Leg Workout for Mass
Doing a leg workout for mass can differ from the average training routine. To train to add muscle size and strength you should include a variety of compound and isolation exercises. While heavy weight in the low rep range of 8-10 is great for building muscle, the legs can take various rep ranges and still make substantial progress.
In this short article we’ll cover some of the best exercises to use to build leg mass, as well as reps and sets.
Should You Squat?
The squat is known for being the granddaddy of leg exercises. It’s a compound movement, meaning that it targets all the muscles in your lower body at the same time. It’s best to include a compound exercise first in your leg workout. So, starting off with squats, 8-15 reps for 4 sets is a good beginning.
Squat Foot Position
When doing squats you can vary your foot position to target various areas of the leg to a greater degree. Taking a slightly wider than shoulder width stance with toes pointed outward will bring more focus to the inner part of the quad. Taking a closer stance will zone-in more on the outer portion of the quads.
Where Does the Leg Press Fit In?
In addition to the squat, the leg press is another good compound exercise. Just as with the squat, put the leg press first in your leg routine. This is to ensure you target all the muscles in your leg full at the start of your leg training session.
Leg Press Foot Placement
You can use various foot placements on the leg press as well. A wide-stance will zone-in on the inner thighs more while a more narrow stance will bring more tension to the outer quads. In addition, the higher you place your feet on the platform, the more of your hams and glutes you will bring into the movement. The lower your foot placement on the platform, the more of your lower quads you’ll hit.
Note: When training legs, choose either the squat or the leg press for your workout. Don’t do both in the same workout. If you do squats this week, do leg press next week. Tackling the compound exercises in this fashion will allow you to always have something to fall back on and prevent plateaus to a much greater degree.
People tend to leave their hamstrings to a few sets of curls. Doing this will create unbalanced legs. You need to build your hamstrings with specific exercises.
Stiff-legged deadlifts (SLDL) are a must for building massive hamstrings. The reason lies in the ham structure. The hams consist of a group of three muscles.
The biceps femoris is the muscle that flexes your knee back and froth, as in the leg curls. The semimembranosus and semitendinosusu muscles extend your hip, as in the stiff-legged deadlift.
The first two hamstring muscles, the semimembranosus and the semitendinosusu, are assistants and help move the biceps femoris in bending the leg. So, there are two actions that can take place with your hamstrings, the knee flexes and the hips extend. Each of the three muscles assists the others.
Leg curls are an isolation exercise. The leg curl can be done in any fashion, seated, standing, lying, cables, etc. Do any form of leg curl AFTER doing your SLDL. You need to get that mass builder first, followed by curls. When doing your leg curls keep a controlled pace. Get the full contraction and focus in on the negative when lowering.
Leg extensions are an isolation exercise for the front of the legs. This exercise can be included after you do your compound exercises. You want to use a poundage you can get about 12 reps with. You want to go for quality and not extremely heavy weight. Contract the muscle hard at the top of the movement and lower in a controlled matter so your muscles are going the work and not the momentum.
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