Recently, a popular magazine polled women to create a list of men’s top 10 most attractive body parts. Among the highest ranked were abs, arms and a generous posterior. Legs didn’t make the cut. Even ‘mouth’ out-ranked quads. So why train them? If curls are for the girls and squats are “bad for your knees”, is there any reason to get under the squat rack for anything other than a bicep pump? The real reason to squat probably isn’t one you’ve thought of. No, it’s not about testosterone or growth hormone output or that you need to train your lower body to grow your upper body. Forget the bro-science for a minute. Training legs and squatting requires working through discomfort, a diet beyond the dollar menu and working for more than just a pump. Do you hate leg day? Make squats your best lift. Focus upon what makes you feel weak and you’ll be evermore strong.
We asked Renegade Training John Davies of his take on Squats and quad development.
Considering Squats and development of the quads, there are many options to the traditional Back Squat, with the following an excruciating option for the determined athlete.
Front Squat 1½
There is likely no better common exercise for the VMO than the Front Squat and when performed ‘1½’ style offers tremendous benefit to the hamstrings, as well not as stressful on the lower back.
High Box Step-Up
Possibly the most profound leg movement yet rarely performed correctly due to degree of difficulty. The High Box Squat can provide great benefit to the glutes as well the quadriceps; the higher the box height the more pronounced stimulation of the glutes.
Big bold and undeniably a nasty movement, particularly as you push the boundaries of a heavy load. When performing this movement, note the longer the step from the box places greater emphasis upon the glutes; hence, keep the step modest when focusing on your quadriceps.
Walking lunges are a tremendous addition to strengthen the VMO. The VMO (Vastus Medialis Obliquus) is of critical importance with knee stability (patella in particular) and its weakness is the source of many injuries. The VMO is responsible for the extension of the knee and weakness will potentially result in poor tracking that increases the risk of injuries. Train the VMO and one will not only see a greater sweep of the muscle but reduce the risk of injury, too.
Summarily, if there is a ‘secret’ to reaching your goals in the iron game it is the worst kept secret of all: Squat. Time in the squat racks serve a variety of benefits and undeniably will accelerate your results helping you to #BeUltimate.
Prepared by John Davies
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