Barbells and legs go together like fries and mayonnaise. If you haven’t tried that you should – it’s amazing.
We’ve always associated these two things and most of the most powerful moves in the world require us to use our legs and a barbell – such as the squat, the deadlift and the clean and press. Powerlifting, old-time strongmen and Olympic lifting would not be the same without this combination!
But with that said, if you’re only using those few moves to train your legs then you’re missing out. In this post, we’ll be looking at a slightly more unique and varied workout using the barbell to target the legs. This one is going to help you to build all-over functional strength, prevent injury and of course: build massive legs.
You ready? Let’s go!
The Front Squat
The front squat is much like the regular squat, except that here the weight is going to be held in front of you instead of behind you. You’ll keep it in place on your upper chest, just as though you were going to do a press. It’s great training for the press and it also places a little more emphasis on the quadriceps rather than the hamstrings – which often get all the love during the squat.
What’s more is that front squats (also see the zircher squat) will round your upper back a little. Use a light weight and this is actually a good thing because it helps you to develop the strength you need to counteract that when it happens by accident. In other words, it will help you to prevent injury.
The lunge is another one targeting the quads quite a long, which is going to help you to grow too big for all your pants and to stop people from accusing you of ‘skipping legs day’.
This move can be made even harder by staying low to the ground to induce that ‘constant tension’ and really feel the burn in the best possible way.
The Jefferson Squat is effectively a squat performed by straddling the weight. This is actually a really useful way to train for the squat without the usual challenge that comes from it: you’re not going to face the same mechanical difficulty and it’s also a nice transition to help you get used to the deadlift. Great for the lower back and legs.
This is a deadlift that isn’t going to go all the way to the ground. It’s primarily targeting the lower back and the lats to some extent, but it’s going to be useful also for stretching out the hamstrings and glutes. Again this helps to prevent injury and improves mobility.
Speed Back Squat
As the name implies, this is simply a regular squat but performed with a lighter weight and with the aim being speed rather than weight. That will help you to build explosive strength, it’s ideal for really generating pump in the legs and it’s also a great finisher!