To be honest, I pride myself on being half nuts in the gym. My mindset constantly revolves around testing my limits, whether it’s getting ready to lift on the powerlifting platform or just getting as ripped as possible onstage. I’m not here to just hang out or adhere to the norm. There’s nothing that causes me to lose interest quicker than sticking with the status quo and going through the motions.
There is a reason squats are commonly referred to as the King of All Exercises. Simply put, you can’t half-ass it once you get under that bar. If you’re looking to build lower body size and strength, the squat should be the foundation of your program.
Try to avoid lifting your hips, or moving your ankles from plantarflexion into dorsiflexion as both of these modifications will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise on firming your posterior thigh.
The stiff-leg deadlift is an effective basic exercise that has superior effects for firming the erector muscles of the spine. If you do the exercise correctly, the back will become strong and straight, and even the hamstrings will benefit from each repetition.
The lunge exercise strongly activates and imparts explosive power to the gluteal muscles, the hamstring muscles of the posterior thigh and the quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh. It is therefore ideal for providing a base for your improvement on the court, or in the field.
A study from the University of Memphis, led by Brian Schilling and Matt McAllister, showed that the glute-ham raise and Romanian deadlift were the best exercises for activating the hamstring muscles.
Researchers from Gaziosmanpasa University in Turkey found marked differences in the biomechanics and muscle activation during the front and back squat using maximum loads and experienced lifters.
One exercise I started doing recently is Bodyweight Reverse Hamstring Curls. Add this movement into your leg routine and I guarantee you'll notice a difference in your hamstring development.
If you follow me on social media, you find out real quick that I am a full-fledged squat maniac. I squat every single day now and wholeheartedly believe in the benefits, whether it’s simply completing the challenge of it or the noteworthy strength gains I’ve made while getting leaner. But there’s always a way to up the ante, and I’ve tried to find a way to do that— even while maintaining my squat everyday mantra. How have I done it? Pause squats.
We have put together a workout that builds muscle and cuts fat in record time. The 21 Best Lifts workout combines the latest scientific knowledge with “in the trenches” know-how of leading bodybuilders and personal trainers. The program is not for wimps— it will knock your socks off and put you to the test!
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