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Recent Bodybuilding Articles
Showing posts with label deadlift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deadlift. Show all posts

Most Effective Exercises for Building Leg Muscles

In order to get the kind of muscle mass results you are looking for you are going to have to lift rigorously, several times a week. Because it is likely that you will break your routine into upper body and lower body, we have separated our articles the same way.

The following exercises can all be done together and are great for adding muscle mass to your legs.

Deadlift

deadlift

Positioning - Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. The weights should be resting on the ground with the bar crossing over the balls of your feet. Squat down, keeping your eyes forward and your back straight. Grasp the bar just slightly wider than your feet.

The Lift - Keeping your back rigid and arms straight and unbent, raise the bar by extending the knees and hips. The power from this exercise should come from your legs not from your back. Bending your back can lead to herniated discs. Once you have reached the upright position complete the lift by raising your shoulders.

Down Phase - With the same pacing and control you used to lift the bar, return it to the starting position by lowering your body from the knees and hips.

Squats

squats

Positioning - The bar should be should rest on the rack 3 inches lower than the top of the trapezius muscle. You should stand backed up to the bar. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width. Hands should be placed evenly on the bar.

Down Phase - Stand up into the bar, holding it steady across the trapezius. Slowly lower your body be bending at the knees and hips. You should always keep your eyes forward and your torso rigid. The tendency to look the direction you are moving can lead to falling, either forward or backward while lifting.

The Press - Once you have reached the bottom of your knee bend, extend your hips and knees and rise to the fully erect position. Exhale throughout this portion of the movement. Make sure that you maintain control of the bar as you reach the end of your motion.

Lunges

lunges

Positioning - Stand with one foot forward and the other back. The distance between the two should be a little longer than your natural stride. Make sure that the position of your front knee is directly above your front foot. In order to get great muscle mass gains you should have a dumbbell in each hand.

Down Phase - Slowly lower your rear knee to the floor by bending your front knee. Keep your Head up and your eyes forward. This will prevent leaning forward.

Recovery - Squeeze you buttocks tightly and rise by straightening both legs. Use your abdominals and lower back to maintain your upper body's position.

Leg Press

leg press

Positioning - This is done on a machine. Sit flat against the chair back, placing your feet firmly on the footpad. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width. In the starting position your legs should be bent just past 90°.

The Press - Using your heels as the pressure point (not the balls of your feet), extend your legs to the point just before they lock.

Down Phase - Lower the weight at a controlled pace until you are back to your original starting position.

Calf Raises

calf raises

Positioning - Place your feet firmly on either the base of a calf raise machine or place your toes on the edge of your calf raise block. If you are using a machine then place your shoulders against the pads of the machine. If you are using dumbells make sure that you have them secure in each hand.

The Raise - The only motion should be at the ankle. By pressing down on the balls of your feet you can extend your entire body upwards. Do not bend you knee.

Down Phase - Lower yourself at a controlled pace until the heels of your feet are slightly off the ground.

Leg Extension

leg extension

Positioning - This is done on a leg curl machine. Seated on the chair of the machine your legs go over the top padded bar. This bar should rest behind your knees. Your feet then tuck in behind a lower padded bar. This bar will cross in front of your ankles. Make sure that this pad is just above where your shin meets your foot. The higher that this pad is the shorter you are moving the weight, cheating yourself out muscle mass.

The Extension - Raise the bar by extending your leg in a kicking motion The lift should continue until your calves are parallel to the floor but not so far that you lock your knees.

Down Phase - Lower the weight at a controlled pace until your knees are again bent to the original 90 degree position.

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Body Weight Moves: Prevent Injury, Build Muscle and Generate Power


If you want to pack on muscular size and strength, it can be tempting to head straight for the weights and do compound lifts such as bench presses and squats rather than press-ups, lunges and other body weight exercises. There's a common assumption that body weight moves are too easy to be effective in building muscle, whereas heavy lifts break down the most fibers in your muscles, shocking them into growing back bigger and stronger. While body weight training does have its limitations - it can't effectively target your back and biceps, for instance - it offers many more benefits beyond the fact that you can do it anywhere, at any time. These moves can reduce your risk of injury, are a perfect way to warm up and can actually improve your ability to go heavier when hitting the weights.

Body weight moves are great for people who don't have a gym membership or access to kit. They are especially beneficial to beginners whose own weight is a sufficient stimulus to improve muscular size and strength. For beginners their own weight provides the right level of resistance and poses less of an injury risk: it's hard to get the form wrong, unlike lifting weights, which can be dangerous without correct form.' Body weight training can also help injury-proof more advanced trainers. Because they are compound moves that involve more than one joint movement, these exercises recruit all your small, stabilizing muscles. Press-ups are great for improving the stability of the typically delicate shoulder joints.

Bodybuilding

Ego prevents many gym-goers from doing body weight moves because they don't get you the bragging rights like a new bench press or deadlift one-rep max does. But if you are training to build muscular endurance as well as power, body weight training is ideal. That's why combat athletes are some of the biggest advocates. Although favored by fighters, body weight training has huge transferable benefits for all sports in which you need to move your body powerfully and efficiently. They are also great as a warm-up before bigger lifts, or during interval runs - sprint for 20m before doing press -ups or squats. And do them immediately after a set with weights to crank out a few more reps to really fatigue your muscles. In fact, making bodyweight training a core part of your regime could even lead to lifting heavier weights.

Although body weight moves have plenty of benefits, for bigger and stronger muscles you need to lift weights. Once your muscles can lift your own weight comfortably, you will stop making strength gain. Once you can do 20 controlled press-ups, you need to increase the load for increased strength. That's not to say that a session doing bodyweight moves is an easy session. You can make most kit-free moves harder. For example, putting your feet on a chair increases the amount of weight your upper chest and shoulders must move during a press-up. You can also work your shoulders incredibly hard by doing handstand press-ups, while single-leg pistols are far harder than standard squats. But they are still no substitute to heavy weights if you want to add size.

The big problem with bodyweight training is that it is impossible to effectively target your back and biceps. This, and the limitation on how much you can ever lift, makes kit-free moves unpopular with gym-goers who want to pack on size by isolating each muscle and developing it to its maximum potential. To develop a muscle fully you need to target your muscles from many different angles and through their full range of motion .which is only possible with free weights, machines and other special kits.

Flexibiliy: An Important Element Of Training


While most exercises do not require anything other than an average flexibility, a few exercises call for more than average level of  flexibility. Perhaps the most conclusive examples are the squat and deadlift. If you have tight Achilles tendons, hamstrings, thigh adductor muscles, and glutes, for you it will be impossible to squat or deadlift in good form.

In the squat, a person is inflexible in hamstrings, thigh adductors, and glutes, and in this case you will round your lower back as you descend, lean forward excessively, and be in risk of toppling over. Back injuries will be inevitable as soon as you squat with a more serious effort. If your Achilles tendons are tight, your heels will not stay flat on the floor. And if you are inflexible in your shoulders and pectorals you might have trouble holding the bar over your shoulders with clenched hands. Regardless how good or bad your leverages are for squatting, a flexible body will go a long way to make better your squatting form.

Stretching are also of high importance in the matter of flexibility. Developing and then maintaining a flexible body is of great importance. It should become a habit for life. As you become older the stretching are becoming more important becomes. If currently you are tight and inflexible, especially in your lower body, a careful, progressive and systematic stretching routine on alternate days for 4–6 weeks is needed. Only then will you be able to adopt the necessary form in those exercises that demand a higher degree of flexibility.
Flexibility
 
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