How to pump quadriceps? Methodology and review of the best exercises.
Quadriceps (quadriceps femoris) – is a large and strong muscle that plays the role of the main extensor of the knee joint. Since the main load of the body weight is on the knee joint, quadriceps is the main muscle of the lower extremities. If the development of this muscle was weak, a person simply would not have an upright posture.
The quadriceps muscle itself consists of the following parts: straight, internal, external and middle. Despite this, the load during the exercise lies entirely on the entire muscle.
See the main article, “Anatomy of the Quadriceps.”
Biomechanics of quadriceps
The quadriceps femoris muscle is attached to the tibia through the ligament of the patella. The muscle performs 2 functions: static and dynamic.
The static function is to prevent knee jerking while standing.
Dynamic – in maintaining the stability of the knee during running and jumping.
The peculiarity of the quadriceps is that it consists of two types of muscle fibers: slow and fast. At the same time, slow fibers predominate in those parts of the muscle that are aimed at providing a static load, fast ones – in those that are responsible for elasticity. Naturally, the ratio of slow and fast fibers for each person is determined individually, therefore, to achieve good results in pumping the quadriceps, you need to know which one prevails among you.
So, for example, people who are mainly involved in athletics and game sports have mostly slow fibers.
Let’s analyze the exercises that will help you pump up the quadriceps.
There is an opinion that squats with a barbell are the main basic exercise for pumping huge legs. It is difficult to argue with this, but often with long-term performance of this exercise, hypertrophy undergoes major and minor gluteal muscles, and sometimes the long head of the biceps of the thigh. As a result, you get huge muscle pillars that look more like a fat man’s legs than an athlete’s legs.
The reason for this is that the effectiveness of performing squats also depends on the ratio of the length of the body and limbs of the athlete. If the thigh is long, then you will involuntarily tilt the body forward, overloading the muscles of the lower back. Many athletes often use too much working weight, including the buttocks, not the thigh muscles, in their work. This error is most common and makes squats useless. To solve this problem and ensure balanced development of the leg muscles, periodically practice squats with a barbell on the chest. Such a technique of execution will save you from using excessive working weights and make the load aim to go to the right places.
Squats in the hack simulator
This type of squats is a great alternative to classic squats. Here, the load on the lower back is minimal, and when changing the position of the feet, quadriceps can be loaded in different ways. The quadriceps will receive maximum load if you do not put your legs forward, but place your feet close to each other. Tighten your abs muscles statically to avoid dislodging your pelvis and keeping your spine in a stable position.
This exercise should be used by those athletes for whom the gym is not their main training place. When doing squats with dumbbells, weights can be held both along the body and on raised arms near the shoulders (as when doing a shoulder press).
This exercise loads the quadriceps only when the feet are close to each other (no more than 10 cm) and are shifted to the lower edge of the platform. In this case, it will not work to lower the platform deeply, but this is not required. The main phase of movement is in the upper part. Try not to relax the quadriceps below and do not unbend it completely at the top. Firstly, it is harmful to the knee joint, and secondly, it makes the muscle relax. It must be remembered that your main task is not to squeeze weight at all costs, but to try to extend your knees.
It would seem that we know everything about this exercise. However, we will perform it in a manner not entirely characteristic of this exercise. The approach will be performed with each foot in turn. At the same time, do not drop weight at the lower point, and do not fully extend the leg at the upper point. Regarding the range of repetitions, as mentioned above, most athletes are dominated by slow fibers, so the optimal number of repetitions will be from 10 to 15.
This exercise also shakes the quadriceps femoris muscle perfectly. You can do it not for repetition, but for the distance traveled.
Frequency and intensity of quadriceps training
In general, the number of approaches and repetitions depends on what kind of muscle fibers prevail in the muscle. If you have an overwhelming amount of slow fibers, then swing the quadriceps every fourth day, periodically changing exercises: for example, leg press and lunges, squats with dumbbells and leg extension while sitting. This technique is justified not only from a physiological point of view, but also allows you to fully implement the principle of specialization.
By the way, the result of such a training will be visible in a month. Your legs will begin to gain muscle in those places where you need to.