Are squats necessary to build massive legs?

STRAIGHT FACTS WITH JERRY BRAINUM – is an in depth exploration of the more complicated elements behind bodybuilding training, nutrition, and supplements. Hosted by legendary and longtime industry expert, Jerry Brainum, Straight Facts answers user questions so no one is left in the dark.

For as long as bodybuilding has existed, squats have been seen as a key exercise and essential for serious leg development. But as science and technology has progressed – many have been worried or intimidated by the squat. This is mostly due to fear of knee or back injuries. These are things to truly be careful about – but much of the information regarding squats and knee injury is over exaggerated or even completely misinformed. That’s why Jerry Brainum is coming in with the Straight Facts so you know exactly how much, if any, damage squats can cause to your knees… and how alternate methods compare to the classic squat when it comes to building massive and conditioned legs.

Check out the full episode above!

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Haven’t clicked on the article but the only people I’ve seen have big legs and not squat are the folks who end up doing 500 different exercises to make up for what they could do by squatting.

  2. So much is genetics, you think David Henry and Johnie Jackson don’t do heavy squats but they still have lagging legs. If your legs have a propensity to grow then they will in the leg press as well as the squat rack, if not you better do everything under the sun to get those gains.

    • True but a lot also depends on steroid use. The main purpose of squats, deadlifts and bench isn’t to target a specific muscle group. They’re proven to stimulate production of testosterone because you move heavy weights and put stress on the entire body.
      Squats aren’t the most effective leg exercise, deadlifts aren’t the most efffective back exercise, bench isn’t the most effective chest exercise so you’ll find a lot of pros who don’t do any of them, but the pros are getting their testosterone from steroid use so what works for them won’t necessarily work for someone not using (unless you’re genetically blessed anyway).

  3. Strictly speaking no, but it’s complicated and why overcomplicate things just because you can’t be bothered to do a difficult exercise?
    I’d say you’re more likely to injure your knees if you don’t do them. Leg extensions put more stress on the knees than squats, half squats put way more stress on the knees because you’re extending the leg again from a totally unnatural half bent position and a lot of people don’t support their back properly when doing leg presses (any of these exercises done properly and with appropriate weight can be safe but there’s no more risk doing squats than any of the alternatives that people try to tell you are safer).

    Why exercise at all if you only want to do the easy stuff and can’t be bothered to squat?

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