Are you avoiding Squats due to knee trouble, lower back pain, or shoulder discomfort? Well, there's no more excuses: check out this must-do thigh pumping exercise: Leg Blaster Squats.
Although children often demonstrate the perfect squat, many adults will struggle through lack of strength, poor flexibility, and/or a pre-existing injury. More alike to a Hack Squat, Leg Blaster Squats offer many of the benefits of squatting while reducing stress on the lower back and knees. They are a perfect introduction for developing your thighs and building lower body strength and can prove taxing for many advanced athletes too by simply increasing the repetitions or adding weight.
To perform the exercise at home, a doorframe, post, or secure handrail can be used for support. The latter will prove more comfortable. In a gym environment, an equipment machine upright or a locked-in smith-bar is suitable.
- Take a firm hold of your support (door-frame, handrail, etc.) with your toes in-line with your hands. Your hands should naturally fall around hip-height. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and facing forward.
- Ensuring a tight hold of your support, lean back. Then, bend your knees ever-so-slightly, taking the strain onto your thighs. This is the exercise start-position.
- Inhale, and bend your knees – lowering yourself down until your thighs are parallel (if comfortable, further, as pictured). This is the exercise mid-position.
- Exhale, as you extend your knees to assume the start-position. Repeat as appropriate.
Healthy beginners of a normal weight should struggle to perform 10 repetitions for 2 sets, but should quickly improve. Advanced trainers should struggle to perform 50 repetitions for 4 sets.
Of great interest to our readers in the United States, weight trainers can comfortably add weight (although a lot of weight is not necessary!) to this great exercise by purchasing Frank Zane’s Leg Blaster. For further details, please visit the bodybuilding legend’s site here: Frank Zane’s Leg Blaster. For those outside the U.S., please see our 2015 update below.
Not previously benefiting from the luxury of Leg Blaster Squat device in the UK, here's a couple of alternate options we've used to add weight...
Looped straps around a tricep bar and a hip-belt variation.
Matt's personal training note: One of my favoured exercises for quads, I'll often perform Leg Blaster Squats (with weight) for high reps (e.g. 40 reps), or for 20 reps superset with old-school Vertical Leg Press (for 20 reps too). Try doing that followed by a cycle home from the gym ;-)
Leg Blaster Squats are one of hundreds of exercise examples included on the Gym Professor free-to-download workout app GP Shuffle.
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Thanks and best regards,
Personal Trainer and Natural Bodybuilding Champion
It's about 4 years since I wrote this article. I rate Leg Blaster Squats so highly that I've decided to bring Leg Blasters to the UK. Here's a video, below, of me working out on one and also a link to purchase a Leg Blaster Squat device in the UK. Enjoy!
Purchase a Leg Blaster Squat in the UK
For international sales, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.