How to Perform Squats Exercise for Awesome Leg Muscle Building

By the end of this article you will:

  • Master the Squat Technique Perfectly and
  • Create an awesome 4 week Squat leg Building Program
Heavy Squats should be the basis of your muscle building program

Give me 4 weeks and I will turn your skinny legs into big muscular ones with just one exercise.

This means sexy, muscular legs that look great in jeans, pyjamas, shorts or even naked!

That’s a bold promise and I mean it. If you follow my advice that is.

Squats are unquestionably the best leg muscle builder. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it only does that. It does much more.

But why squats you say. How about 4 cool reasons?

Squats:

  1. Work over 200 muscles in your body
  2. Build legs, butt and calves in ONE move
  3. Create maximum anabolic hormone release and 
  4. Build functional muscle mass

All this means maximum muscle stimulation, testosterone and growth hormone release and functional muscle gains which help both in sports and life.

This means BIGGER, SEXIER, MUSCULAR LEGS!

So lets discover the best way to perform squats safely with perfect form and technique.

Don’t let the beach season catch you with your pants down!

Inside This Article

The Importance of Squats for Building Muscle Mass Fast

Are you a mullet?

In gym folkfore a mullet is someone who creates dozens of excuses to avoid squats and will rather do leg presses, leg extensions and other exercises except squats.

There will always be plenty of excuses, but never a valid reason to avoid Squat.

But what makes squats so special? Why should every bodybuilder do squats?

There are 3 main reasons why EVERY bodybuilder should make Squats their first choice for lower body training.

1. Squats is multi-joint compound exercise that targets hip, knee and ankle joints all at once

Muscles and Joints worked in Squats

If you think squats is a quadriceps exercise only, think again. 

Squats work the Gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, spinal erectors, calves. They work 200 muscles in total.

This multi-joint exercises create very high muscle tension in whole body and high tension is proven to create muscle hypertrophy.

With heavy squats you will be building all the above muscles in one single move.

It is the best bang for your buck.

2. Squats release high amounts of anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, insulin etc.

Heavy squats, especially multiple sets increase hormone release. Anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone release means Muscle Growth. Period!

3. Squats help you build bigger arms

Your body works in proportion not isolation. If you improve your squats to twice your bodyweight, your arms cannot stay behind.

Your arms and other muscles will proportionately grow. Hey you need big arms to grab those weights, big back muscles to hold the weights. When your squat improves, arms and back muscles will get bigger automatically.

I am not talking about heavy low rep squats. I am talking about squatting 1-2 times your bodyweight for 10-15, even 20 reps {I will show the breathing squat technique soon}.

Apart from the top three, squats 

  • improve balance and posture
  • enhances bone density
  • increases connective tissue growth
  • creates mental toughness for other lifts

Wow! Squat are that useful you say. If so, then why do many bodybuilders avoid squats or do them with low interest/intensity?

Lets find out...

Why Muscle Builders avoid Squats

1. First reason is very Simple: Squats are brutal. They are extremely challenging. 

Stories of:

  • mind getting foggy and disoriented
  • vomiting after heavy squats and
  • Mind going numb thanks to intense pain

ARE REAL. And they discourage many a bodybuilders from squats. 

Leg presses, leg extensions, which are less painful, look very inviting but do less than 10% of the squat job.

So what’s the solution? Have a heart. Squat first day, first set on a Monday. Have high energy foods/shakes 2 hours before squats. use the high rep breathing squat.

I cover many methods later, but remember to SQUAT!

2. They simple undervalue squats

"Cant I just use leg press machine?" NO!

Many muscle builders are ignorant of the numerous benefits of heavy squats.

  • Exercise like leg presses help you manage heavier loads.
  • Leg extensions might give a bigger quadriceps muscle pump

Such factors give the bodybuilders a false belief that such exercises build more muscle mass. If you can target legs more and lift more in these exercises, then why squat?

But once you realise that squats are much more than legs, your whole attitude changes.

Right information will help you make better decisions.

Are Squats Dangerous

Many bodybuilders have a false belief that squats are dangerous for knees. That brings me to the third reason most avoid squats.

3. They Believe squats are dangerous 

"Will Squats Hurt My Knees"? Of course Not!

So they do partial squats, never go close to parallel when squatting and train with low weights.

The Truth:  When performed with perfect form and optimal weights, squats are the healthiest and safest exercises for your knees, back and legs.

The keys are perfect form and using a weight not beyond your capacity.

When performed correctly squats build stable and stronger knees for people of all ages, not just muscle builder.

Want to forge legs of a lifetime? Lets Squat...

How to perform Squats with Perfect form/technique

The Squat mindset: Before you squat remember that the major action takes place in muscles around hips and knees playing a secondary role.

Your goal is to make hips work more and minimise the stress on knees. The produce below help you attain your goal.

What you need:

A Squat rack. Lifting the barbell and placing on the back gets difficult with heavier weights. Squat rack help you with bar position and unloading too.

Where to position the bar

Your goal is to lift the biggest weights possible. And to do that you need to place the bar low on your back. 

This is called low-bar position. Place the bar on your upper back/lower traps so it rests on the groove at the base of your rear delts.

Perfect Low Bar position, placed on traps

How to grip the bar

Take a moderate grip. Wide grip looks great but is not efficient. Narrow grip pinches the shoulders. I asked a big weightlifter why he places his hands so wide on the bar. His reply? I cannot do any other way!

Perfect Grip: Not too narrow, not too wide!

The big guys have such big arms that they cannot get a narrower grip. But a moderate grip is very healthy for your shoulders.

Bottomline: Flexible shoulders - narrower grip or else wider grip.

How to take squat stance

Once you take one step back, take the optimal squat stance.

Toes pointing straight or slightly outwards are best

I recommend a wider than shoulder width stance as it helps you lift more weight. The bar has to travel less distance while targeting the quads and hamstrings.

Let your toes point forwards or slightly to the sides.

What about tall people?

Squat Depth

How Deep should you go?

Always perform full range, parallel squats for best and balanced muscle growth.

Perfect Parallel Squats

Partial or above parallel squats stress your quads more than hamstrings. The hamstrings do not get enough activation. They under-develop and cause potential ACL injuries.

So always go full range, full squats.

With the right grip, stance and bar position, its time to do the perfect squat

Let's Squat...

I use a simple 3 step Squat technique which is simple do it and hits muscles perfectly - Deep breathe, hip push back and lift.

1. Deep breath in: Take a deep breath in to pressurise your abdomen. Use the abs tight and butt clench technique taught earlier. it generates maximum body tension.

Step One: Deep Breathe and hold breathe to create high intra-abdominal pressure for best lifts

2. Hip Push Back: Begin the descent by pushing your hips back, not by bending your knees.

Lower yourself slowly until your hips are below parallel. i.e. below your knees.

Step Two: Hip Push Back

A cool tip: Imagine pulling yourself down rather than lowering the load. When you actively pull yourself down, you create high elastic energy in your glutes and hamstrings. This helps the lifting portion of the exercise. Try it for yourself.

Your knees should not push forward during any portion of the descent. Your lower back must remain arched and tight.


3. Lift Up: Stay at the bottom position for at least 1 second but do not relax or bounce.

Step Three: Push into the ground and press the bar by pressing back against the bar

Immediately lift the bar. Imagine pushing your upper back into the bar while thrusting your hips upwards and forwards.

Exhale as you reach the near top position. Inhale and perform the second rep.


Squats Do's and Dont's

Do's:

1. Do squat first thing in every leg workout

2. Go heavy

3. Make squat hip dominant, not knee dominant

4. Change stance, bar position and grip every 4-6 weeks to stimulate muscles from different angles

5. Do variety of squats; sumo, front and assistance moves like lunges.

Dont's:

1. Don't round your back. Keep the natural arc, slightly curved.

2. Don't look down while squatting. Keep a straight head and maintain forward gaze.

3. Don't use very heavy weights with which you cannot full parallel squats. 

4. Dont do partial or quarter squats

5. Don't let your knees move forward beyond your toes

Squat Variations for Variety and Gains

Two excellent variations of back squats are the Hack squats and the front squats.

Hack squats target quads especially the tear drop muscle, vests medialis.

Front squats targets your quads more compared to posterior chain muscles.

A balanced program should make the back squat their primary move, while adding sumo and front squats as variations only, to complement the back squat program.

To build muscle mass, nothing beats the heavy back squats

Also see: Hack Squats, Box Squats, Lunges

My 4 Week Squat Program for Bigger Legs

Below is a squat dominant leg muscle building program for awesome legs in just 4 weeks. You will perform Squats twice a week, once heavy and once light. This is called High Frequency Muscle Training and is excellent for short term hypertrophy goals.

A total of 9 squat workouts are essential for maximum muscle growth.

Total Workouts = 9

Workout A on Mondays {Heavy Workout} and 

Workout B on Thursdays {Light Workout}

Workout A on Day 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Workout B on Day 4, 11, 18, 25

Workout A Goal - To train with weights 70-85% of your one rep max

Exercise

Back Squats

Sets

4

Reps

6 to 9 reps

Rest: Maintain constant 120s rest intervals throughout eh program.

Select a weight you can lift only for 6 reps. Use the calculator.

Every subsequent workout add ONE Rep. By week 5 you should able to lift the same weight for 9 reps. Don't change the weight/load.


Workout B Goal - To train with weights 50% of your one rep max

Exercise

Front Squats

Sets

4

Reps

10-15 reps

Rest: Maintain constant 120s rest intervals throughout eh program.

Select a weight you can lift only for 10 reps. Use the calculator.

Every subsequent workout add ONE Rep. By week 5 you should able to lift the same weight for 15 reps. Don't change the weight/load.

What about other exercises?

Perform your routine exercises for other body parts, making a total of not more than 4 days a week training.

This is a leg dominant workout, but you need to maintain your other muscles too. Perform deadlifts, pulls and presses too.

Maintain Quality Nutrition especially post workout nutrition

No muscle can be built with poor nutrition. Add quality nutrition to your squat program and your results take off.

2 Cool Muscle Building Program

1. Looking to build bigger muscles? No Nonsense muscle building program is a complete 26 week body transformation program.

2. Looking to build bigger legs? Then try the Killer Quads Program.

› Squats Exercise

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