The Ultimate Exercises for Quads and Hamstrings
There’s something intrinsically poignant about the idea of pursuing the ultimate of something?whether you’re hoping to achieve the ultimate legs, or the ultimate bacon sandwich. Chasing something that seems unattainable to others can drive us to work harder, sacrifice more, and suffer for longer. There are hundreds and thousands of men out there wishing every day to have more attractive legs?something more attractive than scarecrow pins.
However, you don’t generally get what you wish for?you get what you train for. To get the most out of your leg days, you need a combination of the right attitude, and the right exercises. These are some of the best moves that you can do to put pressure on your hams and quads, and build sexier legs.
By now, you’ve probably had the concept of squats mentioned to you time and time again. They seem to have rocketed out of general obscurity a couple of years ago, to become one of the most popular forms of exercise in gyms and home living rooms throughout the world.
Just about every study that has been conducted in regards to squats has effectively confirmed just how efficient they are at honing athletic strength, size, and transference. Of course, getting the most out of your legs?just like getting the most out of any part of your body, will require a full range of motion.
After you have taken the time to safely warm up your muscles, squat for around fifteen minutes, using a weight that you feel comfortable with. For the first set, don’t do any more than ten reps. Repeat the process for the full fifteen minutes, using the same weight.
2. Leg Curl, Romanian Deadlift, and Glute-Ham Raise
The hamstrings are the parts in your legs that deal with two specific major functions: extension of the hips and flexing the knee. Romanian deadlifts are exercises that work primarily towards improving hip extension, whereas leg curls strengthen your knees, and the glute-ham raise does enough to enhance both motions in a single exercise.
The hamstrings are made up largely of what is called “fast-twitch” muscle – the kind of muscle that responds best to low reps. That is why a lot of bodybuilders actually struggle in building their hamstring, compared to building their quads. Typically, the best hamstrings can be found on sprinters and Olympic lifters who train more commonly in short bursts.
Getting involved with all three exercises in this set is a marvelous way to improve your legs significantly, but don’t forget to give yourself the time that you need to recover. Rest for ten seconds between each exercise, and this set will work by attacking your hamstrings into a fatigue state. Each set should contain six revs, and you should take at least two minutes of rest between each set, concluding with three in total. Each one should be as punishing as possible if you want to maintain a really great form.
3. Dumbbell High Pull
Start by placing your feet just a little more than a shoulder-width apart, while holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Fall into a squat position, allowing the dumbbell to move to the floor between your knees, then jump up and pull the weight back to shoulder height with the force you generate using your legs. Make sure that you land softly, then carefully move back into your starting position.
Be careful with this motion, as although you will need to be enthusiastic in your exercise routine, being too vicious can end up causing injuries.
4. Step Downs
Start off by balancing on your right or left leg on a bench or stool. Make sure that the stool you choose is perfectly stable before you try this. Then, squat down carefully with that leg, as low as you can manage without falling, reaching out in front of you with the opposite foot and extending your arms overhead. Come out of the squat as quickly as you can without knocking the stool out from beneath you, then squat again, putting your foot out to the side as far as possible. Finally, squat a third time, and extend your other leg behind you.
5. Speed Lunges
Shuffle your body two steps towards the left, then bend your knee so that your left hand can touch the ground on the outside of your left foot. Keeping fast with your motions, jump up, shuffle back to the right, and bend the knee again, touching the floor with your right hand outside of your right foot. Perform the same motion several times. Avoid touching the floor at all by using dumbbells.
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About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.