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Squat Stance for Quad Emphasis

Hey I was wondering what is the best way to target the lower quad when doing squats?

I know close stance (shodler width?) and I have heard to try elevating my heels using two ten pound plates and turning my feet outwards? Is this correct?

I want to develop the lower quad, which is seriously, seriously lacking.

Any other good exercises for this? thanks all

They say using a closer stance works the quads more, but I’ve always felt that squat depth plays a bigger role in this.

I didn’t start noticing betting development in my lower quads until I started going deeper.

Also, give front squats a try. There are several good thread on doing front squats in this forum.

going deep with a wide stance just works my posterior chain more, in my experience (a good thing, at any rate).

close stance and front squats are good recommendations. If you still aren’t using your quads, don’t be afraid to pre-fatigue with extensions (on noes!) and use a low weight* on the squat (low enough that you aren’t challenged, and can focus on contracting your quad on the way up). Work yuor way up from there, keeping emphasis on contracting the quad. You’ll be reaching new highs in no time.

*Seriously, if you’re prone to exclude a muscle in a lift, and it becomes weak relative to other agonists, your body is not going to bother. It will shut down your quads and emphasize the glutes if that’s what it takes to not get crushed by several hundred pounds of iron. If you have to go this route, keep the weight light. Don’t be afraid of looking like a wuss!

Aleksandr

That is very good advice. All too often we allow our egos to dictate what we do in he gym.
My goal is bodybuilding, so I’m not interested in impressing anyone with the poundages I’m using.

I second aleksandr.

By the “lower quad” do you mean the vastus medialis (tear drop muscle)

elevating your heels doesn’t really work as well as people claim IMO. The theory is that when you place more pressure on your toes the quads are used more. A better form is a “sissy squat”.

Hitting your fastus medialis:

IMO if you point your toes out on squats in almost a sumo stance you may feel it more in that particular muscle…I do.

Same thing goes with pointing your toes out on the leg extension.

If you think that squatting is causing your hammies and glutes to over power your quads then use some alternate exercises as well. The leg press hits the quads well, so does the hack performed in a sissy squat style.

Extensions also develop the leg.

Hope I’ve helped.

Gerdy

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Aleksandr

That is very good advice. All too often we allow our egos to dictate what we do in he gym.
My goal is bodybuilding, so I’m not interested in impressing anyone with the poundages I’m using. [/quote]

Thanks, Iron Dwarf!

I actually had to do what I suggested he do for quads for my pecs. I was totally delt-dominant, and as a result, I just wasn’t getting any better. My delts were over-worked, and my pecs were getting no stimulus.

Needless to say, after I learned to get my pecs involved, my bench took off, and I smashed through my old limits. It was actually pretty cool.

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:
I second aleksandr.

By the “lower quad” do you mean the vastus medialis (tear drop muscle)

elevating your heels doesn’t really work as well as people claim IMO. The theory is that when you place more pressure on your toes the quads are used more. A better form is a “sissy squat”.

Hitting your fastus medialis:

IMO if you point your toes out on squats in almost a sumo stance you may feel it more in that particular muscle…I do.

Same thing goes with pointing your toes out on the leg extension.

If you think that squatting is causing your hammies and glutes to over power your quads then use some alternate exercises as well. The leg press hits the quads well, so does the hack performed in a sissy squat style.

Extensions also develop the leg.

Hope I’ve helped.

Gerdy[/quote]

AHh beat me to it with the medialis. Good post alek…

Well… i was taught in exercise physiology that the medialis was more active in the extended range… the last few degrees of the leg extension was essential to growing the medialis. He recommended holding the contraction.
I tend to find that deep squats/presses get it beautifully. it has grown tons from adding such moves to my life.

I think the tutor heard wrong, or maybe he meant the FIRST few degrees, not from straight as he mentioned but from totally flexed, it makes sense his version though, from a kinesiology standpoint, in its position, the last degrees should be where i has the highest tension and when the knee is flexed, the medialis is bent severely around the head of the femur… hmm… that would cause more stress i would have thought, maybe when straight it is too small to have a decent tension on its own for muscle building and the others take the work, but in the fully stretched/flexed position there are MASSIVE MASSIVE forces at play for that muscle, which may get overloaded very easily as the others fight to straighten the leg…

Maybe?

To the OP: Deep presses.

Joe

thanks for the great advice everyone. I’ll be incorporating some of it into my leg routine tomorrow…

also, for split squats, does anyone else have trouble with keeping their knee in correct alignment? I know it is really dangerous for the knee if it turns outwards or inwards (should remain straight), but for some reason no matter how light I go, my knee (of the back foot) will not stay straight.

when I’m doing the squats (and going DEEP), should I even bother elevating my heels or do you think its just a waste of time?

[quote]skinnymuscles wrote:
thanks for the great advice everyone. I’ll be incorporating some of it into my leg routine tomorrow…

also, for split squats, does anyone else have trouble with keeping their knee in correct alignment? I know it is really dangerous for the knee if it turns outwards or inwards (should remain straight), but for some reason no matter how light I go, my knee (of the back foot) will not stay straight.

when I’m doing the squats (and going DEEP), should I even bother elevating my heels or do you think its just a waste of time?[/quote]

The need to elevate the heels in order to get deep into a squat mostly has to do with poor ankle flexibility. If you can go ATG with your heels raised, but can’t with them on the floor, then you need to work on ankle mobility.

I’d also agree with what Aleksandr and others have said about doing deep squats. Leg extensions (gasp) are another good exercise, and frog stance hack squats will work your medialis along with your hip adductors (inner thigh muscles) quite effectively.

Here’s an article by CT describing his favorite leg exercises to build specific parts of the quads:

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:

If you think that squatting is causing your hammies and glutes to over power your quads then use some alternate exercises as well. The leg press hits the quads well, so does the hack performed in a sissy squat style.[/quote]

DG, when you say “hack performed in a sissy squat style”, how exactly do you mean? Hack machine with feet placed far forward on the platform? Or are you talking bb hacks? Sorry, not seeing it. Thanks.

Edit: nevermind, saw it in the link Sentoguy posted.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
The need to elevate the heels in order to get deep into a squat mostly has to do with poor ankle flexibility. If you can go ATG with your heels raised, but can’t with them on the floor, then you need to work on ankle mobility.
[/quote]

I have the same opinion. If you need to elevate, it’s a flexibility issue. Not the end of the world, but something to consider.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
They say using a closer stance works the quads more, but I’ve always felt that squat depth plays a bigger role in this.

I didn’t start noticing betting development in my lower quads until I started going deeper.

Also, give front squats a try. There are several good thread on doing front squats in this forum.[/quote]

I agree with this, though IMO deep squats with your feet as close together as possible with a smith machine pump my quads quite well.

[quote]Aleksandr wrote:
Sentoguy wrote:
The need to elevate the heels in order to get deep into a squat mostly has to do with poor ankle flexibility. If you can go ATG with your heels raised, but can’t with them on the floor, then you need to work on ankle mobility.

I have the same opinion. If you need to elevate, it’s a flexibility issue. Not the end of the world, but something to consider.[/quote]

I third this statement. I think elevating the heels is unnecessary if you have good mobility and your form is correct.

I elevate my heels - not to better isolate the quads, but to allow me to go ATG to better target the quads.

And it is a flexibility issue, and one that really should be addressed rather than chucking a band-aid on it. Which i am currently doing!

Joe

Does anyone do old school Barbell Hack squats? If so, how do you rate it?

[quote]Qaash wrote:
Does anyone do old school Barbell Hack squats? If so, how do you rate it?[/quote]

I’ve played around with them before. Definitely feel it in your quads. But I haven’t done it regularly enough to say how effective it is.