The Deep Knee – Bend
This is one of the most beneficial of all exercises and should be a part of every bodybuilder’s exercise program. Begin the deep knee-bend by standing erect, hands on hips and feet a comfortable distance apart (Position #1). For better balance, place your heels on a book or block of wood an inch or two thick. Inhale. Then, keeping your back perfectly straight, lower your body-to a squatting position until your buttocks touch your heels (Position #2). Pause and exhale. Then return to the starting position. Do at least twelve repetitions.
Variations on the basic exercise can be undertaken as you progress. Try it, for instance, with your feet flat on the floor and close together. Or use a weight either placed across your shoulders or held in each hand.
One of the most beneficial variations of the deep knee-bend is to perform it squatting on one leg at a time, with the other leg held straight out in front of you. At first you will probably need to hold onto some stationary object like a chair, bed or dresser. In time you will learn to keep your balance without holding on to anything. Try it with your arms stretched out straight in front as you go into Position #2, returning your hands to your hips as you regain Position #1. After you’re good at this, you can hold a weight in each hand for more muscle-building strain.
The deep knee-bend is especially good for the upper leg region. It develops the Vastus Externus (the long muscle that runs along the outside of the upper leg) and the Vastus Internus (the muscle situated at the front and inside of the leg just above the knee). It also aids in the development of the Gluteus Maximus (the buttocks muscles) and broadens the chest as a result of the deep breathing it requires.
Learn the basic exercise thoroughly first, then try the variations. You’re only as good as your legs — and the deep knee-bend will give you strong, well-proportioned ones.
Future Man Volume 1 № 1, Winter 1962
Publisher: Physique Press