Teardrops of Joy for Ultimate Leg Development
The vastus medialis is the muscle located on the lower inner side of your thigh just above your knee that when developed takes on the appearance of a teardrop. To really capture the shape of it, one has to be in fairly good condition so as body fat levels are low enough to really see it. When this muscle is thick and fully developed, it adds another dimension to quadriceps development which could ultimately set you apart from your competition. Here are five excellent exercises designed to help build up the vastus medialis giving you that illusion of larger than life quads.
Everyone knows that at some point in your training, you have to squat if you want big legs. The squat is king when it comes to leg development. But if you’re looking for a way to isolate the teardrop and you just can’t pull yourself away from the squat rack, no fear, the front squat is here. By holding the bar in front of your body you will transfer the pull of the weight from being on your glutes, hams and quads to mainly just your quads. Point your toes out slightly when in your stance to maximize the stress on the tear drop and go down as deep as you can.
There’s nothing really complicated about performing the hack squat and some consider it a safer alternative to a free weight squat (front or back). What’s nice about the hack squat is that you can really focus in on certain parts of your legs without really having to worry about stability and the possibility of crashing while manoeuvring around trying to get the stress in the right area. To target the teardrop, you should take a very low foot position on the platform with a little closer than shoulder width stance. Then at the bottom of the exercise allow your heels to lift so that you’re almost on your tip toes and your knees to move slightly past your feet. Then from there drive through the balls of your feet finishing up your heels at just short of leg lockout. Caution: you do not need a lot of weight for this exercise to be effective!!
If you’ve ever incorporated sissy squats into your leg routine then you know there is nothing sissy about this exercise whatsoever. Most times your body weight is sufficient resistance to benefit from this exercise but if not, holding onto a plate while performing it will do the trick. Be sure to move through this exercise slowly and with great attention to form as there is a tremendous amount of stress placed upon the knee joint; but if done correctly, these can really help develop the teardrop.
Unilateral leg extensions
I know most people like to perform this exercise using both legs at the same time. But for the purposes of targeting in on the teardrop, I think performing unilateral leg extensions is your best bet. Unilateral leg extensions will really allow you to focus in on one leg at a time giving that one leg all of the stress from the weight. Often times one leg dominates and takes over more than the other so this way you can avoid that. Again, a slight pointing of the toes out to the side will help focus in on the vastus medialis.
Whether you perform these in the parking lot like Ronnie used to or stationary in the gym with a pair of dumbbells in your hands, lunges will help bring development to your teardrops and act as a great finisher to an already killer leg workout. It might be a good idea to step up on a couple plates or plyobox so that you can really maximize the stretch in the bottom portion of the rep as well.
You may have to shed a few tears in your quest for total quadriceps development; but it will all be worth it. Put in the work and focus on bringing up weak areas like your teardrops for a better overall package.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.
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