Build Trophy Winning Thigh and Hamstring Mass
The hardest part of a bodybuilder’s life is maintaining the mental disciple to drive one’s body to the brink. While not jumping off the cliff to total annihilation. When it comes to the thighs, little opportunity to hold back much. Unless you want to remain in the lower 50 percent of an average bodybuilder crowd. The thighs, like most body parts, best served by occasionally swapping exercises in and out of your normal routine. Not familiar with the Jefferson squat? It can provide a new awakening in your lower body.
Jefferson squats, credited to circus strongman, Charles Jefferson, who in the latter part of the 1800’s lifted large weights. Lifting in a deadlift-squat fashion, snapping chains around his chest. While most likely not your goal. Jefferson squat infuses new power, mass and thickness to thigh and hamstring muscles that may surprise you.
Muscle Structure and Function
The Jefferson squat is a deadlift-squat combo. Activating hamstrings much like deadlifts do.The hamstring muscles consist of the long head of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles. The long head of the biceps femoris begins on the ischial tuberosity. The bony part of your hip that you sit on when in a chair. The fibers of the short head of the biceps femoris start on the femur bone just above the knee. Both heads of the muscle fuse into a thick tendon.
Crossing the lateral side of the knee joint to attach the fibula bone to the knee. The fibers on the semitendinosus anchor to the ischial tuberosity and insert on the medial side of the tibia bone of the leg. The semimembranosus muscle begins on the ischial tuberosity and attaches to the posterior part of the tibia bone just below the knee joint. While the hamstring muscles flex in the knee, in Jefferson squats, they primarily extend the thigh at the hip joint.
Although the three gluteal muscles activated by Jefferson squats, the gluteus maximus carries the brunt of the hip extensor work. The gluteus maximus muscle attaches to the bones of the hip. And to the scrum and along the lumbar area of the lower back. As well as the posterior part of the femur at a section referred to as the gluteal line.
Jefferson squats strongly activate the adductor muscles of the thigh. The adductor longus muscle begins on the anterior pelvis. Attaching to the guteal line of the femur. Adductor brevis muscle also begins on the pubic bone, anchoring the posterior femur. The adductor mangus muscle begins on the lower part of the pubic bone and ischial tuberostiy on the hip. The adductor parts of this muscle insert into the gluteal line of the femur. On adductor tubercle on the femur near the knee joint. As the name suggests, the primary function of the adductor muscles is to adduct the thigh by bringing it toward the midline of the body. The hamstring part of the adductor magnus muscle extends the trunk at the hip joint. The adductor longus also stabilizes the hip when the knee is being flexed.
- Place a barbell on the floor and straddle the bar with one foot on one side, and a little ahead of the foot that is on the other side of the bar. Take a stance that is wider than shoulder width.
- Bend your knees and take a grip with your palms facing inward.
- Keep your back vertical to the floor as you stand straight (extending you knees), and lift the weight from the floor until you are standing upright.
- Start the bar’s descent as you control the flexion on your knees.
- Lower your body until the top of your thighs is parallel with the floor.
- Do not bounce the weight off the floor.
- Return to standing position and repeat until the set is completed.
Try to keep your back perpendicular to the floor. If you lean forward, the lifting will be done largely with the back extensors and gluteal muscles rather than your quads.
Jefferson Squats Tips
If finding it difficult to avoid bending forward, take a wider foot stance. Also use wrist straps if finding your grip giving out before the set is over. You can create additional variety by changing your foot- and hand- spacing distances. Or whether your right or left foot is in the forward position. These small changes will also make subtle differences in activation patterns of the muscles.
While you may not have any desire to break chains or hang out at the circus- You can achieve a renewed surge of mass and increase strength in your lower body. This will take you one step closer to owning a pair of massively expanding trophy worthy thighs.