Working Thighs and Leg Biceps

Vince Gironda Barbell Hack Squat

I would like to develop the thighs just above the knees and I have no hack machine.

What type of squat do you recommend?

The following is the exercise substitute you have asked for BARBELL HACK SQUATS.

This exercise is a substitute for the famous Hack Machine, and primarily develops the muscles just above the knee area; providing the heel block is high enough. To check this, heels must be elevated high enough so that, when in the full squat position, the thighs are parallel or horizontal with the floor.

Another point to remember is, the straighter the back, the more resistance is placed on the thighs.

Also, with a straight back, the hips are not working to help the legs, as in the regular deep knee bend.

Stand erect with barbell hanging behind the thighs, heels elevated and spread about 11 or 12 inches.

The knees are spread 16” or 18” apart. Now, as you squat, let the barbell carry forward under the thighs to insure a deeper squat.

As you stand up, remember to keep a straight back, and at completion of squat, do not lock out, never straighten the thighs out completely at the top position (Unlocked squat.)

How To Train With Weak Arches

Every time I do heavy squats I notice an extreme soreness and tenderness in my arches. Do you think the heavy squatting is responsible for this problem? What exercises can I do to strengthen my arches?

The first thing you might try is avoiding doing your heavy squats with your toes pointed out too far, and when rising out of a squat position don't permit the knees to buckle inward, because this position throws most of the stress or weight on the inside of the foot, and consequently the arches.

The feet should be laterally rotated but only slightly. Your best foot angle can be determined by hanging from a pull up bar. Observe the natural position of the feet. This is the foot angle to use for your squatting and deadlifting as well.

One of the best ways to keep the knees from buckling in is to develop a stronger set of abductor muscles (the muscles on the outside of the thigh). Also on your really heavy sets of squats use knee wraps. The function of these is to keep the knees in a straight back and forward direction and keeps the patella tendon from deviating medially or laterally and stabilizes the knee joint.

As far as strengthening the arches, include a series of calf exercises, standing or seated. These types of exercises influence the arches and serve to strengthen them, particularly if the feet are turned in, "pigeon toe" fashion.

Exercise the toes frequently by trying to pick up small objects, such as marbles, clothes-pins, etc.

If your condition of sore arches persists it would be advisable to visit a foot specialist to determine how severe the condition is, but in many cases the above hints will do much to improve it unless they are too far gone. Eventually you may have to wear arch supports as a means of relieving the pressure, especially if your job requires you to stand on your feet all day.

By all means be sure to include the practice of exercising your toes every day, and when the soreness is present, run cold water over your feet. Do this after your exercise session, too.

How To Reduce Large Hips

I have been bodybuilding about 10 months and I have a couple of problems that I hope you can help me with.

First, I can’t reduce the size of my hips. I have tried lots of different exercises but so far, nothing has worked.

My training partner tells me that part of the problem is that I do heavy squats but I love to squat; it’s one of my favourite exercises.

What do you suggest?

There is no exercise that acts as a subcutaneous fat emulsifier.

Exercise builds muscle. It does not reduce it. Lack of exercise will shrink or cause muscle tissue loss. To reduce the hips you must cut out exercises that throw stress on the area, like squats, half squats and leg presses and do exercises that throw stress on the hips and glutes: hack slides, sissy squats, roman chair squats and leg extensions.

Also, cut out your carbohydrates and get rid of any fat you are carrying in this area.

Vince Gironda And Squats

Don Howorth Front SquatI enjoy full squats, going right down to the low position, and I have increased my bodyweight to 205 pounds at 5'8" height.

Why are you so against squats? I think it's ridiculous that you have no squat racks in your gym in North Hollywood.

Bodybuilders always ask this question: "Why do you ad avise your gym members not to do full squats?" The answer is simply that full squats spread the hips!

Full squats build the gluteus maximus (buttocks) by the forward position of the upper body and the depth of the movement.

The gluteus minimus is developed by the forward position of the body.

"All right, then," you must ask, "why can't I do full squats with the barbell in front of my shoulders?" But the answer is that you would still have a forward stress on the upper body. You cannot escape the position because of balance and gravity.

So, what do you do instead of full squats? - any exercise that allows you to lean back instead of forward: hack slides, sissy squats, Roman chair, Delinger squats, knee deeps or squatting on the bench pressing power machine with a bench under your hips, leaning slightly back with shoulders against the bar. In short, your back must be straight with the stress on the abdominals instead of the hips and back.

Another foolproof method of squatting is to place the barbell in your lap. Then it is of no matter if you lean forward or not, since there is no stress placed upon the gluteus minimus. However, remember not to squat deeper than hip level.

A few years ago football players learned that many of their knee problems were caused by one of their favorite movements - the "duck walk." This exercise overstretched the tendons in the knees which resulted in no protection in twists and turns.

Pay heed also that gluteal tissue, once developed, cannot be reduced as in the case of fat. I did not work my legs the first five years of training because I did not know how to develop my legs without also developing gluteus maximus - and you may be sure I have never regretted this, since discovering the right theory enabled me to develop my thighs and create an illusion of having longer legs by bringing the development up to my waist, not like a squatter's legs which stop at the bottom of the hips.

When I pose, I pull up my posing brief so that the length of leg muscle may be seen up to the hip attachment. As I view it, the perfectly developed thigh is the same measurement around the middle of the thigh as the top measurement. Today I am still working for this measurement. The only man I know who possesses it is the great Monty Wolford.

And if some of you "strength fiends" decry this method. feeling that it does not develop strength, I can only say that I was able to use 700 pounds in the hack slide machine and 200 pounds in the sissy squat. Let's see if you squatters can top top that!

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