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Chaos and Pain

  /  tips   /  Pre-Exhaust Your Quads and Hamstrings for More Leg Growth

Pre-Exhaust Your Quads and Hamstrings for More Leg Growth

Ed Shanks

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.

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