Tuesday, March 6, 2012

All About Leg Exercises and Tips for Building Massive Leg Muscles without the Squat

What kind of leg exercises you do will, of course, depend on your goal. Are you trying to build massive thighs or heart-shaped calves? Do you want to build strength, increase running endurance or improve balance and flexibility? Are you a weight-lifter, a jogger or a ballerina? Naturally, not all goals are mutually exclusive. Building strength can combine well with improving balance, for example. Having toned, strong leg muscles helps keep joints stable and improves appearance. Remember that any strenuous exercise should be done only after a warm-up period that includes stretching. 


jojopig.comOne of the best exercises for toning and strengthening leg muscles is 'spinning', using a stationary bike. Using an ordinary bicycle is good too, but the exercise is less controllable and involves a lot of other muscle groups. A 15-minute spin will help tone the calves, hamstrings and quads, improve joint flexibility and (sometimes) reduce cellulite and fat. It's also a great cardiovascular activity so you get two for the price of one when you spin.  

Knee Exercises  

If you want something a little less vigorous, say you only want to help strengthen the knee, here are a couple of options. This first one is really good for those who suffer from conditions such as chondromalacia patella. That's a roughening of the cartilage underneath the knee cap, sometimes as the result of the bones not sitting properly in the 'V' of the knee joint. Sit in a chair, back straight but not tensed. Your leg should be bent at 90 degrees, the thigh parallel to the ground, the lower leg vertical. Tense the thigh, hold for 5 seconds then release. Switch legs and repeat. Do 10 reps for each leg. Easy, huh!  

Be sure to breathe normally during the exercise. Another exercise does a little more to build strength in the muscles that control bending at the knee. Sit up straight and breathe normally, then cross your legs at the ankle. Push forward with the rear leg and back with the front leg. (A little tricky at first, but think about it!) Switch legs by reversing the direction of the cross. If the right leg was in front, move it to the rear. Repeat the exercise 10 times for each position.  

Calf Burns 

Now for something a little more strenuous. Depending on your balance and the surface you're standing on, you may need to do this on a mat or carpet, or on a wooden floor. Avoid using a cement or metal floor. Stand up straight, heels together, toes slightly apart. Make sure you are wellbalanced.

Lift the heels, balancing on the balls of your feet. Imagine a string attached to the center of your head pulling you up. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower slowly. Repeat 10 times. Over time, as you build strength and balance, increase the length of time you're on the balls of the feet.  

Vary the action by bending slightly at the knee while you still have the heels raised. This will bring the thighs (quadriceps or 'quads' and hamstrings) as well as the buttocks into play. Straighten up, then lower the heels. Repeat 10 times. Among the many health benefits of strong, flexible legs there is one that is especially important for the older crowd. Many falls lead to broken hips, one of the leading causes of severe health problems for the elderly. A long-term practice of keeping the legs in shape will help prevent this later in life. Aditi Miscall is a Independent SUZANNE Sales Consultant and the owner of

Building Massive Leg Muscles without the Squat 

jojopig.comThe squat is considered the king of all exercises when it comes to building muscle. When done correctly with heavy weights and for the right amount of reps usually 8 to 12, it is the most effective growth producing exercise you can do, along with the dead lift and very heavy presses. If you are on a musclebuilding routine that does not involve the squat then you are not really on a muscle-building routine. So is there anything
else you can do if you just do not want to squat or you simply don't like the exercise? Can you still build massive legs without the squat? Yes you
can but you will still need to work as hard and sometimes even harder if you are not squatting. There is no getting around the hard work for massive legs.

If you want to avoid the squat and still build up those legs, here's what you can do: 
Start doing giant sets as your leg routine using the leg press. Here's a giant set leg routine:  

Leg extensions 1 set 12 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Curl 1 set 12 reps 1-minute rest.

Standing Calf raises 1 set 12 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Press 1 set 12 reps 5 minutes rest.  

Leg extensions 1 set 10 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Curl 1 set 10 reps 1 minute rest.

Standing Calf raises 1 set 10 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Press 1 set 10 reps 5 minutes rest.  

Leg extensions 1 set 8 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Curl 1 set 8 reps 1 minute rest.

Standing Calf raises 1 set 8 reps 1-minute rest. Leg Press 1 set 8 reps 5 minutes rest.  

jojopig.comThings to remember: Warm up sets for the above are not included. On your 12 rep sets you should be able to get 12 without much difficulty. On your 10 rep sets you should just about be able to get 10, maybe 11 if you wanted to. On your 8 rep sets you should only be able to get 8 reps. The Weight should be heavy enough to allow only 8 reps. These are the sets that will induce the most muscle growth if done correctly. You should not be able to get 9 and 10 reps, but on those 8 rep sets you should always be pushing to get as many reps as you can. If you find yourself able to get more than 8 reps then you need to increase the weight for next time and continue to push for more than 8 reps increasing the weight again until you absolutely cannot get more than 8 reps for those muscle building sets. You must keep in mind that it is the 8 rep sets that are the muscle builders and give an all out effort to get those 8 reps and to go beyond 8 to see if the weight is really heavy enough. If you do decide to attempt the above you should get the go ahead from your GP or Health Practitioner before doing so. There are many reasons why some people avoid doing the squat when it comes to muscle building routines. Some people have lower back trouble, some people believe they are too tall for squats and some just don't want to bother with the squat because it's just too stressing for them. The Squat continues to reign as the king of all exercises for massive muscle building, but at least now you know that there is a way around it, and that is to pre-exhaust the thighs, hamstrings and calves before the mass building leg press. Just like the giant set routine above. Yes you can build Massive Legs without the Squat.


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