The one key element to developing your quads

It’s not uncommon to walk into any gym around the world and see physiques with more upper body development than lower body development. In fact it’s the norm. Why? Two reasons: Legs put great physical demands on your body so people don’t train them as hard or put the required time into developing them properly. The second reason is poor form will produce zero results. Certain body parts can be trained with poor form and results will still come but legs on the other hand tend not to be so forgiving. For example, If you push through the balls of your feet, your knees and not your quads will take the brunt of the load. Lacking sufficient depth in your leg training is the major problem though. I only say that because pushing through your heels is the pure basics of leg training. Although after spending 20 years training in commercial gyms a good percentage of people unfortunately fail to understand the pure basics of leg training. Of course this can also come about by trying to use too much weight. You know the guy who loads 20 or so plates on the leg press and then manages to move the weight just 3 or 4 inches and all of those reps are done pushing through the balls of the feet. Next comes some half range leg extensions and is there any wonder those legs are still looking exactly the same two years down the track? OK I’m done with the sarcasm – but when your physique shows no change year after year, presume there is something wrong. Going back to the 20 plus plates on the leg press just for a minute there’s a good chance there’s some very good forearm development happening with all the loading and unloading  of those plates so not all is lost right!? OK this time I’m done with the sarcasm! I just had to get it out of my system once and for all! What we all need to understand is everything comes in good time with hard work and patience. You need patience when developing the quads or any muscle group, if you try and fast track too quickly with too much weight your form will suffer and so in turn will your physique. Strength doesn’t come overnight it comes with week in week out consistency 52 weeks of the year.
Ok so we know pushing through the heels of the feet is a must whether we are leg pressing squatting or lunging, this is the most basic principle when it comes to training your quads. Now let’s talk about developing your quads, the one key element is depth. Ass to the floor when squatting is the meat and potatoes of developing the quads. One problem – This I know for sure. We aren’t all made to squat ass to the floor. It’s a problem I see in gyms. If you can squat ass to the floor without rounding you back out at the bottom you’re on your way to superior quad development. On the other hand if you are squatting ass to the floor and you are rounding your back out at the bottom, you’re asking for lower back disc trouble down the track. If you think you’re invincible and this wont happen to you, unfortunately you’re wrong. So what are your options? You basically have two options: the first is squat on a smith machine. When you are squatting on a smith machine you can move your feet forward and this will enable you to squat a lot lower, the one negative is it will take your glutes out of play to a large degree. Your second and best option by far in my opinion, is to squat on a hack squat machine. A hack squat machine is made to let you squat rock bottom there’s also a lot of hamstring and glutes involved. Your back is supported by a back rest so your lower back is safe or at least a lot safer on this machine. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t take advantage of the hack squat machine correctly, they only go halfway down which is a waste of time, remember a hack squat machine is made so that you can get right down rock bottom with your back supported in a safe position. The other issue is too much weight, so that you cannot get right down and then to make it worse going through the balls of your feet and once again using the knees for the brunt of the load.
Summing up: Always push through the heels of your feet when training quads. Keep your abs braced. If you can’t free weight squat ass to the floor without rounding your back out at the bottom either use a smith machine with you feet in front of your body or preferably use a hack squat machine so that you can squat right down to the bottom.

If your legs are not developed as you would like or you lack confidence training them I can help you make the changes you are hoping for. Contact me to make an appointment at:
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