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Building Powerful Legs With Squat Exercises

Jun 6, 2008
What are you most powerful muscles? Your bulging biceps which you've spent countless hours in the gym working on? Your well-developed chest? The answer is: neither! You may not have spent much, if any time training your strongest muscles.

Your legs are the most powerful muscles in your body... in particular your quadriceps are! IF you don't know where they are they're the four muscles at the top of your legs... and they pretty much power every movement you will ever do in sports, athletics, general life and even bodybuilding!

It's really a pretty simple matter to increase the power of these muscles to their full potential. It never fails to mystify me when someone has worked out every other part of their body, yet has underdeveloped quads. Everyone listen up, because today I'm going to help you unlock the power of these powerhouses (and if you've read my article about building a bigger chest and arms... then you know working your legs can actually increase the size of the other muscles in your body!).

So what's the best way to train your legs? One word. SQUAT! Squat exercises are the most efficient way to build your quads and are easy to work into your weightlifting regimen. Now I'm going to be up front with you and I'm not going to lie and tell you that it's totally painless - your legs have a lot of endurance and strength already (nearly three times that of your arms, you stand and walk on them well, all the time, right?) so you will have to put in some effort.

Besides just building your legs, there are benefits to be had from squats beyond the quadriceps - your abs will also benefit from these exercises (or "core" in today's fitness parlance). Also, like I said, working your legs will stimulate muscle growth all over your body because of the positive effect on muscle building hormones it causes. Read on for two great squat exercises to help you make the most of the strongest muscles you have:

Squats - place a bar at the right height for you on a squat rack - and walk under it-- the bar should rest on the back of your shoulders. Get a good grip on the bar, raise it up off the rack and take one step backwards (go slowly for safety). Remember to keep your legs as far apart as your shoulder span and your back straight (a slight c-curve is ok). Then it's a simple as bending you knees, lower yourself under control until your hips are just slightly less than 90 degrees from the floor, then slowly return to your starting position. Remember not to overdo it, but make sure you're getting a workout for your quads here. (unless you have a good spotter it's a good idea not to go to failure here)

Front Squats - This is a favorite of athletes everywhere. This works much the same as regular squats, but of course with the barbell held in front. This one will build the outer sweep of your quads. Start with a barbell at chest height and step back after lifting from the rack. (you'll either want to grip it with your hands or cross your hands across your chest and have the bar rest in the crook of your elbows)

Symmetry is important in bodybuilding and it would be a shame to neglect such an important set of muscles and these exercises can get your quads to where they need to be - built up just as much as the rest of your body. Plus, you ALWAYS want to make sure you work every part of your body because you don't want to end up with muscle imbalances... which will eventually lead to injury (I see this all the time -- especially with back injuries!)
About the Author
author Caleb Lee knows a lot about building muscle. His website will sways you ways to build muscle fast.
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