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BIGGER QUADS – 5 Mistakes Keeping your Legs Skinny

Improve your lower body.

Are any of these mistakes keeping your legs skinny?

Jeremy Ethier explains…

Mistakes Keeping Your Legs Skinny

“The quadriceps are a group of 4 muscles located in the front of your legs. Meaning? You need to program your quad workout carefully. And while some people can simply squat and see great quad development, others aren’t so lucky. Why? Let’s dive into the first training mistake and find out.”

Mistakes Keeping Your Legs Skinny

“Barbell squats are often recommended as the best exercise to grow bigger legs but they demand a lot from your core and lower back muscles to help stabilize the weight. Now this isn’t a bad thing, but if your main goal is to grow your legs then it can be an issue. And this is where machines can come in handy. Exercises like the hack squat, with the use of the back support, help minimize the stability demands of the exercise. As a result, you’ll be able to truly push your quads close to their limits without worrying about other muscles fatiguing first. Don’t have access to a hack squat machine? Another option is to use a smith machine squat during your quad focused leg day.”

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“The next mistake preventing you from growing monster quads has to do with your exercise execution. It’s been shown that the more forward your shin angle is, the greater the knee movement and the more the quads will be involved compared to the glutes and lower back muscles. But what if you have limited ankle mobility? One option is to invest in a pair of lifting shoes for a slight heel lift. Or use a couple weight plates to elevate your heels onto as you squat. This tip doesn’t just apply to squats. A low foot placement on the leg press could also increase quads activation. And lastly, you can also apply this concept to lunges and Bulgarian split squats.”

“Applying the previous tips to your quads workout will reduce the tension placed on other muscles and move it to the quads. As a result, you’re not going to be able to lift nearly as heavy as you used to. So it’s absolutely crucial that you don’t let your ego get the best of you and let your body “cheat” to get the other muscles to help out. Control the weight and spend about 2-3 seconds on the way down of each rep, and you’ll experience far more growth in your quads despite using lighter weight.”

“The next mistake has to do with your workout programming. Remember how your quads are made up of four muscles? Well one of them is “special”. It’s called the rectus femoris. It attaches at the pelvis and travels down the middle of your thigh. Because of its unique anatomy, during classic leg exercises like squats and leg presses, the rectus femoris doesn’t get very well activated. It is instead best activated in exercises like the leg extension or sissy squat where only your knees extend and your hips remain locked in place.”

Mistakes Keeping Your Legs Skinny

“The last mistake has to do with effort. We know that to maximize growth, you need to push yourself hard enough during your sets to reach at least within 3 reps of failure. So when it comes to your leg days, be honest with yourself, are you truly pushing yourself hard enough? Or do you stop your sets when you just start to feel the burn, and in reality could have done 5 or even 10 more reps?  Given the sheer size of the quad muscles and the blood flow it receives, this is not going to feel comfortable. But the willingness to push through this discomfort is often what separates those who have an impressive set of legs from those who don’t. Consider using a pre-workout supplement to help with this.”

“Alright let’s quickly cover how to apply it to your routine to get bigger legs. First, if you’re doing regular barbell squats and not feeling it much in your quads, try temporarily switching that for a heel elevated squat or a machine like a hack squat or smith machine squat. And for your leg presses and split squats, consider using the quad focused form to further emphasize the quads. Second, throw in a leg extension and/or sissy squat at the end of your workouts to emphasize the rectus femoris. Lastly, lighten the weight to force your quads to do the work but push yourself hard to reach close enough to failure.”


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