These are 10 things I wish I knew for bigger, stronger legs.
Never skip leg day. The fact that this sentence alone has become a famous hashtag speaks thousands of words. It means that many people do skip leg day, shifting their focus to target the upper body.
Don’t get us wrong, training the upper body is incredibly important for mobility and health, but most people choose to focus on the upper body for aesthetics purposes – we are talking mostly about men here, yes.
Typically, men train their upper body to appear bigger on the top half compared to the bottom of their body and give the illusion they are stronger and fitter than they actually are. Large shoulders, bigger arms, fuller chest. All these characteristics is what typically attracts people in men.
Sadly, that is just one more reason for people not to train as hard or as dedicated on their lower body. It isn’t that attractive – plus, it is very tiring and hardly you see big results such as gigantic legs (compare that with a big back and you know what I mean).
But, you clicked here because you are not most people. You want to grow bigger and stronger legs. And these are 10 things I wish I knew for bigger, stronger legs. But that is not me, from BOXROX, who is saying that.
The information you are going to see below was first shared by Eugene Teo in a video he posted. With over a decade of experience in the training and coaching industry, Eugene Teo has dedicated his expertise to working with both professional athletes spanning various sports and everyday individuals seeking enhancement in health, physique, performance, and overall well-being. He also has a YouTube channel where he regularly uploads fitness-related content.
See below the mistakes and learning curves that Eugene Teo found out during his training years and what you can learn from it.
10 Things I Wish I Knew for Bigger, Stronger Legs
Eugene Teo, a seasoned fitness expert and advocate for evidence-based training, shared invaluable insights into leg training that he wishes he had known earlier in his fitness journey. These tips not only expedite muscle building and strength gains but also enhance efficiency, improve mobility, and foster a genuine love for the training process.
- Lean Back on Leg Extensions: Teo emphasizes the importance of leaning back during leg extensions to optimize muscle engagement. This slight backward tilt places the rectus femoris in a stretched position, promoting increased effectiveness in targeting this muscle. By adopting this technique, individuals often experience a 20 to 30 percent strength boost.
- Use Various Load Carrying Options for Single Leg Exercises: Teo encourages the use of different load carrying options for single-leg exercises like lunges and split squats. Contralateral loading (weight on the non-working side) challenges hip mobility, while ipsilateral loading (weight on the working side) offers stability. Understanding these variations adds a dynamic element to leg training.
- Lean Forward During Seated Leg Curls: Seated leg curls are hailed as a powerful exercise for building end-range strength without spinal loading. Teo suggests leaning forward at the start of the movement to mimic the bottom position of a Romanian deadlift, effectively enhancing the stretch on the hamstrings.
- Use Straps for Front Squats: Teo introduces the use of straps for front squats, providing an alternative for individuals with wrist and shoulder mobility limitations. This method enables the focus on proper cues for tensioning the lats and upper back without the concern of the bar rolling forward.
- Train Calves First: Breaking away from the convention of prioritizing compound lifts, Teo recommends training calves first. By doing so, individuals can allocate maximum attention and energy to often-neglected areas like calves and hamstrings, ultimately improving mobility and stability.
- Elevate Heels During Squats: Teo dispels the notion that elevating heels during squats is cheating. Acknowledging individual anatomical differences, he highlights the benefits for those with longer femurs. Elevating heels can create a more comfortable squatting experience, allowing for increased training intensity.
- Pre-Workout Explosive Jumps: Leveraging the concept of post-activation potentiation, Teo suggests incorporating explosive jumps before key exercises. This technique activates muscle fibers, enhancing overall performance during subsequent work sets.
- Direct Adductor Work: Teo emphasizes the importance of not neglecting adductors, the inner thigh muscles. Incorporating wider stance exercises like squats and deadlifts engages adductors, addressing imbalances and promoting hip mobility.
- Three-Second Pause in Stretched Positions: To improve mobility and range of motion, Teo recommends adding a deliberate three-second pause in the bottom of exercises emphasizing the stretched position. This technique, applied to various muscle groups, fosters active strength and stability.
- Diverse Leg Training Options: Teo underscores the flexibility in leg training options, asserting that barbell squats are not obligatory. He encourages individuals to explore free weights or machine-based alternatives that suit their body structure, mobility, and preferences, emphasizing the importance of consistency and progressive overload.
In conclusion, Eugene Teo’s wealth of leg training insights, accumulated through years of experience, offers a comprehensive guide for individuals seeking efficient, effective, and enjoyable leg workouts. These tips transcend conventional wisdom, providing a roadmap for building a strong, well-balanced lower body.
Watch his video below for all the insights of the things you should know for bigger, stronger legs as Eugene Teo discovered them the hard way.
While many focus on strengthening their upper body muscles for aesthetic or athletic reasons, neglecting leg workouts can have detrimental effects on overall health and well-being. Strong legs form the foundation of your body, supporting your weight and enabling you to perform everyday activities with ease. Here are four compelling reasons why having bigger and stronger legs is essential:
- Enhanced Mobility and Functionality: Strong legs are crucial for maintaining mobility and function in daily life. They power your movements, allowing you to walk, run, climb stairs, and perform various tasks with agility. Stronger legs reduce the risk of falls and injuries, enhancing your quality of life.
- Injury Prevention: Weak or imbalanced leg muscles can lead to muscle strain, joint pain, and chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. Strengthening your legs through exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts helps to stabilize your joints, improve posture, and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Boosted Metabolism and Fat Loss: Leg muscles are metabolically active, burning more calories even at rest than other muscle groups. Building stronger legs through progressive resistance training increases your overall metabolism, promoting fat loss and helping you achieve your fitness goals.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: Leg exercises elevate your heart rate and improve cardiovascular function, strengthening your heart and lungs. Regular leg workouts can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and enhance overall cardiovascular health.
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