Purpose: To work the legs, with special emphasis on the thighs. Front Squats develop the outside sweep of the quadriceps.
Execution: 1) Step up to the rack, bring your arms up under the bar, keeping the elbows high, cross your arms and grasp the bar with your hands to control it. Then lift the weight off the rack. Step back and separate your feet for balance. 2) Bend your knees and, keeping your head up and your back straight, lower yourself until your thighs are below parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Do this exercise slowly and strictly, making sure you keep your back straight. If possible, do all Squats in front of a mirror so you can check that you are keeping your back straight.
Purpose: To isolate the lower quadriceps. Although this movement is called a Squat it is very close to a Leg Extension in the way it affects the legs. You will feel a lot of stress right down to where the quadriceps insert into the knee.
Execution: 1) Stand upright, feet a few inches apart, holding on to a bench or something else for support. 2) Bend your knees, raise up on your toes, and slowly lower yourself toward the floor, letting your pelvis and knees go forward while your head and shoulders tilt backward. 3) Continue down as low as possible, until your buttocks practically touch your heels. Stretch the thigh muscles and hold for a moment, then straighten your legs and come back up into a standing position. Flex your thigh muscles hard at the top of the movement for maximum cuts and development.
Purpose: To build the mass of the thighs. If Squats have a disadvantage, it's the pressure they put on the lower back. Doing Leg Presses is a way around this that allows you to work the legs with very heavy weight.
Execution: 1) Using a Leg Press machine, position yourself under the machine and place your feet together against the crosspiece. Bend your knees and lower the weight as far as possible, bringing your knees toward your shoulders. 2) Press the weight back up again until your legs are fully extended. Don't get in the habit of pushing on your knees to help your legs press upward, or of crossing your arms across your chest and limiting your range of motion.
Page 3 of leg exercises