Friday, June 28, 2013

Powerful Functional Legs

             It is one of the most solid foundations to have strong, agile, functional and powerful legs. If you’re in a sport, your legs are your carryover. You can’t kick a soccer ball, score a touchdown, jump shoot a basketball or run the bases in baseball without the use of your legs. It is important to have the best legs possible, not just in sports but in real life, if you’re in law enforcement you might need to run down a suspect, if you’re a strongman you might need to use your legs for certain feats like bending or maybe pulling a large object like a truck possibly. You see way too many guys in the gym that have flamingo legs meaning large upper body and bird legs. Never fall for this.

            Having a powerful lower body is essential to the many things life offers but power doesn't always mean super strong, it’s crucial to also have flexible and supple joints, tendons and ligaments. I know this all too well because of the recovery from my accident 8 years ago. I started out with squats but as I learned flexibility training it became more important. Stretching is a key to lifelong health so it’s important to find the best ways to keep you from having burned out legs as you get older. Remember to learn to relax as you stretch, the key is to release tension because the more relaxed you are, you can be more explosive and powerful later on.

            We all know the key to superhuman legs is squats but that’s not the only exercise that builds them. Squats are usually the straight up and down exercise but what about directional movements or isometric holds for different directions. When you lift odd objects, your legs aren't always going to go up and down, you need to move in different patterns to lift certain things like Rocks, kegs, logs and furniture. You want to keep strong in every direction possible. Think of it like wrestling; you don’t always shoot in for the kill, you need to shift the body for certain moves or holds that require flexibility otherwise you’re just going to be stiff and you’re down for the count.

            The single most important reason the legs need to be super strong is because they also build crazy lung power which amps up your conditioning. I have repeated it so many times but certain people need to get this planted into their brain, the late Karl Gotch has said “Conditioning is your best hold.” This means the more conditioned you are, the longer you can go and can stay in the game. This goes for everything. Endurance is essential and yes it’s possible to have big legs and still have insane stamina (Great Gama anyone). You don’t always need high volume training to build endurance and certain things won’t build lung power the way you might think. Powerful muscle and endurance go hand in hand. Keep your legs strong, supple and crazy powerful because you never know when they might come in handy when the time calls for them. 
Post a Comment