3 foot program from Jim Stoppani

Upset the back leg musculature? Improve the training of the quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles will help the advice of Ph.D. Jim Stoppani!

Author: Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

We are used to evaluating leg training in the overall perspective. There are heavy lifts with a maximum tonnage, which pump the largest volume of muscle mass. There are no mistakes here, everything is correct, so continue to make heavy lifts to force hypertrophy of the largest muscle massifs in the lower body – quadriceps, buttocks and hamstrings.

Another thing is that from time to time it is worth switching to separate fragments of these muscle massifs, especially if some of them lag behind in development. I came to the conclusion that most athletes have three problem areas of the lower body: an internal bundle of quadriceps, internal muscles of the posterior surface and external calf. If any of the listed zones bother you, it's time to make it grow!

Problem zone 1: medial broad muscle (internal bundle of quadriceps)

Fashion legislators say that beach shorts still rule, but that does not mean that the lower portion of the quadriceps is hidden from the eyes. One of its bunches is always in sight – it is a medial broad muscle (m. Vastus medialis), which because of its shape is often compared with a tear. It is immediately above the knee joint on the inner side, and for its accentuated elaboration there are a lot of exercises and training techniques.

Firstly, if you are aiming for a "tear", do not go too deep into squats. Numerous experiments have shown that reducing the amplitude (stop when the thigh is slightly higher than the parallel line) transfers the load to the quadriceps, reducing the involvement of the buttocks and the muscles of the posterior surface.

It is clear, this approach gives rise to the dilemma: continue to crouch deep and sacrifice the medial broad muscle, or cut the trajectory and lose on the buttocks and the back surface? I assure you, there is no need to sacrifice anything – take the best of both worlds! Alternate the styles of squats: in one workout take the maximum tonnage and reduce the amplitude, on the other – unload the bar, but squat as deeply as possible.

Exercises that purposefully act on the inside of the quadriceps are the presses of the legs and the extension, in which the socks are unfolded. If it is important for you to aesthetics of the lower body, be sure to include both movements in the footwork protocol.

Exercise of medial broad muscle

Problem area 2: internal muscles of the posterior surface

In talking about the muscles of the posterior surface, most remember only one muscle. And although the hamstrings form the bulk of the muscle mass of this zone, especially on its outer side, the posterior surface actually consists of three muscles.

The other two are the semitendinous muscle (m. Semitendinosus) and the semimembranosus (m. Semimembranosus), and they are responsible for the relief of the inner surface. If you spend most of the workout in the bending of the legs lying down, and as the majority does, the external parts of the thigh most likely dominate the inner ones.

To restore the balance, include Romanian draft cravings in the training programs of the back surface. It will help to gain the total mass – especially in the region of the hip joints. Do not forget the bending of the legs while sitting. Experiments have shown that in this exercise, the emphasis from the biceps is shifted to the semimembranous and semitendinous muscles. In addition, in the bend of the legs, turn the socks inside – this will increase the load on the internal parts of the thigh.

Exercise of the internal muscles of the hamstrings

Problem area 3: lateral head of gastrocnemius muscle

Needless to say, the muscles of the shins are difficult to force to grow. Many blame for the useless development of gastrocnemius genetics, but more often it is a matter of laziness and disdain. If they are regularly loaded, the calves respond with growth!

And yet, even in boys with impressive shin circumference, the median gastrocnemius muscle (inner head of M. gastrocnemius) is often better developed lateral (external head of M. gastrocnemius). No wonder, because the Armstrong University study proved that during standard lifts on the toes, the outer head works more actively than the inner one, especially if the toes are stubbornly looking forward.

Fortunately, the same experiment showed that turning the socks inside increases the load on the lateral head while lifting the legs. In a word, put your feet on the width of your shoulders, maximally unfold your socks to each other and set the muscles of the shins heat!

Training of the lateral head of the gastrocnemius muscle

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