BUILDING BIG LEGS

Three exercises to pack size on your legs
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Begin with leg extensions to warm up the thighs for the heavy-duty compound movements to come. Most people make the mistake of starting their leg routine with squats, which ends up placing too much pressure on the knees. Another important thing to remember is to never rush your workout. Take the time you need to warm up your muscles for optimal gains in size and quality.

Do a light warm-up set of 15 leg extensions, before two working sets of eight to 10 reps. Pause for a count of one at the top of the movement, and don't let the weight drop as you return to the starting position. The goal is to maintain continuous tension throughout the full range of motion.

Leg presses are next on the agenda. Even after leg extensions, the knees are not ready to handle heavy squats. Either the vertical leg press or the standing 45-degree leg press will get the job done. The vertical leg press is a favorite since you get a better feel for the movement. Unfortunately, many gyms no longer have this machine since many of them are now "fitness facilities" or something of that (weaker) nature.

With either leg-press machine, do a warm-up set of 12 reps, followed by three working sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Finish with the good ol' fashioned squats. Your legs are warmed up and ready for this leader of mass building. Don't expect to max out on the weight, as your quads will be somewhat fatigued from the leg extensions and leg presses. And it's no wonder because you should pyramid the weight for all of these exercises, using progressively heavier poundage for each set.

If you can usually squat 400 pounds, don't expect to move more than 300 during this routine. Work your way up to the top of the pyramid. We can assure you that 300 pounds will feel like a ton after all those leg extensions and presses.

Do one warm-up set of 12 reps and then two or three working sets of eight to 10 reps.

If you can do more than one day per week on thigh training, then congratulations, you are a god. But normally, that's all it takes to build those trunks to a massive size. As long as you're doing the exercises correctly, and training heavy, that's all you'll need.

FLEX FORUMS: Discuss your leg exercises with fellow bodybuilders.

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