Was going to wait a few before i threw this up, but eh im bored this morning…plus people been bugging me for this…Oh and the title? Well, it was kinda tricky thinking of a clever leg title…was gonna go with ‘Pigs riding Suzukis with Cows’ but didnt think anyone would get it…you know, cuz pigs = Ham = hamstrings…and Suzuki = Quad = Quadriceps…and Cows = ca…you know, nevermind
LEGS>?! By far, one of the most important aspects of bodybuilding, the most easily criticized body part, and the most half assed muscle group i see in the gyms today is Legs. A set of Wheels can make or break your physique. It can make For a perfect “X,” Granting you those points for symmetry, showing wide legs, a thin waist, and wide shoulders. Or it can break you.
Ive said it before and ill say it again. Proportions, proportions, proportions. This game is not simply about Building the most muscle possible, its also about symmetry, proportions, and illusions. Legs is a group that you truly have to Kill yourself when training them. And No, Leg press-Leg extension-Prone leg curl is NOT a leg day. Thats a “YOU wasting space in the gym” day.
Just like any muscle, the leg needs to be attacked in areas. Yes the big compound movements will get your leg thicker, but there will be aspects that you miss out on if you dont do some focus training; IE Leg width, teardrop work, insertion work, etc. “GENETICS!” Some may cry! Yes, genetics may play a part in where you begin, but guess what, you can STILL work and develop these areas.
To neglect a muscle due to the “Bad Genetics” crutch is damn near the most sickening excuse ive ever heard and You mineaswell just stop bodybuilding, move to France, and take up a “Im a Bitch” shop down in ‘Le Petite’ Outlet, selling ‘Im a Bitch’ and ‘No Balls down here arrow pointing down’ type apparel with that kind of attitude. As always, ill try and give 2 good movements for each
First, we come to the Grandaddy of Leg movements, One of the Kings of the exercise world, developing both power and size in its trainee, I speak of course…OF SQUATS!!!
For the longest time, squats scared me. I didnt care to do them, the massive weight on my back, the strange movement, it scared me. So what did i do? I took the cop out route (Rhyme skills, bitches), I squatted in my gym’s smith cage. Now the problem with this was A. The cage was slightly angled, and B. I wasnt performing the movement properly (so i found out).
I was coming down about half of the way i should be. The big problem with this folks is that you remove the Grand Danddy-ness from the squat if you DONT go down all the way, Its like substituting Rack pulls for deadlifts- yes, youll turn it into a decent isolation movement, but you remove what makes it a compound, MAJOR, THE SHIT (take note of the use of capitals) GRAND DADDY movement.
At the bottom of the movement, The Hole, where the bar is practically touching the stoppers in a Squat rack, because if isnt coming close, you arent squatting, is where you receive the entirety of the power behind the drive. The Glutes, the Hamstrings, this is where they are involved. They are the foundation to this movement. GET YOUR SQUATS DOWN RIGHT!!!
They are one of the major reasons why i gained close to 50lbs when switching to free weights.\
Now you may ask yourself, “Hey 'Kuma, why did you spend so much time discussing the squat?” Simple, BECAUSE EVERYONE I SEE DOES THEM WRONG/ THEY ARE SUCH A FUCKING AWESOME MOVEMENT (the curse + capitals means you know im serious).
A second good quad movement? Well it really depends on what you need. If you are working on your insertions and want a bit more overhang, im going to say that you need work with Hack squats and hack squat variations. If you say you need to work on your teardrop, im going to suggest 1 leg extensions, with the leg titled just a bit and major focus on your vastus Medialis.
If you say you need leg width, im going point you over to Front squats or Close foot Leg presses. If you need it all, i will simultaneously point to everything i just mentioned, with 1 hand… upside your head.
HAMSTRINGS- The biceps of the leg. The muscle, that if not work, can literally destroy your legs. Oh yes, overdeveloped quad, underdeveloped Ham = Blown hamstring. Know a guy actually, has 10inch scar running up his hamstrings due to no hamstring work, the muscle was actually RIPPED because his Baseball coach was having him FOCUS on his quads.
Moral of the story- Baseball is dumb(we shall not debate that in this thread of holy), and WORK YOUR HAMS. NO, DOING SQUATS DOES NOT MEAN YOU DONT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. As with any muscle, you need a variety of movements. Why? Because, LIKE ANY MUSCLE, it is affected differently depending on its motion. Romanian deadlifts are a great hamstring movement, and they work the hams really well, but unfortunately, it is not sufficient.
A muscle like the Biceps Femoris( The part of the Ham that is shown Via a Side chest shot) is worked greater through leg curling (Ie Prone Leg curl, Hamtractors, etc). Are things starting to click? Hams = biceps of leg, muscle called Biceps femoris, worked through curling… EH EH?! Now that doesnt mean you should only do curling movements.
This is where the other half of the Hams (The Semimembranosus/Semitendinosus) come into play. Romanian Deadlifts, Glute-ham raises, Lunges. All things that are going to very effectively break your hams.
Touching on glutes (HAHA), I feel mine are sufficiently wrecked through squats and/or knee dropping Lunges. Honestly, id have to say if you need more glutes, squat deeper…thats honestly probably all youd need.
CALVES. NO, YOU are more than likely doing them wrong. Unless you have already read my “Calves to Cows” thread, or were able to figure it out yourself earlier, bouncing on a standing calf machine is not a calf workout, it’s actually a loud, annoying way of saying ‘HEY EVERYONE, IM NOT COOL.’ Calves are hit differently depending on if youre sitting or standing (Gastrocnemius/Soleus).
That means…HIT THEM WITH BOTH. Stop at the bottom, Stop at the top, feel extension with heel dropping below platform, double popping at the top to ensure you are actually contracting your calves. I am being rather blunt with these because i believe my ‘Calves to cows’ thread touched on them enough.
HOWEVER, i will also mention something i have recently implemented. After my calf work, normally id be done- 4 sets of standing (15reps/500lbs x4), 4 set of seated (15-8 reps, ramping weight by 1-2 45’s a set). But now ive started walking. More specifically, walking on a treadmill at a snail 1-2mph, with an incline as high as the machine can go, and a constant focus of the calf.
Watching each step, coming down slowly with the heel and feeling the calf stretch, then focusing completely on that 1 leg through the step and fully pushing off and contracting that calf. I have to say, my calves are shredded every time i do this, front to back. Try throwing it in.