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If you want to get bigger legs fast and you feel like you’ve tried everything, you may want to make sure you watch this video first. Here, we revisit the abbreviated range of motion squat, or quarter squat. I’m not just going to show you a new benefit to a long ago dismissed leg exercise but I’m going to offer a second variation that will strengthen the weakest part of your squat and unlock all new size and strength gains in the process.
We have to start with the elephant in the room however, and that is, the idea that the quarter squat is an entirely useless leg exercise incapable of helping you to build bigger legs. Not so fast. If performed properly, this is no different than a pin press used to improve your bench press or a trap bar deadlift used to improve your conventional deadlift. It’s just a shortened range of motion on an exercise that is more commonly performed through a longer range.
That said, the load capacity of the exercise is greatly enhanced and must be taken advantage of if you want to see the real benefits of the movement. For instance, the top portion of the squat is the strongest portion of the lift. Quarter squats must therefore be loaded with much more weight that you would typically handle on a full range squat given that you won’t have to move the weight within the bottom and middle ranges where manipulating that weight would be much more challenging if not impossible.
Secondly, you’re going to have to check your ego at the door. No amount of weight lifted on this exercise qualifies you to be posting about it on social media or claiming a new PR. It simply isn’t that kind of lift. It is mechanically advantageous and exists to simply let you more appropriately weight the exercise in an area of the lift that you are stronger.
Third, you are not allowed to substitute quarter squats for full squats in your training. This is simply to be done as a complimentary leg exercise in your leg workouts not a replacement exercise. When it is combined however, it does seem to amplify the results you get from your traditional leg training as it currently exists because of the benefits it provides to cleaning up the stability and strength of that lift.
Fourth, you must be willing to perform the exercise correctly. As it is, the movement is not at the top of the list of difficulty when it comes to leg workout exercises used to build bigger legs. But there is a distinct importance on making sure you aren’t simply bending from the knees when you do these but rather hinging at the hips and loading the posterior chain when you perform them. If you don’t do this, you actually run the risk that you will not load the quads properly and any of the gains that you may get from this are unrealized. Throw in the added benefit of saving your knees from unnecessary anterior shear stress and you’ve got plenty of reasons to get this right.
Now that said, the real benefit of the quarter squat doesn’t even come from the version of the exercise we just discussed. No, in fact it comes from flipping the script and performing the quarter range of motion from the other way around; the bottom up. Here you want to lower yourself to about 10 degrees below parallel and stand up until you are about 20 degrees above parallel. Keep moving back and forth here.
This is a ball buster and one capable of driving all new strength, size and stability to your lower body. It helps to groove the proper knees over toes position and posture at the area of the squat when this is most likely to present the greatest challenge. In order to maintain a tight core and straight back posture during the squat you need to learn how to engage the hips and core and unite it’s upward movement with that of the chest.
Once again, this is where performing this reverse quarter squat will strengthen your ability to maintain the squat position without the segmental breakdown that often occurs when core strength is lagging. On top of this, the timing of the exercise suggestion may be just the ticket you were looking for to offload the low back in the squat and place more emphasis where it matters, on the quads you’re trying to grow.
If you find the video helpful and you’re looking for a complete step by step workout plan that puts the science back in strength to not just get your quads growing but every other muscle in your body, be sure to head to http://athleanx.com via the link below and check out my training programs. Each one is designed to match your exact goals and get you looking like an athlete faster than ever before.
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