Leg Day, Squats, Lunges and More

  • misterduck

    Posts: 32

    Aug 27, 2008 2:11 PM GMT
    When it comes around to my leg day if I were only to do lunges and squats, maybe some calf raises, would I actually need to do leg extensions and hamstring curls? Would those two exercises hit the leg muscles correctly?

    Also, my bf was saying this morning that squats work totally different than lunges and that I should do them both. I always felt as if lunges worked better for me. They targeted my glutes better, and with combined leg extensions I felt that I was getting what I needed.

    I'm VERY leery of squats because I have hurt my back several times doing them, even on a Smith machine. The bf says that I should just at least do my body weight, if not a little more and don't be concerned about adding more weight. Keep the reps up.

    So boyz...what are your thoughts?
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    Aug 27, 2008 3:09 PM GMT
    misterduck saidThe bf says that I should just at least do my body weight, if not a little more and don't be concerned about adding more weight. Keep the reps up.


    I do think that squats are important. My progress suffered in the past because I wasn't doing them, and I'm now a believer. Yes, you should do them together with lunges. They work slightly different areas and squats supposedly will encourage growth in other areas of your physique.

    You need to do enough weight to push yourself, but not more. That might be your body weight, or it might be way less.

    I got myself into trouble in the past by trying to be He Man and squat way more than my body was really prepared to handle. I eventually realized that I shouldn't try to impress anyone and that it's more important to execute the movement cleanly and slowly than to throw around a lot of weight. I started over, doing them with just the bar until I was confident that I had the motion down. Felt like a fool the first few times, but that's okay. I'm still not quite at my body weight but I'm seeing good results.
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    Aug 27, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    I think it might have been the Old Testament that said that man CAN live by squats, lunges, and deadlifts alone. Boyfriends have a conflict of interest, depending on whether he sees your glutes and hamstrings, or your quads, more often.

    But of course it all depends on what you're trying to achieve. In general, nothing beats squats, deadlifts, and lunges, and a top-notch "leg" program can go just fine with only those--no need for extension and curl machines.

    Remember that what we common refer to as "leg" or "lower body" exercises like these are really engaging the entire posterior chain, up through your back. These are excellent exercises for your back muscles, stability, and coordination, as long as you're doing them correctly.

    I'd add deadlifts to your program before hamstring curls and leg extensions. Standard deadlifts rank among the superexercises (like squats, bench presses, pullups), and variations like straight-leg can target your hams even more. Nothing wrong with the machine exercises, but working the chain of muscles involved in actual movement and lifting with the free weight lifts will get you better balance and more power.

    You might also try front squats as an alternative to standard back squats, and see if that avoids the back trouble you've experienced.
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    Aug 27, 2008 7:36 PM GMT
    My current leg workout is as follows:

    Squats (6reps x 3sets, 10reps x 1set, 12reps x 3sets)
    Leg Press (6 x 3, 10, 12 x 3)
    Lunge (12 x 2)
    Lying Leg Curl (12 x 2)
    Leg Press Calf Raise (12 x 2)
    Seated Dumbell Calf Raise (12 x 2)

    It's been working out quite well.
  • misterduck

    Posts: 32

    Aug 27, 2008 7:44 PM GMT
    BoarderX said:Boyfriends have a conflict of interest, depending on whether he sees your glutes and hamstrings, or your quads, more often.


    LOL! Awesome! This had me laughing out loud. Hmmmm...he sees my quads more often and I see his glutes more often! So how's that!?! icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_wink.gif

    I think I may try the deadlift thing and try squats again. I know I have half decent form as I worked with a trainer a few months back and was doing squats with one of those leather medicine or weight balls. I know that my knees must not come forward. I have always had toned legs but never any bulk what-so-ever, and I've always heard that squats are a basic to body building and they will help your other muscles grow.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
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    Aug 27, 2008 9:13 PM GMT
    I find that the most effective way to approach leg day (or any other day, really) is to do the heavy sucky tough exercises first. So do your squats followed by your lunges or deadlifts if you're going to do those on leg day.

    follow your heavy exercises with those more inclined to sculpt the muscles and work them individually. legs curls can be done in different ways..and some people frown on leg extensions, though I like them...they can be done in different ways to hit different parts of your quads, as well. You can also think about sissy squats, leg presses (different foot positions will hit your legs differently and should be varied), step ups, and those quasi squat machines...as mentioned, try changing your foot positions, and try doing one leg at a time, etc, for maximum fatigue.

    If you don't puke, you'll probably see results in a month or two. If you do puke..you might see results sooner, lol

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    Aug 27, 2008 10:38 PM GMT
    Regardless what body part you're working... most books and trainers will tell you work large muscles first and do compound movements before single-joint movements.

    I love squats, and do them often, but being tall, they are a great challenge for me. After 15 years, I'm up to doing complete sets at 365lbs.

    When I first started, they KILLED my back because I was placing the bar too high. If you are tall, you want the bar at the bottom of your traps. It has really helped me with balance, strength and power. A would also recommend a belt once you're squatting above your bodyweight.

  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Aug 30, 2008 9:50 AM GMT
    I would say do light leg extensions as a warmup to squats if squats are your first exercise - and they should be. Lunges are great. There are a variety of ways to do them, so learn about them and rotate the variants into your leg routine. Also, straight leg deadlifts are for you butt, hamstrings and lower back. Normal deadlifts are for your quads, butt and lower back. I highly recommend you deploy both. I prefer to do straight-leg deads on the same day as squats and do regular deads on back day.
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    Sep 01, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    I LOVE squats, I just hate how most guys seem to use the squat rack at the gym to do shoulder shrugs and bicep curls. There are only 2 racks so it totally messes up my routine when they get on a rack and stay there for 30 mins. I think squats cover most of your leg muscles. I typically do back hyperextensions first to warm up the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Sep 08, 2008 7:46 AM GMT
    HighVoltageGuy saidMy current leg workout is as follows:

    Squats (6reps x 3sets, 10reps x 1set, 12reps x 3sets)
    Leg Press (6 x 3, 10, 12 x 3)
    Lunge (12 x 2)
    Lying Leg Curl (12 x 2)
    Leg Press Calf Raise (12 x 2)
    Seated Dumbell Calf Raise (12 x 2)

    It's been working out quite well.



    So for the squats do you use different weights for each of the groups of sets?