Training legs and buttocks: general principles

How it all began

When I first started training, I worked with ridiculously small weights. I did not know about bodybuilding almost nothing, and exercise seemed to me quite easy and enjoyable. By the way, originally quadriceps muscles were the only group that is viewed on my puny body was still relatively bearable; their background skinny arms and the beginnings of deltas looked very sorry.

After six months of training, I shook free kicks more than 100 kg and therefore naively believed that the squat, holding "sotochku" on his shoulders - the same trifling matter. It is noticed my partner for training and decided to make a joke with me, the more that make fun of the other in our poor "rocking" is perhaps the sign of a good tone.

"If you want, I'll show you a really cool exercise?" - Once he asked. I was curious, and a minute later I staggered and already starting to suspect something was wrong, standing under a barbell weighing 100 kg. Griffin stared at my trapeze, I thought, just before the meat pushing through the skin, dark eyes, but to lose face in front of the whole gym was somehow not a man, especially after I was told that this exercise " even with the weight of the girls is easy to do. " A friend advised me to squat as deeply as possible, while keeping your back straight, and do at least 15 reps.According to him, for the first sit-ups in his life that was exactly what you need. On the eighth repetition I have everything in sight swam and spun like on the carousel, in the legs appeared incredible weakness - they trembled as slender twigs in the wind, I felt suffocated and fall. My partner ruthless haste to help me, supported me from behind and offered to sit down again 10-15 with its help. That guy was not the coach and had no idea about such things as "a gradual build-up of stress" and "safety", but had expressed sadistic. Approach went on and on, and I soon began to literally call for help, begging someone to save me from the clutches of the executioner. My friend barely brought me to the rack, and at the third attempt we somehow hoisted this painful stokilogrammovye shell back on the rack. Then my legs gave way and I fell to the floor, writhing in pain.Lungs burning, I gasped, as if the hundred-meter race ran with weights in his hands, his feet became wadded and cramped. But at that moment I could not imagine that the main "gift" is waiting for me the next day - I literally could not stand up. It also continued through the day, and another, and so, at least 5 days in a row!

I have trained legs for six months, and 3 times a week, but after one set of deep squats turned out that I like for the first time to "pump" the lower part of his body. It is not "quads", and "lower body". It hurt all! The next day, after exercise showed a completely new muscle, which made themselves felt incredible pain - buttocks, thighs, and some "mezhdunozhnye"; choir "they sang," a shrill hymn squats.

I learned this lesson and understand why some exercises (squats, leg presses, lunges with a barbell on your shoulders) are called "heavy artillery bodybuilding", while the other (abduction feet away, swings back and leg extension seated) are considered only " something like a light masturbation. " Since then, 18 years have passed, and even 4 sets of squats with a maximum weight can no longer truly shock my quads. But in my room still come people who do not have any idea about the correct workout legs. They are something, and I want to help.


Before proceeding to a further conversation, we find out what are our feet in terms of anatomy and biomechanics.

The front of the thigh

The main muscle of the front of the thigh - the quadriceps (. M quadriceps femoris, quadriceps), the largest and strongest muscle, the main rectifier (extensor) of the knee. Quadriceps femoris consists of direct (m. Rectus femoris), internal (vastus medialis), external (lateralis) and secondary (intermedius) thigh muscles. However, in the training process of this division has no effect - burden placed on the quadriceps as a whole.

In muscle two functions: static and dynamic. Static is to prevent topping knees while standing, dynamic - in a vigorous straightening the knees, such as running and jumping. Already you can imagine about what exercises you need to perform in order to load the quadriceps.

Feature quadriceps is that it is almost always consist of two types of muscle fibers: a structure responsible for elasticity consists essentially bystrosokraschayuschihsya fiber, and the remaining three parts ( "engaged" are usually static) predominate "slow" fibers.

Of course, each person is their relationship, so for best results you need to know that it dominates you. My experience is that people who are not engaged in athletics (high-speed modes), playing sports, weightlifting, most are owners of "slow" fibers.

To the front of the group also includes sartorius - the longest arm of the human body. Sartorius produces hip flexion, and flexion of the tibia. Having multiple helical course, not only the sartorius flexes the hip, but supiniruet it. This muscle is clearly visible under the skin all over with the folded, retracted and supine hip, as well as straightened shins.

Value has also long for us, a short and a large adductor muscles. The function of the first is to bring the thigh, the second - in the reduction and partly flexing the hip. Finally, the third not only results in the thigh, but also plays a significant role in the extension of the thigh or pelvis in relation to the thigh.


The most important muscle hamstring - biceps (m biceps femoris.). This muscle helps in straightening the legs, flexes and rotates the lower leg bent her knee out. Also located Femur semitendinosus muscle, and semimembranous.

hamstring muscles are muscle type, which are often shortened. With the aid of a simple exercise you can diagnose your existing shortening. The ability to stretch is considered sufficient, if you can, lying on your back, lift the leg to 90 degrees up and lock it in this position without any pain. If you do it does not work, you should work on stretching.

The main burden hamstring received while running, specifically - when sprinting. This is why the athletes involved in the smooth running and running with obstacles, often get sprains and tears of the biceps.

Also, the danger lies in the uneven development of the muscles of the front and back of the thigh. Often this happens because of past activities any sports. You can be sure that you have the balance shifted toward the quadriceps, if you often play football or practice jumps. Conversely, hamstrings stronger if you run short distances. Naturally, the imbalance can earn and at the gym.

gluteal muscle

This group includes large, medium and small gluteal muscles. View buttocks, mainly determined by the development of the first of them.

The gluteus maximus (m gluteus maximus.) - The largest of the three gluteal muscles, has a diamond-shaped, flattened shape. This is one of the most powerful muscle of the human body, it extends the number of turns and the outside thigh, torso straightens and fixes.

Gluteus medius muscle (m. Gluteus medius) is located under the gluteus maximus. Participates in lead hip, with a fixed position thigh diverts towards the pelvis. Straightens the bent forward torso while standing torso tilts in their favor. The front beams rotate the thigh muscles inside rear - out.

Gluteus minimus muscle (m. Gluteus minimus), the deepest of the three, is also involved in the abduction hip and straightening the body.

Wrong attitude toward the legs workout for beginners

Usually, beginners can not improve your figure, because they misunderstand the method of lower body training - or rather, not even aware of its existence. Let's start with the analysis of typical errors.

The typical "male" error

Representatives of the "strong" half of humanity, has recently started attending gyms, divided approximately equally into two categories - "realists" and "optimists". "Optimists" sincerely believe that the legs can not just train, "because sometimes I run." "Realists" are not as naive as they already understand that foot without full training will look shabby, and therefore follow the "brilliant" plan - "I wear long shorts on the beach, and my shame will remain my little secret." Well, talking to a girl, you can divert her attention from the legs, sticks and flabby buttocks powerful biceps and broad shoulders.

For some reason, most men think that to become handsome as possible, only pumped biceps and chest, and work on the feet is not obligatory. But women are completely different opinion on the results of my survey, more than just a man (if we talk about the physical qualities), they appreciate the relief press, in second place - inflated gluteal muscles, the third - the broad shoulders and beautiful hands occupied only the fourth place! About breast lovely lady and did not mention, so as favorite bench presses men can safely postpone the end of the workout.

Acquire normal legs and glutes is quite real - it's not a hard and sad thing, as it seems at first glance. Pursuing program recommended in this book, doing leg presses or squats in the best for their individual situation of the art, giving it just one hour per week and gradually increasing the weight of the work, you are sure to build a normal "down", which will add proportionality your figure.

In addition, the legs are the foundation for training the upper body. Not having developed the legs, you will not be able to perform standing presses with more weight, hyperextension and deadlift; even in the bench barbell or dumbbells lying legs take an active part. Finally, one more thing: during leg workout - especially when performing squats - a large burden placed on the press, which leads to its accelerated development. A relief press ... see above.

Little Women Misconceptions

Women, unlike men, love to train legs, want to train legs - they are willing to pay attention to them almost every day. But at the same time prefer the easiest, "nenapryazhno" exercises - virtually their entire training program may consist of leads and information performed in addition to a completely negligible weight.

In fact, the fair sex is not to train the legs more often 2-3 times a week (maybe even less), but at the same time to carry out more effective exercises - squats, leg presses, "dead" thrust attacks.

Next misleading girls: they believe that the large weight they are contraindicated. But gluteal muscles just need large scale! Of course, to start with a huge complication is not necessary - it can only hurt, but gradually operating weight should be increased. The leg press is necessary to go to the level of 100 kg, 40-50 kg in the deadlift sumo - these are normal weight will help to work out your glutes.

Someone might say: why, they say, I'm strong glutes? But if you simply lose weight, not while strengthening muscles, your buttocks are thin and flabby. Is it beautiful?

Girls believe that performing mahi, they burn fat is in the right places. But local fat burning does not exist (this rule has only one exception - the breast), in order to burn fat started normally, you need to increase the most energy-intensive part of the body, namely the muscle.

Train feet from the point of view of competitive bodybuilding

In the modern bodybuilding massive and "cut" the thigh, along with developed delts and lats muscles are the main conditions for success. In recent years, in the professional bodybuilding was a certain reappraisal of values: if earlier, the focus all drawn on his chest and biceps, but now, in the first place, estimated the overall picture, which is set deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and, of course, feet.

Legendary Tom Platz initially called "a huge closet with no legs." Everyone on the surprise after some time he was "pumped" themselves simply frightening, supermassive quadriceps and went down in history just as "Mr. Foot." Alas, in those days, the judge did not encourage such accents in body proportions, for which Tom was just a weird type with overdevelopment feet. Another matter now if the current judges are judged, for example, participants of the "Olympia" in 1979, then Platz instantly be migrated from eleventh place on the first, easily overthrown from the top of Frank Zane.

I do not encourage you to try to build huge legs, like is anavar legal professional athletes - I just want to draw your attention to the fact that the development of the feet will help you gain a much more proportional figure that would look equally attractive on that podium that at the beach. And here may be useful experience of the training legs famous athletes, past and present.

However, blindly copy the approach to training of experienced athletes not worth it. Some well-known bodybuilders competitive level, such as Sergei Yatsyuk, conducting training, start it with the hip flexors and extensors end, but it does not mean that you need to do the same. If you fall behind quads, start training with the hamstring will be incorrect. Another example mentioned above Tom Platz "rocked" the thigh is extremely intense; repeat his training beyond the power of even the most experienced athlete (Chris Cormier, for example, suffered a fiasco in this regard), not to mention the ordinary visitor to the gym.

It's funny that almost all the "pros" love to invent about huge job weights and their fantastically intense "leg" of training. That's what I was talking about his leg workout famous Ukrainian athlete: "I like intensive training, my standard rest between sets - 45 seconds. But training quadriceps - the exception, exercise is too heavy, so the pause between sets may be increased to one and a half minutes. After experimenting with a number of repetitions, I realized that in my case the maximum weight allowed mnogopovtornye sets - no less than 15-20 repetitions, regardless of the choice of exercise and stress. My best result in squats - 15 reps with a weight of 240 kg. "

Of course, this story - it's a great exaggeration of its possibilities when performing squats with a weight of 240 kg for 15 reps rest between sets, even the participants 'Olympia' lasts for 5 minutes or more. Speech about how to overcome such weight and repetition with the rest of 90, and even more - 45 seconds, and can not be.

Train feet from the point of view of Yuri Spasokukotsky techniques

Overall strategy

To begin with talk about the general principles, we develop a strategy for training. It can be like that.

  1. Preparatory stage: strengthening ligaments and muscular system, the development of technology with small weights. First of all, we are talking about strengthening the knee joint - plunging in feet without training, you can get seriously injured. You also need to strengthen the abdominal muscles and back muscles oblong.
  2. "advanced" stage: increased power performance in selected exercises and optimal technique. At this stage, you need to decide on your goal and pick up necessary for its implementation exercise. For example, the leg press with a high of foot, if we're talking about a girl who needs superrezultat in the development of the gluteal muscles. Or partial squats or bench with partial amplitude and the average staging feet if you want to evenly develop all the muscles for the purpose of gaining athletic proportions, taking into account available. Determined - is necessary to begin work on the development of security indicators.
  3. "Superprodvinuty" stage: working weight are so great that their increase is fraught with the possibility of injury, so we add in the training program of a method such as pre-fatigue, working in mnogopovtornom mode, put the emphasis on the negative phase of the movement.

Main nuances of technique when training legs

  1. Adjust the range of motion: force working on the development of indicators, both men and women should avoid the maximum amplitude of movement in traumatic exercise. We must remember that the muscles are injured more often at the point of maximum tension, ie, doing leg press, it is not necessary to lower the platform below the angle of 90 degrees (the angle between the femur and tibia). The squat and especially zhimah avoid fully extended legs.
  2. Stir in the negative phase - in leg press, squats that - should be slower. It should be understood that with the rapid descent down the projectile, he will receive a significant acceleration, that is, our ligaments and joints will get a heavy load at the point of stopping the projectile. Raising the projectile should always be a powerful force - in the "explosive" style.
  3. Proper positioning of the feet - it is important first of all for women, but it is worth paying attention to it and men. Position the legs when the legs presses or squats depends on what kind of development the muscle group you wish to give priority.
  4. Extreme caution exercise, in which the knees are displayed ahead - in order to avoid injuries of the knee joint. When performing these exercises is required to apply the principle of pre-fatigue; Training is carried out only in mnogopovtornom mode with low weight.
  5. At the beginning of each leg workout I recommend doing leg extensions. I did not understand the past, why should this exercise, but over time - with the growth of the working scales and found pain in the knee joints - realized that the front squats or zhimom feet, especially if they are carried out with an emphasis on the quadriceps, it is necessary to warm up the legs with using extension. If you are afraid that the extension of the implementation will affect your power rates in subsequent exercises, perform them with no maximum weight and not to failure.

training beginners

The objective of the initial phase of the training is to strengthen the muscular system - especially with respect to the lower back muscles and the press. I draw your attention to the fact that at this stage it is not recommended to perform hyperextension, even without the additional complications: starting with this exercise - especially if you have significant dead weight - instead, you can strengthen the back hurt her.

The best exercise for the muscles of the lower back - forward bends with dumbbells in the hands of a small weight. And only a few workouts in which you performed tilts forward, you can proceed to the hyper - initially without additional complications. This exercise should be carried out in partial amplitude - just 10 centimeters. The deep forward bends should be avoided!

The slopes of the hump with dumbbell

Only after that we will proceed to a full hyperextension: first, the full amplitude, then - it is already possible to think with the additional weights and 10-15 workouts and how to squat with added weight.

An important aspect of the training is at the feet of the number of repetitions per set. While in most exercises performed by my procedure should be done in a set of 3-8 repetitions, the number of repetitions should be higher in training the legs - of 10 or above. The squat and deadlift first performed 15-20 repetitions with minimal weights. This is done for security reasons - to start working with a weight with which you can perform only 5 reps per set, is only a few months of training. Many coaches, unfortunately, do not realize that the customer can get injured, even squatting with blank stamp.

Leg press.Before starting this exercise, should pay attention to the development of the inner thigh muscles. If these muscles are weak, then when the presses knees involuntarily reduced, which could threaten injury. In this case, we should start with the presses with a narrow formulation of the legs, parallel to strengthening the inner thigh muscles with the help of, for example, information.

Bench with a high of foot

Lunges.If you weigh more than 80 kilograms, and even more close to 100 kilograms, you will at the initial stage of training attacks - even from their own weight - contraindicated. If so, you can not do without attacks, perform their holding any support. If you do not comply with these recommendations, you can get very nasty hamstring injury or even quad.

Sumo Squats with dumbbells

If we talk about specific recommendations for beginner girls, it is worth paying attention to the fact that the first exercise must be carried out with minimum weights - leg press, for example, must be carried out with a high staging feet all in one set and no additional weights, squat sumo performed light dumbbells, rather than over the bar. Girls also need to learn from the very beginning to do exercises with a focus on the gluteal muscles - this will reduce the strain on the knees and help to develop the legs on the female type.

Training experienced athletes

In the next stage of the training, we continue working to improve the weight, in the absence of contraindications proceeds to squat with a barbell. Upon reaching the large scales in this exercise, there is the risk of damage to the spine and knee joints, so in the squat is to work on the principle of pre-fatigue, performing in front of a set of squats intense set of legs extension (extension of the girls is in place to carry out one of the exercises for the glutes).

At the same time you need to reduce the amount of exercise for the legs: if initially you perform exercises 5, and even more, by the growth of workers' weights should be left in the legs of the training program 1 core exercise and 1-2 extra - more still forces nor that is not enough.

The technique of execution as the squats and presses the feet must be chosen on the basis of your tasks. So, if you too are developed gluteal muscles, the sumo squats should be performed with a narrow formulation of the legs and above parallel. If the gluteal muscles lag behind in development, the Sumo squats are performed with a wide stance and a full amplitude.

If in its development lags behind the quadriceps and it becomes obvious (it concerns mostly men), the emphasis on the need to do squats without retraction of the pelvis back, as well as high zhimah staging feet. Fully paid to the development of the quadriceps training consists of a leg extension, and will occur if you have any back injury. With the rehabilitation of the back can be gradually included in the program of the leg press, but in the partial amplitude.

Fully insulated glute training is appropriate in that case, if you have a knee joint injury. At the same time run a variety of breeding and information abduction feet away, mahi ago.

The most effective exercises

What are your favorite exercises for the legs of - leg presses and squats. In these exercises to adjust the load on a particular muscle can be by changing the width of foot. The squat, in addition, you can change the type of load, more or less taking his pelvis back and legs zhimah - putting a foot above or below.

It is believed that squats are an indispensable exercise. I believe that this view is not quite correct: first, squats squats discord, secondly, as I mentioned above, not all sit-ups can be recommended. Squatting in a separate - and quite large in volume - the section in this book.

What if I refuse to grow legs?

If the legs, in spite of all your efforts, refuse to accept the form of your dream, then it is time to connect the principles of specialization and priority. In this case, you will most likely have to train legs twice a week, with one day allocated for the legs completely back in one day leg training is combined with training other muscle groups, but leg exercises are submitted at the same time at the very beginning of classes. During specialization in foot the rest of the muscles of the load should be reduced.

You can select a single day for the back surface of a hip Training: Still biceps - it is half the weight of your legs.

Dead Rod Smith in the car

Dead Rod with dumbbells

Dead bent barbell

Foot Injuries and How to Avoid Them

The most serious injury is possible when training the legs - can be touched by the spine and knee. That is why to training legs must be taken with the utmost scrupulousness.

If at the beginning of training the upper body muscles, I will let his players to perform two sets of workers, then the leg training is allowed only one work set as krepotura in the calves or quadriceps can last several weeks or even go in the inflammatory process.

The second point: I do not advise beginners to perform free weight exercises such as deadlifts and squats. That is one of the fundamental principles of my method is to abandon the exercise training in the first few months of leg from a standing position. Many of those who came to the hall for the first time, the "Ready" on the books of the mysterious author Stuart McRobert, who preaches that the basis of all training programs are squats with a barbell on your shoulders. These "neophytes" immediately rush to "storm" in the squat a lot of weight, and as a result of spinal hernia earn instead developed legs and the rest of the body, which is fully able to put an end to the further training process.

If you are not happy with such a prospect, you have to follow my recommendations and at least 3 months to engage in the program, in which no squat or deadlift, but there are exercises to develop the muscles of the lower back.

With regard to knee injuries, they arise when working with significant weight to the full amplitude and in so doing the exercises when the knees are located far forward of the stop line. If you have the slightest problem with your knees, you need to avoid such exercises as sissy squats, "Gakki" attacks with breeding knee forward.

And knees, and spine can be injured in the performance of such exercises as leg press, if it holds too large amplitude and high speed. Fulfilling lowering phase slowly leg press, you can control and range of motion and prevent injuries that can occur due to too rapid movement down the platform. It should also be remembered that the statement of presses with high legs and squatting under which you lean forward too much, give more stress on the lower back.

As I mentioned above, before performing heavy squats and bench presses must be done a few "warm-up" sets of leg extensions sitting.

"Harmful" tips

Well, finally a bit of humor. If you do NOT want to be successful in training the legs, follow this here "harmful" advice.

  1. Do not call fear. Wait for the moment when in the room no one will sit down with a heavy barbell on the shoulders and hunker down, stuck in a "dead" point - you unforgettable moments!
  2. If we call fear, then it is better that he was an inexperienced athlete, capable of spontaneous hysterical behavior. This can be frightened and run away at the crucial moment, or when you try to stand up to the pole, he may want to save you and start trying to pull off the shell from your shoulders. This will teach you to be ready for everything and to survive in any situation.
  3. The best training mate - a person who, seeing that you can not stand up to the pole, grabbed one end of the bar and struggled jerk bar up or down. (You think it funny, but to me this event has happened in real life. Thank God, the coach had to run up and kicks to drive away this killer.)
  4. Make your program of the most traumatic exercise! Jump to the pole through a barrier and obstacle race with a 50-kilogram dumbbells in the hands of you will not just bodybuilders, but a superhero, combining the quality of a Spartan, Kamikaze and James Bond.
  5. What if the muscular buttocks it is impossible to get (and we still remember that they are very popular with the girls)? This is solved is simple: put on a Scottish kilt and tell your grandfather - originally from Scotland - took your word never to disgrace his ancestors and did not shoot him.And if it comes to sex, first turn off the light - in darkness partner to evaluate your form can not. A manual assessment can easily be avoided by saying that you are afraid of tickling in the back of the body, so you can not touch it. For a more convincing break out loud laughter in any attempt to touch your buttocks. I think after that she lost all desire to feel you are in a restricted area.

6. And finally, if you like to really thrill quietly put small dumbbells in the place where soon hefty and aggressive guy will squat with a barbell under 250 kg. When he bandage knees, will tighten its belt and staggered, barely deviate from racks with heaviest shell on his shoulders, catches him at his feet, saying, "Wait a minute, I'm just your dumbbells lift" and lifting dumbbells, ask: " you can wait - I'm only 10 repetitions on biceps quickly made, and you can continue the "Here and begin the lottery, one of three things: either he will try to kick your leg standing with the bar on the other foot, or will simply cover your mate, either? will raise the bar on the rack, breaking approach. The latter case is most unfortunate - I advise to flee, as the spoiled approach real "jock" you just do not forgive.