriously, if you are so damaged that leg extensions are hurting your knees these are the last exercise you should be doing.

A little basic biophysics: It’s not force applied in the normal range of motion that usually injures a joint. Rather, jarring forces from impact (especially when in the locked or hyperextended position) rotational, and shear forces are what tend to damage joints. [/quote]

I have no idea about the mechanics of things… I just know what does and doesn’t hurt from past experience. Back and Front Squats (without elevated heels) have never given me much problem and jump squats give me fewer problems than heavy back/front squats. I’ve actually thought about it… but i have no idea why that is. Maybe I’ve just become good at absorbing the shock with my calves and hams instead of my knee joints… I don’t really know.

My knees aren’t damaged… yet anyway. It’s just that sometimes I’ll get a little tweak that bothers me for a few days and will put a hold on leg work. When that happens, it typically occurs on the front outside part or the inside.

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
MC sp3 wrote:
BTW, if your knees are so damaged, then why the hell are you doing jump squats.

Seriously, if you are so damaged that leg extensions are hurting your knees these are the last exercise you should be doing.

A little basic biophysics: It’s not force applied in the normal range of motion that usually injures a joint. Rather, jarring forces from impact (especially when in the locked or hyperextended position) rotational, and shear forces are what tend to damage joints.

I have no idea about the mechanics of things… I just know what does and doesn’t hurt from past experience. Back and Front Squats (without elevated heels) have never given me much problem and jump squats give me fewer problems than heavy back/front squats. I’ve actually thought about it… but i have no idea why that is. Maybe I’ve just become good at absorbing the shock with my calves and hams instead of my knee joints… I don’t really know.

My knees aren’t damaged… yet anyway. It’s just that sometimes I’ll get a little tweak that bothers me for a few days and will put a hold on leg work. When that happens, it typically occurs on the front outside part or the inside.

[/quote]

a “tweak” and “Leg Extensions hurt” are two different things.

HEAVY squats can cause a little knee soreness, specially if it’s heavier then you’ve gone in a long time and you have not built the tendon strength yet. Try Leg wraps if your going for anything heavier than a 8 rm.
The jump squats generally don’t hurt while your doing them because the weight tends to be lighter and most of the work is done from the quarter position. However damage is still being done.

If you really care about your quads, I’d find a way to make my knees not hurt enough to do extensions before trying to go any further. Otherwise everytime you make one step forward, you’ll get some pain and go two steps back.

By the way, how do i make that knee pain better for those tweaks. The one I have now is the worst one I’ve ever had. It hurts the most if i kneel down on it and was started when accidently kneeled down on the edge of a board that holds my bed in.

I’ve tried some stretches for my hips, ham, calves, ankles, ankles, ackilles tendon, and that balm stuff that makes the area it touches really hot too and i’ve been taking a lot of glucosamine and fish oil and had only a small degree of success.

What else is left?

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
By the way, how do i make that knee pain better for those tweaks. The one I have now is the worst one I’ve ever had. It hurts the most if i kneel down on it and was started when accidently kneeled down on the edge of a board that holds my bed in.

I’ve tried some stretches for my hips, ham, calves, ankles, ankles, ackilles tendon, and that balm stuff that makes the area it touches really hot too and i’ve been taking a lot of glucosamine and fish oil and had only a small degree of success.

What else is left?[/quote]

Foam rolling.

Could be that your IT bands (and/or every other muscle in your legs) are tight. Any ‘knee’ issues I’ve ever had were never from my knees themselves. Since I’ve started including daily foam rolling, I’ve had no issues at all. Here is Cressey’s foam rolling series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8caF1Keg2XU

[quote]Court wrote:
Fletch1986 wrote:
By the way, how do i make that knee pain better for those tweaks. The one I have now is the worst one I’ve ever had. It hurts the most if i kneel down on it and was started when accidently kneeled down on the edge of a board that holds my bed in.

I’ve tried some stretches for my hips, ham, calves, ankles, ankles, ackilles tendon, and that balm stuff that makes the area it touches really hot too and i’ve been taking a lot of glucosamine and fish oil and had only a small degree of success.

What else is left?

Foam rolling.

Could be that your IT bands (and/or every other muscle in your legs) are tight. Any ‘knee’ issues I’ve ever had were never from my knees themselves. Since I’ve started including daily foam rolling, I’ve had no issues at all. Here is Cressey’s foam rolling series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8caF1Keg2XU[/quote]

I tried some that stuff for the quads and it gave me instant relief to my surprise. I’ll keep it up and see if I can make that relief permanent. Thanks for the link.

+1 on foam rolling.
roll your feet too with a golf ball.

make sure to stretch your piriformis its sometimes the cause of a tight IT band.

for lagging quads change your rep scheme or your volume.
try a heavy true ATG front squat 10x3, or 8x2.

Pair them with heavy low step ups.

RDL’s and natural glute ham raises

kmc

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/knee_pain2.htm