We all want to flaunt a big ol’ set of wheels, but for some reason unbeknownst to you, your quads just won’t grow anymore. Back when you first started training, your body just kept on growing up until a certain point. And now you’re stuck with the same legs of yesteryear. It’s frustrating, I know. Fret not! There is still time to change get your stagnant sticks to grow into tree trunks. After all, what is a good upper body without the legs to match?
We know, nobody likes leg day — it’s plain awful. But in order for your legs to grow you must first welcome it with arms wide open. Follow me as I attempt to educate you in the ways of bigger legs.
1. High Volume Squats
This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of big legs. Guys in the gym think that for them to have big quads they need to squat heavy and with a low amount of reps. This isn’t necessarily true. Sure, you might get stronger, but the improvements in size won’t be all that impressive. To get your quads to grow you need to pump as much blood into them as possible. By doing this you ensure that your quads get the needed nutrients and oxygen needed to nurture the micro tears in your muscles.
Plus, having intense squat sessions also help produce more testosterone.
2. Leg Extensions Don’t Make You Grow
Contrary to popular belief, and by that I mean broscience, the leg extension machine doesn’t make your legs grow. Sorry to disappoint you. I know you’ve been hauling ass on the leg extension machine for the last couple of years. But take a look at your legs, how big are they? Probably not that big, right? That’s because the leg extension is mainly used to carve out the detail of the quads. You can, however, use it to aid in growth by using it to pump as much blood into your legs before moving onto more heavy exercises like squats or leg presses. You could also superset squats / leg presses with the leg extension for the ultimate quad-demolishing leg session.
3. One-point-five Squats
I’m betting that you’ve never heard of this one, have you? Allow me to educate you. This squat is performed just like a normal squat, but instead of coming up all the way, you pause halfway through the motion, drop back down, and then return to the starting position. This is not recommended for the beginner since it’s such an intense exercise. Also, the weight should be lower than what you would normally squat.
4. Half Reps
Not to be confused with the “half squatter.” Half reps, or partial reps, are incomplete repetitions. The idea behind this age-old concept is that by not completing a full rep you are constantly keeping tension on the muscle that is being worked. If you’re stuck in a plateau, try repping the weight only partially and you’ll immediately begin to feel the difference.
5. Change Your Squat Stance
A basic, yet powerful, change to implement when results begin to slow down. By varying your stance you allow for different parts of the quads to do more work. For instance, when you’re squatting with your feet close together, the outer quad will be targeted to a great extent than the inner quad. And a wider stance will incorporate the inner quad / thigh more than it would the outer. Also, placing your feet on a couple of 10-pound plates will make sure that your quadriceps are doing most of the work.
6. Static Lunges
You may be asking yourself “wtf is a static lunge?!” Allow me to iterate: a static lunge is performed by doing a normal lunge, but instead of bringing your front foot back to the starting point, you hold that position and push your body upwards as if returning to the starting point. Basically: lunge, hold that position, move your body up and down, switch legs, don’t die. Got it?
7. Don’t Neglect Your Hamstrings
I see this way too often to feel comfortable about it. Dudes be walking around in the gym with quads of peace but have no meat hanging from the back of their legs. Someone, please explain this ish to me? I’ll let you in on a little secret: stronger hammies equals a heavier squat. Who could’ve seen that one coming? Moving on. I won’t leave you there, though. You may be asking “how do you get your hamstrings all big and stuff?” There are many ways to accomplish this, but the most effective way is by doing some deadlifts. Look at it this way, deadlifts also help the booty grow; strong hammies plus a strong booty equals a powerful set of legs.
8. Don’t Overly Rely on Accessories
I’m not saying to ditch the knee wraps entirely when performing a heavy set of squats, on the contrary. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be wrapping your knees with every pressing exercise you may be performing on leg day. Why? Because in the long run, you might incur some sort of injury as the support muscles become underdeveloped in contrast to the working muscle group. Only when it’s absolutely needed, then go ahead and wrap your knees or strap on that kidney belt.