We’ve all heard the expression ‘there’s no complete physique without wheels’ and at FLM Training we couldn’t agree more. Way too often we over train and in some cases over develop our upper body but neglect our legs. This is something we can’t get our head around as strong and powerful legs are required for sporting performance, everyday tasks and filling our favourite pair of jeans… nobody likes baggy lose jeans or spaghetti legs.
So, with the New Year fast approaching we decided to put together our top 5 tips for building the ultimate quads. We hope you find the article interesting and please comment below if you’ve found it useful.
Tip number 1:
Squat! To build monster legs, increase strength and build rock solid abs you must squat. Compound exercises like the squat engage not only the muscles in the legs but also your core muscles, spinal erectors, and mid back / traps. The back squat is universally recognised as the king of leg exercises.
Tip number 2:
Variety! As mentioned above, the squat is the king of leg exercises but we recommend varying the type of squats you do. When cycling your training routines and periodising your training we recommend you cycle the type of squat you perform. Some of our favourites include:
-the front squat (this gives you a greater range of movement and engages the core far more than a back squat does and targets the quads)
-pistol squats (excellent for targeting specific/weaker sides and improves joint stability as well as flexibility and ROM. It also offers a different stimulus and is ideal for sporting performance such as football)
-Bulgarian split squats (rests the lower back from strain and the overload of back squats, reduces risk of injury by minimizing strength and muscular differences between your left and right side-one of our favourites!).
Tip number 3:
Full Range of Movement! When squatting don’t sacrifice the range of movement for your ego. When you perform full range squats you recruit far more muscle fibres than you do if you perform half reps. Partial reps only work the top and mid part of the thigh whereas a deep squat will also work the bottom part of the thigh. Although partial squats can help with strength gains, full range of movement will encourage more hypertrophy and improve athletic performance far better. Furthermore the squat is the most primitive movement pattern known to man.
Tip number 4:
Time under tension! Hypertrophy will best occur when the muscle is exposed to tension for extended periods of time and the quads are no different. At FLM Training we recommend varying the tempo of your squats to offer variety but controlling each rep and ensuring you maximise each contraction is key. The most common tempo we encourage is a 4010 during the squat. However, if you were a power lifter a faster tempo may be encouraged.
Tip number 5:
Stretch! Improved flexibility will help improve your performance under the squat bar and when using the leg press etc. Stretching will also help reduce the tension of the fascia wraps which are wrapped around your muscle. If you neglect your flexibility this will hamper your ability to pack on some serious size in your legs (and any other muscle group) and it will also reduce the risk of developing an injury. Stretch for increased ROM, increased hypertrophy and improved recovery.