How to Grow Your Legs
When looking to grow your legs, stick to "meat and potato" movements like squats, hinges, and curls. You also want to find exercises that allow for an effective muscle stimulus to fatigue ratio: putting lots of tension on the target muscles without a large amount of CNS fatigue.
Something to keep note of and incorporate are unilateral exercises; these will allow you to work on any imbalances you may have (which are totally normal due to everyone's structures being different).
Warming up is a must to ensure plenty of blood flow and prepare yourself to perform safely before beginning the harder exercises.
- Start with leg extensions 30, 20, and 15 - increase the weight as you lower the reps. Once seated, sit with the weight bar on top of your lower shins and flex your quad through the upward motion.
- Finish off with 30 reps with 10 pulses on the leg extension machine.
Hack Squat - Line your back up against the machine and place your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders and back against the pads. As you inhale, lower down, and bend your knees until they are 90 degrees. Pause for a few seconds and then push up through the back of your feet to extend your legs back to the starting position.
- 4 x 10-12 reps
Hamstring Curls - Lying face down on the machine grip the handles. Curl your legs toward you. Imagine you're trying to touch your glutes with your ankles.
- warmup set of 15-20
- 4 x 10-12 reps
Pendulum Squat - Once in position, place your feet as low as possible on the plate, be sure there is even pressure at bottom of the movement and heels need to remain flat throughout the movement. Then, push the footplate away from you and press your hips into the pad.
- 4 x 10 reps
Smith Machine Split Squat -Set the bar on your upper back. Set up with one leg bent behind you, and the other one in front like with a regular squat. Complete all reps with one leg and then switch to the other.
- 4 x 12 reps
A tip from Dana!
"When you have a greater range of motion than normal, you won't have to use as much weight. I have two quarters on right now and might throw on 20lbs more. That being said, the wide range of motion has my glutes touching the back of my calves."
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