T Nation

Minimal Exercise for Legs

I only have two days a week for a proper workout and so far I’ve been concentrating on the upper body.
But I know that legs are very important
so I want to add a couple of basic exercises for legs in these two days…

What are the two exercises (for legs) that you should never ever miss ?
The leg press I guess…and another good one ?!?
Thanks

Deadlift (Hamstring dominant)
(Back-)Squat (Quad dominant exercise)

Skip the leg press.

Go with the guy above me-squat variations and deadlift variations

Look up some of the deadlifting articles on here. It’s important to nail form on them so that you don’t turn them into a quad dominant exercise.

I really like the front squat and the trap bar deadlift.

Dead lift is kind of for the whole body,isn’t it ?

ALWAYS have 1 type of squat, 1 type of DL and 1 unilateral leg exercise in your program. ALWAYS. There are enough variations of those 3 to keep you well occupied for a couple of years and in the process get pretty damn string.

TNT

[quote]Horazio wrote:
Dead lift is kind of for the whole body,isn’t it ?[/quote]

From a biomechanical standpoint, no. The only muscles that are technically doing work during a deadlift are the hip extensors, to a degree the knee extensors, and possibly spinal extensors (depending on how bad your form is).

Sure, other muscles must be contracted to keep the body in good alignment (upperback, arm flexors, calf muscles, etc…). But, if you look at things from that perspective, then standing barbell curls work the whole body as well; as would any exercise done standing.

In regards to the original question. I agree with what other have already posted; squat variation, deadlift variation, and possibly unilateral movement.

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Horazio wrote:
Dead lift is kind of for the whole body,isn’t it ?

From a biomechanical standpoint, no. The only muscles that are technically doing work during a deadlift are the hip extensors, to a degree the knee extensors, and possibly spinal extensors (depending on how bad your form is).

Sure, other muscles must be contracted to keep the body in good alignment (upperback, arm flexors, calf muscles, etc…). But, if you look at things from that perspective, then standing barbell curls work the whole body as well; as would any exercise done standing.

In regards to the original question. I agree with what other have already posted; squat variation, deadlift variation, and possibly unilateral movement.

Good training,

Sentoguy[/quote]

Don’t EVER compare a deadlift with a &!^&^ curl. Any irony will be missed easily and if no irony was intended then I don’t know where to begin…

Pavel preaches a program consisting of a deadliftvariation and a press for the other muscles. (Beat that with a curl…)

Powerlifting consists of squat, deadlift and the other lift, I forgot its name.

I think the point is clear by now.

Heavy lifting.

[quote]HenkY wrote:
Sentoguy wrote:
Horazio wrote:
Dead lift is kind of for the whole body,isn’t it ?

From a biomechanical standpoint, no. The only muscles that are technically doing work during a deadlift are the hip extensors, to a degree the knee extensors, and possibly spinal extensors (depending on how bad your form is).

Sure, other muscles must be contracted to keep the body in good alignment (upperback, arm flexors, calf muscles, etc…). But, if you look at things from that perspective, then standing barbell curls work the whole body as well; as would any exercise done standing.

In regards to the original question. I agree with what other have already posted; squat variation, deadlift variation, and possibly unilateral movement.

Good training,

Sentoguy

Don’t EVER compare a deadlift with a &!^&^ curl. Any irony will be missed easily and if no irony was intended then I don’t know where to begin…

Pavel preaches a program consisting of a deadliftvariation and a press for the other muscles. (Beat that with a curl…)

Powerlifting consists of squat, deadlift and the other lift, I forgot its name.

I think the point is clear by now.

Heavy lifting.

[/quote]

I think you may have completely misunderstood the point I was trying to make.

My point was that although there are a large number of muscles that must contract in order to perform a deadlift (especially a heavy one) correctly; only the hip extensors, knee extensors and spinal extensors are technically performing “work”. The reason for this is because the equation for “work” has a distance variable. So, while lots of muscles are isometrically contracting, they’re not technically doing “work”.

So, using the line of thinking that exercises where a large number of muscles are isometrically contracting to maintain proper alignment, posture, balance, etc… are “whole body” exercises; then, any exercise, including a standing barbell curl, done standing is a “whole body” exercise.

The only exercises that I can think of that might be considered truly “whole body” movements, from a biomechanical standpoint, are the olympic lifts.

As far as powerlifting goes, first, if you don’t even know the name of the third lift, you have no business using powerlifting as an argument. For future reference the name of the third lift is the Bench Press.

But, only doing the 3 powerlifts will not develop your whole body, and will leave you with serious muscle imbalances.

As far as pavel goes, honestly I like some of his principles and for certain purposes I’m sure his workouts might be sufficient. But, from a bodybuilding standpoint a workout such as the one you cited would be far from complete.

Good training,

Sentoguy

you could probably do a max ROM deadlift as it also hits your quads.

and after a while do some half(femur parralel) squats for variation.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
As far as powerlifting goes, first, if you don’t even know the name of the third lift, you have no business using powerlifting as an argument. For future reference the name of the third lift is the Bench Press.
[/quote]

I think there might have been a touch of irony at work here…

There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.
Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.
Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

[/quote]

By definition, weightlifting does zero (0) mechanical work. As an example, the deadlift. The distance moved ends up being zero(0) since you pick it up (+) and then take it back down (-). That results in D=0.

So, yes, you can do muscular and CNS work without doing mechanical work.

[quote]Arioch wrote:
TNT-CDN wrote:
There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.
Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

By definition, weightlifting does zero (0) mechanical work. As an example, the deadlift. The distance moved ends up being zero(0) since you pick it up (+) and then take it back down (-). That results in D=0.

So, yes, you can do muscular and CNS work without doing mechanical work.[/quote]

So, by that method of reasoning. A weight lifter NEVER does any work. Unless he leaves the weight in the UP position, without lowering it.

TNT

[quote]Arioch wrote:
TNT-CDN wrote:
There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.
Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

By definition, weightlifting does zero (0) mechanical work. As an example, the deadlift. The distance moved ends up being zero(0) since you pick it up (+) and then take it back down (-). That results in D=0.

So, yes, you can do muscular and CNS work without doing mechanical work.[/quote]

Well, a deadlift by definition is taking a bar from the ground, then lifting it until the body is in a completely erect position. When the bar has been pulled over this distance, then the lift is considered completed. Putting the bar back down, is not considered a deadlift.

During this movement the bar does indeed travel a distance. So, if you are actually talking about a deadlift, as in the definition used in powerlifting, then there is a distance factor to be considered. If you are talking about the matter purely from a physics standpoint, then no, there isn’t a distance factor.

The same thing applies to every lift that I can think of. A bench press is not the action of going from a fully locked arm position, lowering it down to the chest, then pressing it back to a fully locked arm position. The first half of the movement is simply placing the resistance (barbell in this case) in the position needed to start the movement. It’s the action of pressing the bar from the chest to full lockout that is actually a bench press.

The point is that it’s only the concentric phase of a lift that is actually considered to be the lift. Notice it’s not called powerlifting and lowering, or weightlifting and lowering. The eccentric phase is simply either putting the weight down because the lift is finished, or reassuming the starting position to perform another lift.

Ink,

I’m not really sure what you meant by that comment. The 3 powerlifts are the deadlift, the squat and the bench press. If you know otherwise please elaborate.

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.

Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

[/quote]

I agree with you TNT, there is a difference between the two definitions, and yes, it is possible to stimulate the CNS and have muscles contracting without performing mechanical work. But, the reasoning still leads down the same line of reasoning as my previous argument.

Let’s say for instance that you saw someone performing standing barbell curls in the gym and you walked over to them and asked them, “which muscles does that exercise work?” To which they replied, “I’m working my glutes”.

Would you agree with them? I mean, technically their glutes are contracting to keep their posture, but would you really agree that standing bicep curls are a good glute exercise? Have you ever seen anyone develop a strong posterior chain from performing standing barbell curls (clean curls excluded, I mean in good form)?

No, you would probably look at them like they had no idea what they were talking about? But why? Aren’t they correct by saying that their glutes are contracting (isometrically) when performing standing barbell curls? Yes, so they why?

The reason is that the muscles that exercises “work” are defined by which joints there is movement at. In the case of a standing barbell curl the only joint where there is movement is the elbow joint. Therefore, only the muscles which perform elbow flexion are said to be “worked” during this exercise.

In the case of deadlifts, the only joints where there is movement are the hips (hip extension), knees (knee extension), and possibly spine (spinal extension). Therefore only the muscles responsible for these joint actions (glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and erector spinae) are said to be “working”.

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
Arioch wrote:
TNT-CDN wrote:
There is a BIG difference between Mechanical work (W=F x D)and muscular work (muscle contraction of any kind) and CNS (central nervous system) work.
Usually when a weight lifter refers to the “work” that a muscle performs he is referring to the contraction, either concentric, isometric or eccentric, that the muscle is doing.

Isn’t it possible to do CNS work and muscular work without actually doing any mechanical work? I think so.

Vague questions beget vague answers.
Specific questions beget specific answers.

TNT

By definition, weightlifting does zero (0) mechanical work. As an example, the deadlift. The distance moved ends up being zero(0) since you pick it up (+) and then take it back down (-). That results in D=0.

So, yes, you can do muscular and CNS work without doing mechanical work.

So, by that method of reasoning. A weight lifter NEVER does any work. Unless he leaves the weight in the UP position, without lowering it.

TNT

[/quote]

It isn’t a method of reasoning. It is a physics/engineering principal. That is why people shouldn’t talk about mechanical work when discussing weightlifting (most don’t). Instead, focus on muscular and CNS work.

thread gotten a little off topic?

Just use squat and deadlift variations.

[quote]KO421 wrote:
thread gotten a little off topic?

Just use squat and deadlift variations.[/quote]

and a unilateral movement such as the lunge.