Building Massive Legs
When I first started working out, I religiously followed the training routines of bodybuilding’s most successful athletes. I quickly learned from them that the squat would always be the king of all exercises and never did I stop to think about the potential danger that performing this lift could potentially cause. If some of the best legs in the world were built through squatting, why should I try to reinvent the wheel? I knew that if I wanted to build a pair of truly massive legs, I needed to get under the bar whether I liked it or not.
Nowadays, whenever I browse the web and its many fitness communities, I can’t help but shake my head at all of the misconceptions that are born around something as simple as lifting things up and putting them down. The growing fitness trend has negatively impacted the way bodybuilding is looked at so much that it's actually kinda scary. But enough of my rant, let’s get to the bottom of this article and discuss the squat and its many “dangers”.
Squatting Hurts My Knees
If I could sum up all of the negative comments about the squat, this would probably be the perfect title. Now, let me be clear and say that I’m by no means an expert in weight training but I know how my body works from a bodybuilding point of view. I’ve been squatting for close to five years and I have never suffered from any type of knee pain.
If you suffer from knee pain while squatting, there’s a very high chance that you’re either lifting too much weight or your form is not as good as it should be. It’s also possible that you’re lower body mobility isn’t that great. If your mobility, form, and weight are all good – you shouldn’t have any knee pain whatsoever. I decided to embed the above video of Tom Platz squatting in order to showcase what the perfect squat should look like.
I Don’t Feel My Legs Working When I Squat
Even though I’m discussing this idea separately, it could very well be a follow up to the previous subject. If you don’t feel your legs working when you squat, it’s probably because you’re not activating the necessary leg fibers and instead are using your lower back to move the weight. Many people think they injured themselves while performing a squat even though it’s highly likely that they were doing more of a “good morning” type of exercise. If you want to learn how to squat, you can do so by learning from the king of squatting himself in the following video.
As you could see in the video, the squat is different for everyone; you need to accommodate it to your body type and perfect it as much as you can. The main issue with not performing the squat properly has to do with flexibility and mobility within the shoulders, hips, and ankles. If you have some spare time try to improve on these areas and get ready to watch your legs get massive.
Machines are better
Even though squats have a big cult following within bodybuilding and powerlifting circles, their unpopularity is steadily rising among the general lifting population. Machines of all sizes and shapes have substituted the squat and created a false idea that thinks squatting isn’t necessary for building good legs. Some people even go to the extreme of claiming that Dorian Yates, a 6-Time Mr. Olympia Champion never squatted, so, why should they?
Stating the obvious, no one has the same genetics as Dorian Yates, and truth-be-told – who knows how much bigger his legs would’ve gotten had he squatted. Secondly, there’s no exercise out there that overloads the legs like the squat, Platz even mentioned in the second video that if you squat properly, your whole body will grow. Machines are popular because they’re easy to use, not because they’re the best. Don’t believe me? Ask Tom Platz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler how they built their world-class legs.
Squatting with perfect form is the best exercise for building a massive set of legs. Weight Training as a whole is not the safest sport out there, but, which one is? If you want to be the best you need to train like the best. Try to focus on improving your form and enhancing your mobility, once you succeed in these fields you can begin to get stronger at the lift without having to worry about potential injuries. Most injuries happen to ego-lifters who don’t understand and respect the movement; if you don’t fall into this category you should be perfectly fine.