powerlifter, he may be sabotaging his own progress. Let’s examine why.
The squat is a compound movement which involves many muscle group besides the quadriceps. The hamstrings, glutes, hips, calves, and back all contribute to this movement. This makes it a great movement for overall growth. However, it also leads to some problems when, due to genetics or lifting style, these supporting muscle groups absorb too much of the brunt of the work. Sometimes, people develop great glutes and hamstrings, but their lifting style prevents the thighs from become all that involved in the lift. When this occurs, the bodybuilder must recognize this shortcoming, and work to pre-exhaust the thighs with isolation movements before moving on to the mass building, compound movements. Essentially, he will be reversing his workout. It would look something like this.
- Leg Extensions = 4 sets x 12 – 20 repetitions
- Dumbbell Lunges = 4 sets x 10 – 12 repetitions
- Leg Press = 5 sets x 8 – 10 repetitions
- Barbell Squats = 5 sets x 8 – 12 repetitions
A simplified version of this front thigh per-exhaust routine involves simply placing a movement such as leg extensions at the front of your thigh workout. You’ll still be able to complete the barbell squats when you’re near your strongest point, which will bode well for those “power-builders”, trainers who care about both size and strength. As long as you find ways to stimulate the front thigh muscles individually, before you employ the larger compound movements, you’ll find success.