Do you want to grow your legs? Do you want a strong lower body that is pain-free? A lack of stability might just be what’s holding you back from realizing true gains in size and strength.
This superset is something like a magic bullet that’ll bulletproof your legs. That may sound ironic, but I assure you that your legs will feel like they’re made of steel. But first, you have to implement these two moves into your training program.
This superset will challenge the stability of your lower body, providing you with a strong foundation for growth. The inability to stay strong at the bottom of our squats can inhibit us from loading our squats heavy enough to elicit serious gains. The good news is the first exercise in this superset addresses our stability in the hole by using manageable loads, providing us with a strong base that we can load heavier in the future.
Our second exercise of this superset targets our anterior oblique sling (AOS) - the internal and external obliques pairing with the contralateral (opposite side) adductor group.
The adductor group is an oft-overlooked muscle group in our lower body training. The adductor group consists of five muscles – adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, gracilis, and pectineus – these muscles get activated indirectly by compound lifts such as the back squat; but do not get directly targeted by many compound exercises. This leaves the adductor group relatively weak compared with the rest of our lower body, contributing to our injury-prone groins.
Two different groups of muscles make up the obliques - the internal and the external obliques. The internal layer lies deep to the external, and its fibers run obliquely from the inguinal ligament and iliac crest to the ribs. The external obliques are superficial, with fibers obliquely oriented in the opposite direction of the internal obliques. Layered, these two muscles form an X. A deep abdominal layer called the transversus abdominis (not shown) further supports the obliques, and together with the deeper still transversalis fascia and inguinal ligament, they form the inguinal canal.
We can use a variety of exercises to challenge the adductors and obliques, but many of our options hit the adductors or obliques in isolation; we fail to realize that our adductors work in conjunction with our abdominals, most notably the internal and external obliques. These two groups (obliques and adductors) constitute the AOS mentioned above. The AOS works to stabilize the body and compress the pelvic girdle while lifting, walking, and running.
Woah. That might sound a bit complicated, but the good news is our body does this without thinking about it each time we take a step. Best of all, there’s a simple way to strengthen the AOS, providing us with the strength and stability we need for our daily activities and our glorified gym junky habits. We’ve got it for you right here with exercise two.
Perform 3 sets:
1. Eccentric Pause Squat (5-5-1) x 6-4 @ 55-65% 1RM Back Squat
Rest 30 secs - [Breathe – in through the nose, deep into the belly, and out through the nose]
2. Adductor Plank x 30 secs each
Rest 2 min between sets
A Letter from Big Bird’s Trainer
in a way
that’s my cup of
and that’s okay
found a way
to let your
goodbye to their
but with your
and hold on