Build Big Quads: 1 Tip
How do you feel about leg day? Do you hate it? Why? Is it because it’s a lot of work? Is it just because you don’t ever notice much, if any, results from leg days? This is the general consensus throughout the lifting community at large. Go into any public gym and you’ll see guys with massive chests, shoulders, and arms…and not-so-massive legs. That’s partially why sweat pants are popular as workout clothes. There is one crucial thing guys’ are neglecting to do on leg day, thus they can’t build big quads. I’ll share with you exactly what to do to build big quads and how to make leg day challenging, rewarding, and above all–fun!
Body of Levers
Look at your arms and your legs. They hinge and pivot, contract and extend. They are designed to perform work. In physics, the definition of work is the application of a force upon an object, which results in its movement. When you walk, sit down, move an object, etc., you’re doing work and interacting with your environment constantly. When you’re lifting, you’re constantly varying the force and work you’re doing, depending upon the load and distance you’re moving that load. A great article explaining this in-depth with diagrams can be found here.
As pertaining to this article, when it comes to leg day, namely doing squats, you are doing a great amount of work. Your legs are the most powerful levers of your body. The thing is, you have a pretty good mechanical advantage when you squat, depending on your stance-width and how much you shorten the moment-arm between your knee and your hips. The narrower your stance, the greater the moment-arm / greater range of motion in squat. The wider your stance, as in a powerlifter’s sumo squat, the less the moment arm / range of motion is, thus a heavier load can be handled because it doesn’t require as much work (force to move an object for a certain distance).
Take Advantage of the Disadvantage
That’s right. You can make mechanical disadvantage work in your favor. When squatting only to parallel, or not even to parallel, you are primarily activating the posterior chain: erector spinae, glutes, and hamstrings. When you squat deep and go beyond parallel, the further you go, the more quad-dominant the lift will become. In order to squat as deep as possible will require you to assume a fairly narrow stance and essentially create the greatest moment arm you can (your glutes will essentially be sitting on your calves at the bottom of the lift and close to the ground. Your toes will be pointed more forward than in a wide-stance, and your legs / knees will follow in-line with your toes, allowing you to squat much, much deeper.)
Since you’ll be squatting deep beyond parallel, you will not be able to handle as heavy a load as when you squat to parallel or in a sumo-stance. Despite this fact, you will actually be preforming just as much, and most likely, more work. Remember the physics concept of work: application of force to move an object for a certain distance. With a slightly lighter load, moving it for a much greater distance, will result in more work being done.
That’s How You Build Big Quads
Making a habit of squatting deep will build big quads. If you can’t give up squatting to parallel and you’re a die-hard powerlifter, then I suggest you implement an OLY squat into your routine, or perhaps a second squat day in the week where you do deep front squats. The only way you can make squatting build big quads is to squat deep, there is no way around that fact. Swallow your pride, lower the weight as much as needed, practice the form until you get it down, and then slowly build from there. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll get used to it, as well as how much more challenging and fun it is! The greatest benefit of squatting deep, however, is finally realizing your desire to build big quads. It’s really that simple.
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