80% of your body weight is above your waist. What does it
mean? That your legs must be stronger than your upper body to be able to handle the weight of the rest of your body. Ok, so cool, but what does that have to do with training your legs for more size and strength? Everything! Because so much of your body weight is above your waist, it is easy for imbalances to suddenly appear, especially when you are performing bilateral lifts, especially like the
squat. Well, if you want to really get the most growth possible, you should pre-exhaust your quads and hamstrings before you perform any compound movements for your legs.
The Squat is the King of All Exercises
It is no secret that the squat is the king of all exercises.
You work more muscle groups and can handle more weight than with any other exercise. You work your back, your abs, shoulders, hamstrings, quads, calves, feet, gluts, you get the picture.
However, because so many muscle groups are activated during
the squat, it is easy for different muscles, besides your hamstrings and quads, to take over during the lift. The result is that your form deteriorates over time, and the muscles in your legs don’t get evenly activated during the lift. So, how do you fix the problem? By pre-exhausting your quads and hamstrings!
Pre-Exhaustion Movement for Legs
You should now have a better understanding of why using pre-exhaustion movements can result in explosive leg growth. If not, then go back and reread the information above. So, now that you are 100% on board, lets look at the exercises that work the best for pre-exhausting your leg muscles.
And now for the big unveil. Leg curls and leg extensions are
the two best exercises for pre-exhausting your leg muscles. Leg curls will activate and bring more blood to the hamstrings. Your hamstrings will then work more during your squats, thus giving you more balanced leg growth and strength. However, that’s not all.
Leg curls are great, but they are only half of the equation for explosive leg development. The other half is to get the quads ready for your squat sets, of course. And the best exercise for pre-exhausting the quads? Leg extensions! So now you have the formula. Pre-exhaust your legs with leg curls and leg extensions. But how?
The Best way to Pre-Exhaust your Legs
Now on to the best part! The proper way to incorporate leg curls and leg extensions into your leg workouts. We already know that both
exercises are great for making squats and other compound leg exercises more effective, however, what’s the best way to use them?
Supersets. Yep, you heard me, supersets. Perform three quick
supersets (after your warmup) of leg curls and leg extensions before you squat. Start with leg curls, and then immediately perform your leg extensions. Aim for 10-15 reps on each set, of each exercise. Rest 30-45 seconds between supersets.
Always start with leg curls. Most people’s quads are too strong compared to the strength and size of their hamstrings. By working them first, your hamstrings will be slightly more recovered than your quads when you start to squat. They should take more of the load, and again help to strengthen any imbalances you might have between your quads and hamstrings.
Force your Legs to Grow
After your newbie gains wear off, it becomes much harder to build a balanced physique. Improper form leads to muscle imbalances that will halt your strength and size gains faster than a fat kid getting knocked out of a game of dodgeball. Pre-exhausting your muscles is one of the easiest, and most effective ways to break through any plateau and set the stage for continued growth for the rest of your life.