I love doing direct leg work. It’s probably because I had some pretty severe leg injuries back in high school and college – to the point where I couldn’t even walk without pain, and climbing stairs was “one at a time” for awhile there. So, nowadays, I really enjoy strengthening my legs in new ways – ways that I could only dream of in the past.
So, I’m always on the lookout for new leg training exercises and strategies. And lo and behold, I found this video featuring Mike Chang performing 20 different leg exercises, which he says are meant to help you build muscle.
Here’s the list of exercises. You’ll notice it comes out to 21 – even without counting the doubles – but we won’t hold it against the Six Pack Shortcuts team for not counting correctly…
- 180 Degree Jump Squats
- Bodyweight Squats
- In And Out Squats
- Jump Squats
- Crab Walk Squats (aka Side To Side Squats)
- Frog Jumps (Forward/Backward Jumping)
- Box Jumps
- Assisted Sissy Squats
- Half Rep Squats (aka Partial Range Squats)
- Wall Sits
- Split Squats + Alternating Forward Lunges
- Reverse Lunges
- Around The World Lunges
- Plyometric Lunges
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Ski Hops (that’s a new one for me!)
- One Leg Toe Touch – (aka Single Leg Deadlift)
- Donkey Kicks
- Hip Thrusts (2 or 1 leg)
- Calf Raises (2 or 1 leg)
note: I changed some of the names.
Now, let’s see here… a variety of different movement patterns trained – check! Lot’s of squat variations are included – good sign! And there are exercises in there for both beginner and intermediate/advanced trainees – sweet! So, all in all, it’s not a bad list. Now, if I was one to nit-pick, I might say that some of these aren’t exactly suitable for “building muscular legs.” I mean, donkey kicks? Seriously. And I might also note that some of the technique demonstrated is absolutely atrocious. But I wouldn’t say something like that, would I? Nah. I’m a nice guy.
But if I set aside my bias that people who cannot perform an exercise with at least almost proper technique should not be demonstrating it, and thus, teaching it online, then I should be able to like this video. After all, it’s got cool background music. And after watching it, you may have heard me say, “I feel totally swole, dawg.” Even though I was just sitting here in my ergonomic office chair.
But needless to say, there are a lot of cool ideas in this video, and you could choose a handful of those exercises to put together a great leg workout for yourself. Something I’m a big fan of is training the body with a focus on all three planes of space (ie 3D-based strength training). Now, even if we just looked at the squat variations, Mike’s got a great collection of varied movements that will target the squat pattern in several different ways, which will cause the body to adapt in a more balanced manner.
So, this is pretty good stuff, and honestly, I’d like to see some new exercise variations that Mike has got up his sleeve. Skip hops were a new one for me. I can’t think of a context that I’d use them, except perhaps if training a skier, but it’s one more idea to add to the toolbox. Now, if only I could teach Mike about the 7 key components of structure… but I could be hoping for too much.
Anyways, hopefully you got some value out of that video and my rambling commentary. While I’m busy reviewing the Six Pack Shortcuts material, the video critique series must go on! Stay tuned.
Announcement: all that busy work has finally paid off. I’ve just finished my review of Six Pack Shortcuts. Check it out if you want to know the TRUTH about this program!