Ninja Turtle legs

Posted: July 19, 2013 in fitness, fun, Muscle Building
Tags: , , ,


I was in the gym limping over to my locker after an especially hard leg training session with my coach, when I heard a kid giggling with his buddy and using the term “Ninja Turtle legs”, before promptly going into a discussion about the cookies he was about to bake. Something in me wanted to smack him around enough that he might avoid the meathead future that lay ahead for him, but instead I pondered the notion, and that was the genesis of this particular post.

Legs are one of those things that set the boys apart from men in my view. I see a lot of guys with well-developed upper bodies and chicken legs, but just as many untrained people whose legs have gotten quite strong beneath their large frames while the rest of their body is as soft as lemon lime jello.

While legs have never been a particular strong point for me, I’ve also never let them lag behind either; so I tend to have a relatively balanced body most of the time. But when I want to really raise eyebrows, I’ve found my legs tend to respond well to lots of stimulus.

I’ve had the most success when I break each group of leg muscles into two movements, and treat each of those movements slightly differently.

Here’s the breakdown of each muscle group, their primary functions, the two different movements for each, and how I utilize those movements for the best results:

Functions: Extend knee, flex hip

Movement 1: Pressing (Squats, leg press) – high volume AND high load, no lockout, incl super slow negatives, outward tension

Movement 2: Extension (machine leg extensions) – high volume, burn, flex to initiate, slow negatives

Functions: Flex knee, extend hip

Movement 1: leg curl (lying, standing, seated) – heavy, flex quads at bottom, squeeze glute into pad

Movement 2: Stretch (stiff-leg deadlifts, hyper-extensions) – moderate volume, squeeze glute at top

Functions: plantarflexion, dorsiflexion

Movement 1: seated – very high time under tension, slow movements

Movement 2: Standing – heavy

One of the least used exercises these days, which I like to use as much as possible for leg training is: Walking Lunges. It’s a very functional movement (though exaggerated), and hits virtually all of the muscles. Walking lunges can also help strengthen grip, core and traps, especially as the weight gets heavier.

If the back of the legs are a priority, Weighted Glute Bridges tend to utilize a lot of the leg muscles as well.

Also make sure to take lots of electrolytes and water before and after your workout to help avoid cramping.

Good luck, and good legs!

Related: Wolverine training; Man of Steel training

Super Hero Physique
superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

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