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Hello bodybuilding lovers! In today’s issue, we’ll figure out how to build legs. You will receive comprehensive information on this topic. After reading the material, your views on leg training will change dramatically. You will learn which exercises are effective and which are not, how to combine them correctly and create the perfect set of exercises on the legs. You will also understand how not even a deep knowledge of anatomy will help you train your leg muscles as efficiently as possible and why leg training should be divided into two parts. In general, closer to the point.
Pumping up legs to impressive volumes is not an easy thing, but without well-trained legs, you won’t be able to build everything else. What kind of legs you have depends on what kind of arms, back, chest, and indeed any muscle in your body. Therefore, leg training is a priority for every thinking bodybuilder.
The purpose of this article is to help fans of iron sports to figure out how to pump up their legs in the shortest possible time and with maximum efficiency, without the use of steroids and other chemicals. The key to success is knowing and understanding how the leg muscles work and which exercises respond best.
Leg Exercises For Men – A Little Boring Anatomy
The big mistake is that many beginners, and not only, consider the quadriceps and hip biceps to be the same muscle and that just squats will be enough to build strong and inflated legs. No, no, no, and no again! This great misconception leads to the fact that people have been training legs for months without results, are injured, and the effect is minimal. Nature endowed the hip biceps and quadriceps with completely different trophies, which means that the approach to their training should be fundamentally different.
Also, in addition to the biceps of the hips and quadriceps, there is a group of adductors, which make up a third of the size of the thigh. The lack of intentional training is another reason why most bodybuilders cannot boast of their legs stretched out. Now let’s look a little more in detail what is the adductors. This is a group of six muscles, two of which are small and therefore not so significant, and four more significant muscles that play a key role in the development of the general muscles of the legs. So, the first two are the lateral locking muscle and scallop, the remaining four are the large adductor, fine-fibrous, as well as the long and short adductor muscles. You can see their anatomical location in the picture below.
The role of the major adductor muscle is to bring the thigh, as well as in its extension, fine-fibrous, as well as the long and short adductors, are only involved in the flexion of the knee joint and in the adduction of the thigh. Together, this muscle group works as a single harmonious ensemble. In general, probably anatomy is enough, since all of the above is enough to understand the general principles of the leg muscles, as well as to understand well what will be discussed next, namely how to build legs and do it as efficiently as possible!
Features of the Leg Training Program
Leg training should take place 2 times a week. Use separate training for the quadriceps and hip biceps. This is due to the fact that these two muscle groups are large enough to train them together in the same workout. Having thoroughly worked on the quadriceps, you simply will not have the strength left for the same high-quality training of the hip biceps and, accordingly, they will constantly lag behind.
Therefore, in one workout we swing the quadriceps, and in the next – the hip biceps. Take it as a rule!
It should also be noted that there should be a gap of at least three days between such workouts. Compliance with these rules will create a balance between the development of quadriceps and biceps of the thigh and protect you from all kinds of injuries of the knee joint.
Note: leg training can and should be combined with training other muscles. The main thing is not to train the quadriceps and biceps of the hips in one day!
Day One: Total Gym Leg Workout
Training quadriceps in bodybuilding is considered the most difficult. Indeed, in fact, we pump not one muscle, but four at once! Recall that quadriceps consists of four muscles that converge into one tendon and perform the same function – extension of the knee joint. Accordingly, the working weight should be very significant, since four muscles divide it among themselves at the same time.
The most effective training for quadriceps consists of three basic exercises, including 4-5 sets. These exercises include barbell squats, hack squats and leg presses. An important point is that the order of exercises must be changed in order to prevent the muscles from getting used to the loads. However, it should be remembered that the first exercise should be with free weight, that is, squats, and then exercises on the simulators. Thus, you only have to alternate leg press and hack squats.
It should also be understood that a good work out of the legs will only work if they are pre-filled with blood. A larger volume of blood in the muscle will make the total blood flow much more powerful, which means that blood pressure will expand the capillaries and provide good fuel delivery to muscle tissue. The word “fuel” refers to the energy reserves of the body in the form of glucose and creatine phosphates.
So how do you still fill the target muscle with blood? Everything is simple, this is facilitated by the implementation of an elementary workout. In this case, before training the quadriceps, they should be thoroughly kneaded by performing an exercise such as leg extension in the simulator. It will be enough to perform 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions, with such a weight that will not make you strain very much, but nevertheless will warm your legs well. Upon completion of the workout, it is also worth doing 3 sets of extensions with the same number of repetitions. The essence of this technique is that extension is pumped into the tired quadriceps with fresh blood and thereby the so-called “waste” of muscle contraction will be washed. This will accelerate muscle recovery, and accordingly their growth.
So, a set of exercises for quadriceps:
- Leg extension (warm-up) 3 x 12-20
- Barbell squats 4 x 12-20
- Hack Squats 4 x 12-20
- Leg Press 4 x 12-20
- Leg extension 3 x 12-20
Leg extension in the simulator
Important quads training tips
- How many approaches to perform in exercises? As mentioned above – 4-5, but nevertheless, the implementation of 4 approaches will be optimal, no more. Repetitions in one approach should be no less than 12, but no more than 20. Therefore, choose the appropriate weight with which you will achieve muscle “failure” in this gap.
- Do not bend your knees while doing the leg press! To maximize stress on the quadriceps, the knees should be in a position parallel to each other. The feet on the simulator platform should be located close enough – at a distance of about 6-8 cm.
- Before performing the last exercise (leg extension), rest for 5 minutes. This is necessary in order to make it as high quality as possible. Indeed, due to the accumulated fatigue, it will be very difficult to perform leg extension after 2-3 minutes, and most likely, there will be no sense from this. We need the exact opposite! A greater effect will be if you do extension with one leg, and not simultaneously with two. At the same time, carefully calibrate each rep and feel the load in the target muscle.
Day two: bulk your biceps femoris with leg machines
Like quadriceps, training the back of the thigh should begin with a few warm-up sets of exercises such as bending the legs. We already know the goal – it is necessary to pre-fill the muscle with blood and increase blood flow. After the warm-up sets, which should be 1-2, with the number of repetitions of 15-20, you can begin to perform the same exercise, but with more significant weights.
It’s not difficult to choose your working weight, it must be one with which you can achieve muscle “failure” in the range of 5-8 reps. Why not 12-20, as is the case with quadriceps training? The thing is that due to the anatomical features, the hip biceps respond better to a small number of repetitions, but with a large working weight. The optimal number of sets will be 3.
So, having finished with bending the legs while lying down, we move on to the next exercise – to bending the legs while standing. To some, these two exercises may seem the same, but in reality, everything is completely wrong. In the first exercise, our main goal is to overcome the resistance to weight by force, but when bending the legs while standing, we should isolate the load on the back of the thigh as much as possible. The combination of these exercises gives an amazing effect. The mode of the second exercise is the same – 3 sets of 5-8 reps.
The order of the exercises should not be changed, since the nature of the biceps of the thigh is such that they are well susceptible to stress and are difficult to get used to them. In addition, the need to first perform bending of the legs while lying down, and then standing is not accidental and is insuring in nature. The first exercise exerts a rather large load on the lower back and overloads it, while the second, on the contrary, has an unloading effect on the lower back.
The third exercise in the complex should be deadlift on straight legs. She, unlike the bending of the legs, which have an effect mainly on the middle and lower region of the back of the thigh, actively “iron” the upper part. You can perform this exercise with a barbell, but to achieve a better effect, you should replace it with dumbbells. The fact is that the bar will pull you forward and shift the load, and the dumbbells located along the line of legs will provide maximum load on the target muscles. The number of approaches and repetitions remains unchanged – 3 approaches of 5-8 repetitions.
A set of exercises for biceps of the hips:
- Leg curl (warm-up) 2 x 12-20
- Leg curl 3 x 5-8
- Leg curl 3 x 5-8
- Draft on straight legs with dumbbells 3 x 5-8
Straight leg pull
About training the adductors in leg exercise machines (1 time per month)
As mentioned above, the third part of the thigh is occupied by the adductor muscles and in order to fully pump up the legs, it is also necessary to pay attention to the training of this muscle group. Although, one way or another, they are still involved in performing all the above exercises, but once a month it is simply necessary to perform those exercises that focus specifically on the development of the inside of the legs.
So, lunges with a barbell on the shoulders. Glute muscles are excellently trained, but they also have a no lesser effect on the adductors. The main emphasis is on the large and short adductors.
The second exercise for training leads is wide squats with a barbell. Their difference from the usual ones is that the distance between the feet is much greater. The deadlift in the Sumo style is also perfect for this purpose. Again, the difference from the classic deadlift is that your legs should be much wider.
The adductors of the thigh can also be trained in a special simulator, which is called the “simulator for adductors”. Despite the fact that he is considered to be purely female, men can also practice it, he works well on the large adductor muscle and fine-fiber.
A set of exercises on the inside of the legs:
- Leg press with emphasis on the upper part of the platform (warm-up) 3 x 10-15
- Wide bar squats 4 x 12-20
- Lunges with a barbell 4 x 12-20
- Adductor muscles exercise in the machine 4 x 12-20
That’s probably all. With how to build legs, we figured out in full. However, the material of the article is quite large and although it is written in a language that is quite understandable, many may still have some misunderstandings and questions. It doesn’t matter! Just ask them in the comments to this post and in the near future you will receive an exhaustive answer. In the meantime, see you in future releases. Bookmark our site and stay tuned.