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Squats: The Most Effective Muscle Mass Gainer for Legs

By: Anabolic Insider

Q. I just started weight training heavy after about 2 years of just getting used to lifting weights. I have read so much about building a good bodybuilding base that I wanted to wait and do it right, but I’m really worried about something. I know that squats are the only way to build huge muscle in the legs, but I’m afraid I’ll sacrifice my small waist squatting heavy. How can I avoid this? Or am I destined to have a huge gut if I squat heavy to build my legs?

A. I can see where you’re going with this and the truth is, you’re not really drawing a straight line from Point A to Point B. Sure, leg squats can make your waist and ass big, there’s no doubt. However, squats don’t have to, by any means. It really depends upon the form you use while doing squats.

Squats are invaluable in terms of building mass and a great foundation. In fact, I’ve never seen a pair of legs worth their salt that haven’t been built by thousands of squat reps. Thinking that you can do leg extensions and leg presses to develop adequate musculature is absurd! You’ll get shape and a certain amount of size, but you’ll never get the density and overall leg, glute, hip and lower back development that you can get by doing squats.

For years, magazines have talked about how the leg press works the same areas that the squat does, but it really isn’t the truth. No matter how you slice it, sitting down isn’t the same as standing, balancing weight on your shoulders and fighting against gravity to lift yourself and a weight. Plus, the squat involves many more subtle areas, including the hip flexors, low back and overall surrounding ligaments. This develops an overall look not found with any other movement. If I had just one exercise to do, it would be the squat.

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