- 12-30-2010, 02:37 AM
Hi. I've finally decided to do it. I'm going to work my legs out on a regular basis. My legs are incredibly weak. I used to hate working my legs out. I rarely did it. I did a leg complex the other day and now I can't stop thinking about working my legs out. I've never been like this. I need a little advice though if I could...I have insanely weak legs. Like, 135 would be a whole lot for me to squat. Yes, I bench more than I squat...I'm embarrassed but it's time to finally fix it. I've had knee issues for quite a while but I think it's actually due to my weak legs. When I would do squats before, my knees would be a little sore after the workout, but after, the swelling and pain would be gone. I need some help for a good beginner leg workout I can do once or twice a week. Or anything to help bring my legs up really. A note I'd like to make, I often times favor using my right leg and find myself leaning on it more. My left knee does worse normally as far as pain, but I think I just favor my right leg during squats because it's much stronger. Also, and this may be normal, my legs get extremely sore after a workout, even after I've been doing it every week for a few weeks. Any advice for me?
- 12-30-2010, 03:01 AM
It doesn't matter if you squat less than you bench - you can work on that, and everyone starts from somewhere.
If you have issues with your knees, then you probably need to address those first.
If you favour your right leg, you might need to look at your posture and your hips - you may have an anatomical or functional leg length discrepancy causing this. If you favour your right leg re strength, then do some single-leg exercises such as leg press, etc. to start building your left leg strength up.
If you want to bring your legs up re mass and strength, then you first of all need to be EATING for it. As far as exercises, stick to doing variations of squats - front squat, back squat, sumo squat, etc. I would suggest starting out at 3-4 x 10-12 reps for a few weeks, just to get used to doing the exercise and do 6-8 sets in total of 1-2 exercises a session (i.e. front squats 3 x 10 and then back squats 3 x 10), focusing solely on your legs and nothing else in that session (or you can add in a few abs/core exercises at the end of the session). You may also want to add in a couple of sets of something like lunges or leg press after doing your squat sets - but not a necessity, and this is probably best after a few weeks. Make sure you have ~2 days between Legs' sessions for optimal recovery.
Also make sure you're doing deadlifts on back day.
12-30-2010, 04:32 AM
Down this road, in a gym far away,
a young man was heard to say,
"no matter what i do, my legs won't grow"
he tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses , too
trying to cheat, these sissy workouts he'd do.
from the corner of the gym where the big men train,
through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain
where the noise is made with big forty fives,
a deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees.
a very big man with legs like trees.
laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack
chalking his hands and monstrous back,
said, "boy, stop lying and don't say you've forgotten,
the trouble with you is you ain't been SQUATTIN'. "
12-30-2010, 05:02 AM
great advice in here so far. i would make sure your knee is good to go, correct that and go from there.
its never too late for leg growth, i had zero genetics and zero legs when i started lifting again. finally, 5 years later of beating on them, i am getting somewhere.
i started off doing 135 squats 5 years ago, honestly 225 is enough for me now. For me its all about form, tempo and volume.
Squats and Deads, fock the rest.
Get some good shoes, get your form down and kill it.
12-30-2010, 05:31 AM
I doubt I'd be doing squats on a regular basics, if my knees hurt and got swollen every time.
the squat is the "king" of exercises, but if it's not working for you, then swallow your ego and skip it, there's plenty of other good exercises (legpress, hack sq etc).
i'm a pretty tall guy and I currently don't do squats because of my biomechanics (longer legs, longer torso). but my legs grow just fine on all kinds of legpresses, hack squats and extensions in various rep ranges
12-30-2010, 05:41 AM
12-30-2010, 08:35 AM
A-Minds HYPE-SLAYER! All posts & feedback are guaranteed to be unsolicited and legit
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom & instruction" Proverbs 1:7
12-30-2010, 10:11 AM
Squatting correctly puts less stress on the knees than hack/leg press or leg extensions. that said, I see few people who squat well. Many have muscular imbalances that prevent them from reaching full depth without excessive forward lean, foot flattening, back rounding, etc. Also, I see a lot of knees caving in due to weak hip abductors and VMO.
To the OP, learn to squat. there's some great websights, such as dave tates that gives good instructions and demonstrations about squatting.
Next, aside from the squat, deadlift, and rumanian deadlift, everything else you do should be unilateral. Lunges, split squats, pitcher squats, pistol squats, single leg stiff leg dead lifts, and then any machine you decide to use. This will help to even out any strength imbalances between the right v left side, as well as recruiting the stabilization muscles such as those mentioned above.
12-30-2010, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. Seriously Kristofer. 225 and your legs are that big? Very impressive. The issue is not much to do with pain when I squat. It's just a little soreness that goes away quickly in my knees a little while after I squat. Overall, my knees feel much better when I'm doing leg work. They don't swell nearly as bad as normal and they don't hurt either. I don't have as much of a normal knee problem now that I'm not in the Air Force having to run all the time for PT anymore. Squats actually don't hurt them much. I do have a little more issue with leg press. However, really, since I got out of the Air Force about a year and a half ago I haven't done much leg work and really didn't do enough back then either. It was like, when I was off and on training normally, I was still off and on with legs. I'd rarely get a leg workout in 2 weeks in a row. I do have a slight hip issue. It's not bad. Went to a chiropractor to get my lower back popped and it would straighten them out. I just think it went so long that it made my right thigh stronger than my left thigh. I'll have to check out those websites. My form is not too bad. I'm thinking about going real light. Even down to like 95 lbs and squatting real low. Think this would be a bad idea? I don't even know if I could balance that out. Haha. Maybe I can stick a couple 10 pounders under my ankles? Or should I stick with parallel?
12-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Another note, I do deadlifts a little more regularly. I am finally getting myself into a better gym routine. I can usually go at least three times a week. My upper body is still a shell of it's former self but I'm getting back where I used to be. I think without squats though, my knees still have some issues when I'm only doing the deads. I've been keeping my weight at deads down at 135 still and trying to work on my form. I usually do three or four sets of traditionals and then do a set or two of romanian style after my legs are tired.
Rosie, I have had my knees looked at. Doctors said it looked like it was just runner's knee. I can't think of what that's called. They had me doing leg press and running this little handheld machine on them. Had me stretch a lot. Needless to say, I haven't been continuing this. But once I was done with that I did squats for about six weeks and even from week one my knees felt better. I will eat for leg growth I'm sure. Haha. I never keep myself from food when I'm hungry and I actually don't often times get to the point of feeling very hungry. When I'm working my legs I eat a ton.
12-30-2010, 12:48 PM
There is nothing wrong with using light weight - as long as your form is correct. You can build muscle and to some degree work on strength even with lighter weights - you'll just have to manipulate other training variables re intensity like recovery period and reps, etc.
Adding weight to your ankles is probably not going to help, and certainly not re strength. Aim for having your thighs parallel with the ground at the bottom of the movement, but if you cannot, go as low as you can for squats - as said, if your form is correct, then it should not be an issue for you.
If you want mass and strength, you need to be eating for it ALL the time, not just when you decide to train legs, remember that.
12-30-2010, 01:04 PM
in my humble opinion I'd start out with leg presses and a hack squat machine, lunges, extensions and leg curls at first for the first couple of months until you get some strength in your legs before starting squats due to the fact that your form in squats needs to be #1 priority and you need a good spotter so you don't get out of form. I see so many lifters rounding their backs and bending their knees past their toes and such.
I am speaking from MY experience only. Being that this is how I started with my legs and when I graduated to squats at first it was on a smith machine until I was used to the weight and keeping my back straight.
I think you'll be suprised how fast your legs will get up to speed once you get rolling consistantly. good luck bro
12-30-2010, 01:10 PM
So how do we fix this?
First, loosen the lateral quad. Foam rolling and other manual massage devices will certainly help. Also important is to increase flexibility in the lateral hamstring and the IT band.
Second, strengthen the VMO. The VMO is mainly responsible for the final 15 degrees of knee extension. So light leg extensions only focusing the final 20-30 degress of movement, standing band resisted knee extension, and split squats are a great way to do that.
Finally, you'll want to increase the strength of the hip abductors/internal rotators and medial hamstring muscles.
12-30-2010, 01:21 PM
Chiro work did not help fix the problem. New matress did wonders though. Got rid of my back pain (plus no wallet in back pocket anymore). I got that memory foam mattress, $350 for queen. No more back pain.
As far as strength goes, lower the weight more and work on higher reps. Concentrate on form and work on your flexibility, flexibility is important. This helped me a lot. I've been adding 5 to 10 lbs almost weekly and in the past 4 months, I've went up from 95lbs for 6 to 205 for 14 last week. Shooting for 205 for 20 tomorrow. I'm regaining old strength though, After 3 years absence. Still. My partner is 44 year old first time lifter and in few months wentbup from 95lbsx6 to 185x16 in few months. We had to work on his flexibility since he was favoringvhis right leg and you would noticeably see him twisting his hip as he lowered his body.
12-30-2010, 01:27 PM
Zir RED said it well! I would strongly suggest investing in a foam roller. Its been the best thing I have ever purchased. You wont regret it.
12-30-2010, 01:43 PM
12-30-2010, 02:19 PM
Please for the sake of all that is holy, when you start squatting again, do your squats A*S to GRASS.. At first they may bother your knees some due to some sheer forces, but they will help your knee out in the long run. Everyone I've talked to that has made the switch from parallel squats to ATG squats agrees with me on this. Plus they are better for overall leg development.
12-30-2010, 02:39 PM
12-30-2010, 02:49 PM
Your welcome for the quote by the way!
One of my favorite poems ever! Figure this would help spark a fire.
12-30-2010, 06:13 PM
thanks for the compliments guys.
Zir Red has handled the thread well, as usual.
Kudos on that information, I may have read something similar from you on another board years back.
Alot of great information on squats. However, it just comes down to doing them correctly for ones own body. IMO
Years of work guys. I have been gifted nothing.
Training has been nearly 6 years with about 8 months split off in there.
I do high volume squats. Constantly changing routine, reps, weights, tempo, etc.
I would spend 1.5 hours in the rack doing squats or deads. Just doing sets of 135 ATG, 5, 10,15, 20 second statics at parallel, tempo variation focusing more of the time on the eccentrics. Now I pretty much spend 45 mins- 1 hour when i go.
Literally, those are from 5 years constantly doing squats and deads. 2-3 times a week depending on caloric intake, rest available and full time workload.
I have lifted with 315 and 405 in the past, FYI.
PS. I think my quads should be bigger than they are for the amount of work/time/money I have in them.
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