The human leg muscle structure is complicated. It isn’t simply just your quadriceps and hamstrings, there are layers of muscle that traverse multiple joints.
So it’s surprising that most of us train legs with exactly the same angles in each of the main leg training exercises.
If you think about training your chest, most individuals will train on an incline, decline and a flat bench to sculpt the entire pectoral muscle and its surrounding attachments. It’s the same with leg muscles, to increase the size of the entire limb you need to work from multiple angles.
Want epic legs? Here’s what to do.
1. Experiment with squat stances
When you vary the foot position and width in a squat you can transfer workload to different leg muscles, allowing you to pinpoint which individual muscle to work harder that session.
We suggest 3 different squat positions for you to experiment with so you can feel which individual muscles you are working the hardest.
1. Wide stance with toes pointing out
2. Shoulder width stance with toes only slightly pointing out
3. Narrow stance (feet inside shoulder width) with toes facing straight ahead
2. Point your feet during extensions and curls
Mixing up your foot angles during leg extensions and hamstring curls is an extremely effective and simple method of targeting the entire leg muscle. Little adjustments like pointing your feet outwards and performing ¾ reps whilst pausing at the top target the Vastus Medialis.
Pointing your feet inward whilst performing this motion will target the Vastus Lateralis (the largest part of the quads), and you can build the Rectus Femoris (part of the quads connecting thigh to hip) by moving the seat back slightly and performing the extension with your feet pointing forward.
Working the different hamstring muscles is the same idea, pointing your feet outwards will get the Biceps Femoris (part of the hamstrings) working, whilst pointing your feet inwards, places more strain on Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus (medial hamstrings).