Never skip leg day.
If there’s one thing that almost every bodybuilder hates – it’s leg day. But it’s a very real truth that everyone knows deep down that our legs cannot be ignored. No one wants chicken legs. So this week Fred “Biggie” Smalls is ready to put your legs through hell so there’s no chance that you’ll have scrawny legs holding up that massive upper body. So sit back and get the ultimate tips straight from an IFBB pro and a complete workout breakdown in the video above.
We all love to work our upper bodies, but leg day tends to take a back seat. Having ripped legs may be considered the stuff of legends, but with hard work and a dedicated leg routine, we all can achieve the status of having gigantic legs. Working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are all muscles that complement each other, so the excuses to skip leg day are soon to be no more.
Ways to get your overall leg growth to where you want it starts with the deadlift and squat. As two staple exercises, having proper form is key and poor technique can lead to ineffective muscle building. Another great tip is to use isolated movements as accessory exercises to begin the toning process of your quads and hamstrings. Working unilaterally can also ensure that your dominant side does not remain totally dominant and that both sides feel equal amount of work in your quest for big gains.
Fred “Biggie” Smalls is a former pro bodybuilder who has competed around the world. He has placed in the top three in events like the Arnold Classic Asia and Vancouver Pro, and is a 3-time Arnold Classic best poser. He is now a personal trainer, nutritional consultant, and contest prep coach who works with people to help them stay healthy and fit. His workout routines and tips are great for people to reach their goals.
This leg workout from Smalls is a simple but very effective way to boost overall leg strength and athletic performance. From the front squat, to the leg press, and finally the Bulgarian split squat, your legs will certainly feel a burn after this one. Able to increase balance, aid lower back pain, and support overall muscle growth, leg day is one day in the gym that you cannot afford to skip. Follow Smalls’ helpful hints to elevate your leg day to new heights.
As a good isolation exercise, solid form is key to avoid pain on the front delt, as well as your lower back and knees. Front squats are great for overall leg strength and they will test, as well as build, your flexibility. Sink your hips low, just lower than the top of your knee. With your chest up, push through your heels and control the movement.
How to: Step under the bar and rest it on top of your delts. You can cross your arms if it is a comfortable position for you. Lift the bar off the rack and straighten your torso. With your feet shoulder-width apart, lower so your quads and calves are less than 90 degrees. Ideally, your upper legs will be parallel to the floor. Drive through your feet and return to the starting position.
A great exercise for muscle growth, start with a medium stance, feet around-shoulder width apart. Work to go as deep as possible without your butt rolling up on the seat and your lower back leaving the pad. As the quads fatigue, higher reps or a pause at the bottom will work to hit the hamstrings and glutes. Ideally, you will hit 12 to 15 reps, but rep range is 12 to 30 reps
How to: Sit into the machine with your feet on the platform about shoulder-width apart. The starting position will be the platform released from the safety hinges and your legs fully extended. On an inhale, lower the platform to a 90-degree angle, and once at the bottom, you can hold for a brief pause. Using your quads, drive the platform back to the starting position and reset for your desired number of reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
A fantastic exercise for your quads and glutes, the Bulgarian split squat will focus on the muscles being worked with a controlled tempo. Find a point on the wall for balance, keep your chest up, and don’t drop your shoulders. Using dumbbells as opposed to the smith machine allows for more work on the stabilizing muscles. This exercise is great for improving balance, reducing lower back pain, and aiding in overall leg growth.
How to: Start with one foot elevated on a bench while keeping a forward position with your front foot. Your hands can be wherever is comfortable for you. Bracing your core, gently lower into a lunge position and make sure your front knee is in line with your front foot. Drive into your heel and push with the front leg until it is extended back to the starting position.
Leg day is a must no matter how much we don’t want to do it. A big upper body is useless without the balance of an equally strong lower body. By mastering specific exercises for growth, working on isolation accessory exercises, and incorporating more unilateral movements, your legs will surely see muscle growth and you will no longer despise leg day. Fred Smalls walks us through a great leg day workout to put into your schedule that is simple, quick, and effective to really give your lower body a burn it desperately needs.
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