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A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

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Ok, so here's one I can pretty much PROMISE you've never seen anything like before. It's one of THE most insane exercises I've ever come up with and believe me...if you want to really hammer your quads, it's going to leave you on the floor after the first set.

This one requires only a few simple pieces for set...a barbell, a rack and a bench. Optional is a barbell pad (which is helpful for the leg press part of the movement).

Now, you might have seen something similar to this set up with a few other exercises I've got on the site.

This exercise incorporates THAT exercise plus a huge range of motion sissy squat style of exercise to hit the quads from top to bottom...full stretch to hard contraction.

Here's what it looks like...when you see it in action, you'll know exactly how tough this one is to do and how effective it is.

First, set a flat bench inside the rack, parallel to the safety rails.

Next, set one of othe safety rails up high (like up near the very top as high as you can). Set the other safety rail about a foot and a half below that.

Set the barbell on the rails - it'll be angled down pretty steeply (make sure you have good collars). Load the barbell on both ends (can be lighter on the high side).

I've got one plate on the high end and two plates on the lower end. You don't need a whole lot of weight for this one. The barbell pad should go down near the bottom end.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

Now the fun begins...

Stand up on the bench and get your back under the barbell so it runs lengthwise down your back. The pad should hit you right on hip/lower back area. Grab onto the bar up near the safety rail at the top.

The video shows me getting into position under the bar. You'll need to experiment with the height of the safety rail on the low side so that you start the squat/leg press at a good angle.

And yes, my knees ARE in front of my toes...don't tell the squat police ;)

Honestly, it's not bad for your knees, as you may have been told. If you can perform a barbell squat without your knees moving forward of your toes, then my hat is off to you - I can't do it!

Your feet are going to be positioned on the bench so the forefoot area is right in the middle of the bench - you're NOT going to be setting your whole foot on the bench surface. Your heels will be off the back edge. This comes into play during the sissy squat portion of the exercise (I'll explain why this is when I get to that).

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

Straighten your legs. This is the top position of the exercise. Nothing too crazy here. Since only your forefoot area is on the bench, this actually puts more tension onto the quads.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

Now for the transition to the sissy squat...

Lower the bar back down and set the low end on the safety rail. Now, holding on tight to the bar with your hands, squat down and forward.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

You're going to come forward and down, using your grip on the bar to hold your body up off the ground. You're still on your forefoot area here.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

Here's where that foot position comes into play...

Let your body stretch forward and down until your body is completely stretched out and your knees are down near the ground.

Your toes are now hooked over the edge of the bench.

Push your hips forward and you'll get a HUGE stretch on the quads at the bottom here.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

Now the fun part...coming back UP.

Use your arms to help as much as you need to, but try to use mostly quads. Push down hard with your toes onto the page to get your body moving up again, then bring yourself back up underneath the bar and into the leg press position.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

In a smooth motion, come all the way and do the press/squat movement.

A Full Range Quadriceps Exercise... Sissy Squats to Barbell Leg Press In the Power Rack

This takes you from full stretch straight up into a hard contraction. Come back down and repeat, coming all the way down to the full stretch again. I recommend about 6 to 8 full reps on this one.

Trust me, this will KILL your quads. When I finished this exercise the first time I did it (which is actually in the video!), you'll see just how hard a time I had walking to stop the camera.

Freaking brutal and not for the faint of heart this one is, but INCREDIBLY effective for the quads.

 


 


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