The best exercises and effective techniques for sculpted calves and thighs.
It is possible to pump up legs without weighting.
You really need to work with heavy weights to build strength quickly.
According to a meta-analysis of scientific studies, muscle gains equally well when working with heavy weights for low repetitions, and when doing 12-40 repetitions of exercises with or without light equipment.
But there is one condition: exercises must be done to muscle failure or close to it. In other words, at the end of the set, you should have no more than 1-2 reps of strength.
To get the muscles tired enough, you can use several options:
Choose challenging exercises. For example, squat on one leg or exclude the relaxation phase.
Add weight. To do this, you will have to buy compact equipment for home training, for example, expander bands with different resistances. You can also make weights from available tools.
Add jumps. Due to the explosive component, the muscles will get tired much faster. A review of research has shown that plyometric exercise is as effective for hypertrophy in novice and amateur as strength training with weights.
Combine movements into supersets. Almost all leg exercises involve opposite muscle groups. For example, when you lower yourself into a squat, the muscles on the back of the thigh tighten, and when you rise, the muscles on the front. Performing two movements on different muscle groups without resting can tire your muscles more and build them up faster.
What exercises will help pump your legs
We will list the basic movements that allow you to properly load the muscles without any weighting.
Bulgarian split squats
The movement pumps the front of the thigh perfectly and provides a good load on the buttocks. Stand with your back to a chair or other low support and place the toe of one leg on it. You can put your hands on the belt or fold them in front of the chest – whichever is more convenient.
Squat down to parallel with the thigh of your supporting leg with the floor. If the heel comes off at the same time, move slightly away from the support. When exiting the squat, make sure that the knee does not curl inward.
The exercise perfectly loads the hip flexors, quadriceps, adductors, gluteus maximus and middle muscles, develops joint mobility and a sense of balance.
Raise your straight leg low from the floor and sit on the other until fully bent at the knee joint. Make sure that the heel of your free leg does not touch the floor, and that the supporting leg does not come off it.
Get up from the squat, keeping the knee from twisting inward, and repeat the exercise. You can stretch your arms out in front of you – this will make it easier to maintain balance.
This is a fairly complex movement and it may take you weeks to master it. Fortunately, there are many pistol training exercises that will also do great work on your hips and glutes.