Do you ever wonder which muscles are used during deadlifts? Well, you need to start with understanding the muscles that get affected by the ‘King of all Exercises’ to know about their role in your workouts. There are many grips, foot positions, bars, and acceleration techniques that can be used to target different muscle groups in different ways. Let’s examine the techniques and learn which muscles are directly affected when deadlifting.(more…)
Posts Tagged ‘hamstrings’
Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be able to lift thousands of pounds off the ground with minimal effort. It makes us feel good to be able to pick up anything we want. Especially when most guys in the world struggle to pick up even 100 lbs off the floor.
The number one way to make all these things happen? Train your hamstrings, lower back, and glutes (your bum) with complex free weight exercises.
Men and women alike should use these training tips. No amount of deadlifts are going to make a woman huge and bulky unless they TRY REALLY HARD to get huge and bulky on purpose. At the same time, no amount of body weight squats or lunges are going to get you big, strong, or conditioned. Train heavy and train hard, no matter who you are. And if you are a woman who is overly concerned about getting “too big” and just doesn’t want to lift weights, check out this mostly non-load bearing leg exercises for women to get an idea of some other exercises to work into a routine.
As I mentioned in my top 5 quad exercises post, your legs are the largest group of muscles in your body. By training your legs hard, you will be setting yourself up to gain the most progress compared to every other muscle group.
Strong hamstrings will allow you to:
- Pick up anything heavy off the floor or ground.
- Burn as many calories during training as you would when training quads.
- Form the foundation of your body’s posterior strength chain.
- Strengthen your lower back to protect from injury.
Don’t Waste Time Training Legs the Wrong Way!
Your legs are the foundation of your physique. With their bulging tear drops, incision-like cuts, and shredded striations, prize leg development can win you a contest. Lagging leg development can also lose you a contest. Additionally, having strong legs makes it that much easier to develop a strong upper body. Here are 6 mistakes most athletes make when training their legs. These tips apply both to active bodybuilders and newbies, so pay attention!
The Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes
Not Training Legs At All
A lot of people completely avoid leg training. Why? Personally, I find it hard to understand. But there’s obviously a reason why they do; theories are they already have some preconceived notion that their legs are developed beyond what they are in actuality, or they see leg training as “hard”.
It’s true that leg training can be painful, and you generally are sore afterwards, but many bodybuilders grow to love that soreness, as with other muscles. Avoiding leg training is a critical mistake, and you can’t build a house without a foundation.
How to do Box Jumps
Box jumps are a great exercise for your legs, and can be performed on just about any variable flat surface. They hit your posterior chain – calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings – pretty hard.
Box jumps can be used for cardio workouts, neural activation training (NAT), high intensity resistance training (HIRT), and high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits. They are often used in CrossFit WODs (Workout of the Day), and are a staple exercise in plyometric training. Plyometrics have a wide range of athletic and real sporting applications; they are used, for example, to increase jumping ability, leg strength, hip drive, and explosiveness.
Box jumps are a simple movement. They require you only to jump from one flat surface up onto another flat surface, then either step or jump back down, depending on the purpose of the exercise.
What if You Can’t Perform Box Jumps?
To excel at box jumps, you have to develop strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination and balance. Without a basic foundation in these core exercise stills, you should not attempt a box jump, and whatever you do, don’t follow the box jump tips at eHow unless you never want to know how to do proper box jumps.
Be sure you are comfortable with bodyweight squats. If you can’t do bodyweight squats then you’ve got a real problem and should not be attempting box jumps.
In weight lifting, the lower back does not always receive much attention, unless it is injured. Experienced athletes know enough to include deadlifts, stiff legs, good mornings, glute-hamstring raises, and pull throughs into their routine, but maybe that’s not always enough.
The posterior chain is used in many pulling and lifting movements, so making it a priority to strengthen the lower back will help to prevent serious injuries in future. Aside from those listed above, one exercise that can help strengthen, rehab, and prehab the lower back, is the reverse hyper. Additionally, the reverse hyper strengthens the entire posterior chain including the hips, spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings.
How to Perform Overhead Squats
How to Overhead Squat
Among the best exercises for strength, size, speed, and power, are squats – no exceptions. Front squats, jump squats, and overhead squats are all great alternatives to the king of squat exercises – the barbell back squat.
Squatting will help you develop powerful legs and a rigid core, have no doubt, but when we get creative we can mix and match exercises for an even more effective exercise that trains the whole body.
Sometimes we must think about our upper body as well and there is no better way to look and feel jacked, than to build massively strong shoulders. And there is no better way to feel sexy as a female, than to have sleek, strong, healthy shoulders. It is also equally important to build structurally invincible shoulders to proactively protect yourself from injury.
Combine everything together that I’ve just mentioned, and you get the overhead barbell squat. Let’s see how to do them correctly.
Olympic Style Barbell Front Squat
How to Perform Front Squats
The best exercises for speed, strength, size, and power, are squats – bar none. Back squats, front squats, overhead squats… they are all great, and will help you develop powerful legs and a rigid core.
Front squats are just about the best alternative to back squats, so let’s see how to do them correctly.
Barbell front squats are just about the same as back squats except the bar is placed across the front of your shoulders, using one of the two styles detailed below.