Often you will hear people looking to get huge arms or that killer chest. How often do you hear someone talk about great quads or strong looking calves. Well for me they are something required for an impressive physique or to achieve that X-Look that Art Devany talks about.
You will often see UFC fighters or Cyclists with awesome quads. Also footballers (soccer players) have awesome, powerful quads. The problem with traditional bodybuilding routines for legs is that they produce big bulky muscles which lack the aesthetic and functional appeal that someone like Lance Armstong has, check out the picture below….
The only way to achieve powerful and aesthetically pleasing legs which will not cause chafing and discomfort that traditional volume building routines cause is to train like an athlete. Varying the way you hit your upper legs will lead to great results. The key to cut and lean quads is to feel the burn. Check out the program below…..
1 - High Rep Leg Extensions
This is something to do if you have access to a gym and leg extension machine. The leg extension machine is a great way to isolate your quads and trigger growth. I have found through experience that doing low reps will get my legs too bulky. What I suggest is to occasionally throw in 2-3 sets of 20 rep leg extensions and really go for the burn.
I am all for compounds but to increase definition nothing beats it. You don’t need to do these often once a week is enough to notice pretty impressive results so long as you push yourself enough to feel a burn and get that all important pump.
2 - Walk and Cycle, Lots!
Walking and cycling are amazing at bringing out tone in legs and actually building them in a functional way. A few years back I was talking to a good freind of mine who is a former professional Bodybuilder in Australia, I asked him what his views were on bringing out definition in the legs. His response was simply “Walk, Lots of Walking” and it makes sense. Muscles are like leather they become more toned,harder and better with age and repetitive exercise.
Cycling is another way to bring out this definition, have you ever seen a cyclist without impressive legs? Just check the picture of Lance again….
3 - Body Weight Squats
A few years back when I went through a period of CrossFit my legs finally got into awesome shape, they started to look lean, athletic and functional in a matter of weeks. As any of you who have followed crossfit before will know is that the program involves a load of BW Squats.
These are another awesome exercise to feel the burn and for me the burn is key to great legs. Try and do 100 deep Bodyweight squats for time. The more of a burn and pump you feel the better. Another great combo for the legs is to combine sprints with BW squats the beauty of this workout is that it can be done anywhere. 20 Minute Fitness Solution has a great take on the workout here….
4 - Wall Sits
Wall sits are amazing an building endurance in the legs. Skiers are often told to do them daily as they emulate the position and tension created through skiing and snowboarding. They also do a darn good job of building your quads. As far as Static holds go Planks have received so much good press recently I am surprised these have been left in the shadows. They do a superb job of building your core and developing endurance in the legs.
Don’t forget to balance out your legs though as having over dominant quads can cause problems with your hamstrings. That’s why its important to incorporate some form of posterior chain work into your routine. Kettlebell swings and Sprints are amazing for your hamstrings.
Don’t foget having strong quads is not only something that benefits you aesthetically. Your quadriceps play a key role in protecting your knees and keeping them healthy. So if your having knee problems then stregthening your quads maybe the missing link!