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  1. #1
    rossoreduk
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    Free Weight training for legs!

    Hey so wots the best free weight training for the Quads, the Hamstrings and the Calves?

    I'm currently doing Toe raises and the burn in my calves is awesome!

    Does anyone have a routine they'd like to share?

    Wot say you?

  2. #2
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    By free weights, do you mean hand held weights and not a machine?

    I do lunges. Stepping forward or backward into a lunge. And different variations of lunges too.
    The dead lift is good too. Hold on to weights and bend over like touching your toes, but slowly and focus on contracting muscles in your butt and legs.
    Squats are good for quads too. Squat then, do a toe raise if you want to work the calves. All with smooth controlled motions.

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    Sissy squats are good for the lower quads, but they can be difficult on the knees.
    Half and Full Squats are safe and exceptionally effective if using correct form.
    Plie Squats are good.
    Lunges.
    Dead Lifts.
    I mainly squat, Lunge, Leg Press, and DeadLift. Of course, I don't do all in the same workout. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    run using one leg while holding the arms to the front

    Jacob
    "Always continue with an attack you have begun." - Manfred von Richthofen
    "Mysteries are not necessarily miracles." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    "Back then, a half-a-century ago, the situation was totally different. Economically, we were practically on our knees, and politically, we were still excluded from the community of nations. Today, in this respect, we have a totally different and much more stable basis." - Franz Beckenbauer

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    Quad dominant:
    Squats with olympic stance
    Front squats
    Overhead squats
    Split squats
    Hack squats (the old kind, not the machine)

    Hip dominant (hamstrings):
    Deadlifts
    Romanian deadlifts
    Stiff leg deadlifts
    Pull throughs
    Glute/ham raises
    Natural ham raises

    etc.

  6. #6
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    I agree various squats are best for quads and various deadlifts for hams with various calf/toe raises for calves.Variety as to foot placement ,hand placement,bar placement ,weight and reps etc. results in balanced development and keeps the exercises and routines fresh.
    Currently I am training in a push/pull routine in modified superset fashion and train legs in one workout .By modified superset I mean I do a set for quads say and then after a normal rest a set for the opposing muscle group in this case hams and so on.This allows for benefits of opposing muscle training with enough rest to still go heavy.And even this is not strict and is more for the isolation moves as when I get in a groove on a compound exercise sometimes I will do sereral sets in a row.Having said that here is something like what my current leg workout looks like.
    leg extensions alternated with ham/leg curls to get warmed up and blood flowing .followed by squats often alone pyrimiding up in weight or sometimes super or tri setted with the previously mentioned or even paired with lunges.After that I usually do romanian deadlifts usually alone but sometimes I will include in some weight stack adduction work(the one that focuses on inner thighs in case I got the term wrong)or begin calf work by pairing it with bodyweight one legged calf raises off a block.Then I will usually move into calf work with standing then seated weighted raises.The take home message is I have a long list of exercises I do from time to time a few core that I always do but an individual workout is very flexible and usually determined by how I feel while working out.But for legs -squats is the core for quads,romanian deads is the core for hams and standing raises for calves which I prioritize below the other two by putting last in the workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD
    But for legs -squats is the core for quads,romanian deads is the core for hams
    Romanian deads only hits one of the two main functions of the posterior chain. Glute/ham raises hit both, they should be your core for hams.

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    No they shouldn't be. I work out in my garage so am very selective of what specialized equiptment I purchase.Anyway I prefer to use midrange power moves for my core hitting stretch and contraction positions in ancillary exercises.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JustsayMo's Avatar
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    My freeweight routine starts with squats, progressively working deeper and heavier. Once warm I do split squats for my "work" sets. They really hit the glutes and hammys as well as the quads.

    I like to occasionally mix in front squats. They are excellent for the core stablizer muscles and you use less weight.

    Stiff weight deadlifts (Keystones) and/or leg curls (machine)

    Toe Raises

    Then a ride to spin some blood through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD
    No they shouldn't be. I work out in my garage so am very selective of what specialized equiptment I purchase.Anyway I prefer to use midrange power moves for my core hitting stretch and contraction positions in ancillary exercises.
    Glute/ham benches are one of the best pieces of equipment going around. They are dead simple to make aswell.

    One of the two hamstrings movements are always neglected, especially on cyclists, which results in an imbalance between the hamstring and quad. This can cause a myriad of problems, not least stress on the lower back.

    Also, isolating each movement loses specifity in the training. Basically, the more specific your training, the more real world strength you will have. Most religous leg curlers are fantastic leg curlers, but real world hamstring strength? Not much at all...

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    But keep in mind your doing your workout or recommendations for your priorities and I'm doing mine for mine.I don't weight train to specifically improve cycling I weight train to add muscle(as well as overall strength and overall health,balance etc.) and cycle to lose fat(plus aerobic benefits etc.).I also do both for enjoyment.For my core exercises I am interested in moving as much weight as possible by involving as many muscle groups and for hams that happens for me to be rom. deads.I admit the exercise you mention might be a good substitute for ham curls though(which is not one of my favorite exercises anyway as I do prefer more multijoint compound movements generally) and I probably could design an apparatus to attach to my power rack or bench as I think I've heard of others doing this.Also due to formerly living in the mtns. my hams have always been strong relative to my quads so through weight training I have actually been able to add some relative strength to my quads. Anyway thanks for the suggestion but I suggest it might help to actually make it a suggestion in the future.
    Last edited by RWTD; 11-16-03 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWTD
    But keep in mind your doing your workout or recommendations for your priorities and I'm doing mine for mine.I don't weight train to specifically improve cycling I weight train to add muscle(as well as overall strength and overall health,balance etc.) and cycle to lose fat(plus aerobic benefits etc.).I also do both for enjoyment.For my core exercises I am interested in moving as much weight as possible by involving as many muscle groups and for hams that happens for me to be rom. deads.I admit the exercise you mention might be a good substitute for ham curls though(which is not one of my favorite exercises anyway as I do prefer more multijoint compound movements generally) and I probably could design an apparatus to attach to my power rack or bench as I think I've heard of others doing this.Also due to formerly living in the mtns. my hams have always been strong relative to my quads so through weight training I have actually been able to add some relative strength to my quads. Anyway thanks for the suggestion but I suggest it might help to actually make it a suggestion in the future.
    I didn't intend to push it. I am just saying, when developing a training program, the hamstrings should be trained through both major movements. A glute/ham raise uses more musculature than a Rom. deadlift. If you are all about moving weights, go and see the Westside Barbell website. They are strong advocates of the glute/ham raise. Technically speaking, a romanian deadlift is an isolation movement.

    I'm not trying to push anyone, I'm just trying to give advice that is general rather than be specific. Everyone has their oppinions and own experience, I am speaking purely from a textbook point of view. I could go in to what works for me, but that wouldn't help anyone out.

  13. #13
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    Stiff leg deads, squats(with varying foot stances), lunges, and calf raises(with varyiung toe angles) are all you will ever need for leg power.

    Leg pressing/hack squats are ok but do not rely on them too much, use it as a suppliment to squats. I use leg press machines for calves as much as anything.

    I am just now moving into a weight program for the winter. I will lift until March or April 4-5 days per week and then taper into a maintenance program after cycling season starts.

    I lift only for strength, bodybuilding routines which bulk up your mass will slow you down on the bike.
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    Croak I think you would be hard pressed to make a case of either exercise being isolation.In addition to the hams and glutes I believe to some degree the rom. dead also works the calves,quads,back,shoulders and arms(particularly the grip).I am not knocking the ham-glute raise (though I may tend to overlook it since I don't currently have the setup to perform it)it is a very functional exercise and the more I look into it probably the ham exercise you should choose for functional cycling specific strength if you were to only choice one.
    But like I said my core exercise choice as part of a balanced multi-objective program is the exercise that moves the most weight through the power range and due to mechanical leverage advantage and the compound nature the rom. dead would win out here.
    Glute-ham raises,reverse hypers and dips are all example of exercises I would like to add to my routine but don't currently have the setup.In particular the glute-ham because for the hams there does seem to be a real scarcity of effective exercise choices available.Perhaps I could use the ab station attachment to my bench to do the exercise I'll have to look into it you've peeked my interest anyway.I don't think I'll replace deads with it though as they are my favorite exercise which I do in three different forms in my routine counting lifting the bar into position for heavy shrugs.
    P.S. Don't even bother to try to talk me into "box" squats though lol.
    Last edited by RWTD; 11-16-03 at 05:41 PM.

  15. #15
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    P.S. Don't even bother to try to talk me into "box" squats though lol.
    I never really understood these myself. Dangerous at the very least. I might understand a beginner wanting something at the level of proper depth if they are having trouble guaging how deep they squat and qualifying in a power meet.

    My concern is going into the squat and misjudging the descent and slamming hard onto the box causing severe injury to the spine.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan
    Leg pressing/hack squats are ok but do not rely on them too much, use it as a suppliment to squats. I use leg press machines for calves as much as anything.
    When I was referring to hack squats, I was referring to squatting while holding the bar in your hands, behind your back. Kind of like a reverse deadlift. These are the true hack squat, not that silly machine.

    RWTD,

    I'm not saying take out the deads, god no! I'm just saying you have to train the hammy for knee flexion (as most people do in leg curls) and hip flexion (as romanian deads do).

    Give me a week, I'll have you box squatting with the best of them! Get on to rigging up a dip station, it's a must have!

  17. #17
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    Yea I use to do the barbell hack a real toughie to get the hang of with all the balance issues as well as the compound nature.In fact I think I will add it back in my next leg workout.

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