T Nation

Vastus Lateralis Development

Hi to all,
I’m just wondering how to improve the development of my “wheels”… i feel i lack in the vastus lateralis “size”…

my leg workout are build around the main exercize:

squat
romanian DL
leg curl
lunge
natural GHR

i think i have “good” PR on squat (220kg)
so i think it is not the lack of “intensity”… but I’m ready to get any hints…

my only problem is a “old injuries” at my right knee (so lunge are a little trouble…)

Look up Thib’s “Bulk Up, Cut Up” article that deals with quads.

Backwards sled dragging. Don’t let the heel touch. It kinda resembles the Michael Jackson “moon walk”. Or walk up hill backwards. Make sure to get full extension of the knee and ankle.
Carry a sandbag when doing the hill stuff.

TNT

Squat below parallel, Front squat, sissy squats and leg extensions. If none of these hurt doing them because of your knee sensitivity. I would add step ups as well.

Ok, I’ll be the voice of reason once again.

When you have knee problems, it might not be a good idea to focus on the vastus lateralis. You don’t know what it will do to the tracking of your patella.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Ok, I’ll be the voice of reason once again.

When you have knee problems, it might not be a good idea to focus on the vastus lateralis. You don’t know what it will do to the tracking of your patella.[/quote]

mhh i usually don’t like to “focus” too much on a simgle muscle… so i understand your point.

But my knee problem is kind of a cronic problem related to a damage that healed in the wrong way… (sorry for my lack of terminlogy… i don’t know the correct techical words to describe my problem)

however working with bands “avoid” problems

[quote]dmanor wrote:
Squat below parallel, Front squat, sissy squats and leg extensions. If none of these hurt doing them because of your knee sensitivity. I would add step ups as well.[/quote]

what are step ups? do you mean to step up a box? or it is something different?

i can do front squat and leg extensions (i do them)… i full squat with knee bands… but i can’t do sissy…

thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Without knowing your current workout schedule - Could you possibly be overtraining?

Sissy squats helped me a great deal.

[quote]tadolfi wrote:
Without knowing your current workout schedule - Could you possibly be overtraining?

Sissy squats helped me a great deal.[/quote]

i can’t do sissy…

basically my leg workout is:
5x6 squat
4x8 leg extension
4x6 romanian DL
4x15 leg curl (or 4xMax natural GHR)

in a different day I train calves:
4x4 seated calf
4x10 standing calf
3xMax donkey rise

(max means that I do all the rep I can with a given weight…)

i train calves on Thursday and quads+hamstrings on Friday…

I have strenght and resistance improvement but I lack on “mass” on the vastus lateralis… :\

Taking a close stance on any two legged movement will generally involve the lateralis more. Considering your knee problems some sort of high rep leg press or machine squat with a close stance might be a good addition to the workout.

[quote]bigjoey wrote:
Taking a close stance on any two legged movement will generally involve the lateralis more. Considering your knee problems some sort of high rep leg press or machine squat with a close stance might be a good addition to the workout. [/quote]

I have read “Bulk Up, Cut Up” as suggested and I have found the “problem”.

due to my knee problem I usually use a wide stance (frog like squatting for example)… so I put really little “stress” on my VL…

I think I’ll add some leg press with close stance as you suggest at the end of my workout…

Thx

[quote]cadav wrote:
tadolfi wrote:
Without knowing your current workout schedule - Could you possibly be overtraining?

Sissy squats helped me a great deal.

i can’t do sissy…

basically my leg workout is:
5x6 squat
4x8 leg extension
4x6 romanian DL
4x15 leg curl (or 4xMax natural GHR)

in a different day I train calves:
4x4 seated calf
4x10 standing calf
3xMax donkey rise

(max means that I do all the rep I can with a given weight…)

i train calves on Thursday and quads+hamstrings on Friday…

I have strenght and resistance improvement but I lack on “mass” on the vastus lateralis… :\

[/quote]

I would say that your volume is low IMO. Step ups is just as you thought, step up on a box or stairs, BB or DB (stairs). I would definitely have a narrower stance for the squats and I would not do the leg press to build the VL, it is primarily a hip flexor movement with secondary response on the quads and very little for the VL, in fact Leg Press can do some damage to the knees. IE My wife has knee issues as well and can not do sissy squats and leg press is iffy as she feels her knees hurt if she is not careful, by careful I mean keeping the knees from moving inward when the weight is heavy, usually a shoulder width is ideal for leg press and therefor better for the knees and thus eliminating full stimulation on the VL, IMO again. I would like to see more volume and this is coming from a guy that does a lot of HIT work so take this as you want, I’m just trying to help out.

Program sugestions for legs, I agree you cannot specifically train for VL development, it usually is a by product of total leg development.

20 rep squats (shoulder width max stance) Just break parallel, any lower may cause knee problems.

3x12-15 leg extensions (lean back on bench about 30 deg., do not stay upright if possible)
3x12 SLDL (knees have slight bend)
3x12 Leg curl (let the hips rise naturally)

3x20 Donkey raise
3x12 seated calf raise
3x12 One legged standing DB calf raise

Another suggestion

3x12 Back squat
3x12 Front squat
2x12 SLDL
2x12 Leg curl
3x15 Donkey raise (pause for 5 count at top)
3x20 seated calf raise
3x10 step ups

SLDL is important for knee strength and also for hamm development (as you know)

Both forms of hamm exercise is vital for knee strength and if the leg extensions does not bother you, then it will provide knee strength as well.

I’ve played football and never had knee injuries while maintaining this workout, my VL was/is pretty good. Sprints are also good finishers.

[quote]dmanor wrote:

I would say that your volume is low IMO.
[/quote]

i know… i like to work with high intensity (high weight, low rests)

usually i end my exercize with some negative reps…

thanks a lot for all suggestions… I’ll try to improve my workouts using your tips…
however i don’t like reps higher the 10/12 (for experience of previous results it seems to me that the better schema, for me, is between 4 and 8 reps)

i’ll try to use a narrowed stance (but here starts my knee troubles…)

SLDL is what i call romanian DL… i like them a lot and i do a lot :wink: