*Lower Back & Leg Group

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Exercise List

41. Bent-Knee Deadlift with Straight Bar 45. Lunges - Dumbbells 49. Seated Calf Raises.
42. Bent-Knee Deadlift with Dumbbell 46. Leg Extensions. 50. Crunches.
43. Squats (using Free Weights) 47. Leg-Curls. 51. Hanging Knee Raises 
44. Hack Squats. 48. Calf Raises on Hack Squat Machine.

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Lower Back & Leg Group

41. Bent-Knee Deadlift with Straight Bar
    

Figure 41A. & Figure 41B.

Muscles: Primary: Lower Back, Glutes (Buttocks), Hamstrings. Secondary: Abdominals.
Technique: Stand erect, feet about a shoulders width apart. Hold barbell with arms fully extended, hands just outside of upper thighs. Palms are "opposing" - one palm down and the other palm up. This grip helps to lock the bar in. Keep back straight, head up, and gradually bend your knees as you lower the bar to the floor, pause and return. Reverse hand grip after each set.
Tips: Weight should remain centered over your feet throughout the movement. Lean too far forward and you might "tip over." A way to maintain balance is to keep the bar close to you throughout the movement. The bar should just clear your thighs & knees on the way down, and vice versa. Getting this right will take practice - so start out very light.

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42. Bent-Knee Deadlift with Dumbbells

    

Figure 42B. & Figure 42A. 

Muscles: Primary: Lower Back, Gluteals (Buttocks), Hamstrings. Secondary: Abdominals.

Technique: Stand erect, feet about a shoulders width apart. Hold dumbbells at sides, arms fully extended, palms facing thighs. Keep back straight, head up, and gradually bend your knees as you lower the dumbbells to the floor, pause and return. Tips: Weight should remain centered over your feet throughout the movement. Lean too far forward and you might "tip over." Getting this right will take practice - so start out very light.

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43. Squats using Straight Bar
    
Figure 43A. & Figure 43B.

Muscles: Primary: Quadriceps (front thighs), Lower Back, Gluteals (Buttocks). Secondary: Hamstrings, Abdominals. Technique: I have tried different methods in which to hold the bar. Here are two that I think are best. Method #1. This seems to be the most often recommended method. Place barbell on upper back just below the base of your neck and between the shoulders. The trapezius muscles cushion the bar, so you can't lift heavy weight using this method, but it is easy to learn. Method #2. Place barbell on upper back just at the bottom of or slghtly below the trapezius muscles between the shoulders and above the shoulder blades. Stand erect, feet about a shoulders width apart, toes pointing forward. Hold barbell with arms fully extended. Keep back straight, head up, eyes looking forward, and lower the bar by simultaneously bending hips & knees and forcing buttocks out behind you (for balance), pause when thighs are parallel to the floor and return. Tips: Weight must remain centered over your feet throughout the movement. Lean too far forward (or backward) and you'll put tremendous presure on your lower back and you might "tip over." Which is why squat racks were invented. Use them. For safety you also need collars on the bar. Purchase and wear a weight belt. Getting this right will take practice. Start out very light and don't go heavy until you have mastered it. By the way, this is technically called a "half-squat." Full squats are considered too dangerous and about the only people who do them now are powerlifters. However, I do recommend doing full squats without weight as an initial warm up set(s). The Squat is absolutely the best "butt" and leg exercise. It has been a regular part of my routine for over two decades, and I am still doing it with no knee problems. None. The key is to be careful. I have seen many foolish people injure themselves because of poor form and others who pretend that they are "squatting" by loading up the bar so much that they can barley stand and then doing "quarter" squats. Then some people avoid it altogether. Why? Maybe it's because this is a grueling exercise? My point is if you don't have any existing contraindications then you should be "carefully" doing this exercise. Get a qualified club employee or personal trainer to make sure you are doing this correctly.

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44. Hack Squats
    

Figure 44A. & Figure 44B.
Muscles: Primary: Quadriceps (front thighs). Secondary: Hamstrings, Gluteals. Technique: Sit on seat and adjust back so that your knees form a 90 degree (or less if you want to go deeper) angle. Place feet about a shoulders width apart on foot pad, toes pointing up. Grasp side handles, keep back straight, head up, eyes looking forward, and buttocks flat on the seat. Extend the legs, pause, and return to start.

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45. (Dumbbell) Lunges
    

Figure 45A. & Figure 45B. 

Muscles: Primary: Quadriceps (front thighs), Gluteals (Buttocks). Secondary: Hamstrings, Abdominals. Technique: Stand erect, feet about 7-8 inches apart. Hold dumbbells at sides, arms fully extended, palms facing thighs. Keep back straight, head up, and take a big step forward with right leg bending your knee until your right upper thigh is parallel to the floor, pause and return by pushing up and back using your right foot. Do not allow right knee to go out past toes of right foot. Left leg should remain straight or only slightly bent. Do not allow left knee to touch floor (ouch!). Adjust the length of stance as necessary. Repeat with other leg. Alternative: If you have enough room, lunges can also be performed by "walking" forward. Tips: Weight must remain centered throughout the movement. This movement can also be performed without weights.

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46. Leg Extensions
    

Figure 46B. & Figure 46A.
Muscles: Primary: Quadriceps (front thighs). Technique: Sit on seat and adjust back so that your knees are aligned with the axis of the machine. Place feet just below the bar so that the bar is resting against ankles, point toes down. Grasp side handles or seat, keep back straight and flat against back support, extend the legs until they are just short of being locked out (straight), pause, and return to start. Tips: Be careful - do not hyperextend knees.

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47. Lying Leg Curls
    

Figure 47A. & Figure 47B.
Muscles: Primary: Thigh Biceps (Hamstrings). Technique: Lie flat on stomach and adjust so that your knees are aligned with the axis of the machine. Place heels under the bar. Grasp side handles or sides of bench, keep body flat against bench, curl legs up as far as you can, pause, and return to start. Tips: If you're going heavy on this, you may need to get a partner to hold/press your hips down.

48. Calf Raises on Hack Squat Machine.
    

Figure 48B. &Figure 48A.
Muscles: Primary: Gastrocnemius (calf muscle), soleus (under the calf muscle). Technique: Place feet close together and about halfway down the foot pad. Grasp side handles, keep back straight, and press forward as far as possible with the balls of feet, pause, and let your feet come back as far as possible. Tips: Do not let feet slip off the pad. Make sure you have the safety bar set as high as possible.

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49. Seated Calf Raises
    

Figure 49A. & Figure 49B.
Muscles: Primary: Gastrocnemius (calf muscle), soleus (under the calf muscle). Technique: Place feet close together on the foot pad and thighs under leg pad. Adjust the leg pad so that you will have full range of motion. Raise up on balls of feet and release safety lever. Lower heels as far as possible keeping the balls of the feet in contact with the foot pad, pause, and repeat as directed. Tips: Do not let feet slip off the pad. Do not bounce or lean back to assist calfs.

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50. (Abdominal) Crunches
    

Figure 50A. 7 Figure 50B.
Muscles: Primary: Abdominals. Technique: Lie on the floor with arms crossed, knees bent & together, feet flat on floor and close together. Curl shoulders up until they are off the floor by pushing the small of your back down into the floor ("crunching" your abs together), pause and return to start. Keep head in the same fixed (comfortable) position throughout movement. Tips: This exercise is also known as "curl ups." Shoulders should only comeup about 4" off of the floor. If this exercise is performed correctly - most people will start to feel the "burn" within 15-20 reps. If you prefer, you can place hands behind your head for support.

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51. Hanging Knee Raises
    

Figure 51A. & Figure 51B. 

Muscles: Primary: Abdominals and hip flexors. Technique: Place your lower arms on the bars to support your body and hang legs down in line with body. Raise both knees simultaneously as high as you can while keeping back straight and flat against the back support, pause and return to start. Tips: Resistance can be increased by keeping the legs straight and lifting them up until they are parallel with the ground. This exercise can also be done hanging from a pull up bar.

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