Huge quads used to make you stand out onstage. But today impressive leg development is commonplace. This situation might lead some to believe that building the quads is easy. Not true—in fact, legs require more work than upper-body muscle groups because of the constant use of the legs during everyday activity. Squats are a great exercise for building big legs, but to really focus on each rep, I prefer leg presses. Reducing the strain on the spine and upper body makes for a more controlled, though just as intense, leg-training experience. When performing leg presses, vary the foot position from narrow to wide. This can be done within one workout or every other workout. As with squats, watch that the knees do not extend too far over the toes at the bottom of the movement. If they do, position the feet higher on the platform.
Smith machine squats, one-leg split squats.
WHEN IT’S TIME TO PRESS
Leg presses can be done either before isolation work or after. Just make sure that the knees are sufficiently warmed up. If done properly, your quads should be completely spent after leg presses, so plan accordingly.
FORM AND FUNCTION
The quadriceps have two origins: the proximal portion of the femur and the anterior inferior iliac spine of the pelvis. The function of the quadriceps is to extend the knee and ex the hip.
BACK-TO-BASICS LEG WORKOUT
- Leg Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12-15
- Seated Leg Curl | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12-15
- Leg Press | SETS: 5 | REPS: 10-15