How To Build Legs Like IFBB Wellness Pro Chloe Pickford

Strong, sculpted legs are a cornerstone of competitive bodybuilding success in the Wellness division. Judging criteria emphasize the hips, glutes, and thigh musculature.

On Jun. 16, 2024, IFBB Pro Wellness athlete Chloe Pickford published a video on her YouTube channel sharing her in-prep glute and hamstring-focused leg workout, complete with training cues to build bigger and stronger glutes. 

Chloe Pickford’s Glutes & Hamstrings Workout

Here is an overview of the training session:

Cable Hip Abduction

Smith Machine Hip Thrust

Single-Leg Leg Press

B-Stance Romanian Deadlift

Seated Leg Curl

Check out the video below:

[Related: Michal “Križo” Križánek Will Not Pursue 2024 Mr. Olympia Qualification Due to Shoulder Injury]

Cable Hip Abduction

Instead of extending her leg straight to the side, Pickford moved it diagonally behind her to bias the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) more efficiently.

Pickford employed a slow rep cadence throughout the exercise and paused in the fully shortened position. Keeping her core engaged throughout, Pickford avoided arching the lower back to ensure her glutes did most of the work. 

Smith Machine Hip Thrust

Pickford prefers Smith machine hip thrusts for a fixed line of pull. This allows her to focus on muscle engagement without needing to stabilize the weight. To limit quad activation, she placed the balls of her feet on a squat wedge.

The British bodybuilder used a weight that permits slow and controlled movement, pushing through the entire foot, not just the heel, for optimal glute engagement. Pickford employs three-second eccentrics and pauses in the fully lengthened and shortened positions. This technique significantly limits the amount of weight needed to promote muscle growth. 

We are not powerlifters or Olympic weightlifters. We are bodybuilders. We are here to build [muscle] tissue, not ego lift or use momentum.

[Related: A Guide to the Best Pre-Workouts]

Single-Leg Leg Press

Pickford favors unilateral leg presses, as they allow a deeper mind-muscle connection. She positions her foot higher on the footboard, driving through the glutes. She advises against resting at the top of the range of motion (ROM) between reps to keep constant tension on the target muscles, thus maximizing adaptations.

B-Stance Romanian Deadlift

This Romanian deadlift variation involves a staggered stance, with one foot slightly in front of the other. The front leg is the primary mover, while the other provides stability. Pickford used dumbbells as they allow for more natural shoulder and wrist positioning. 

Maintaining a neutral spine, Pickford initiated the movement by pushing her hips back into a hinge. She recommends performing RDLs towards the end of a workout, as fatigue allows for effective muscle stimulation even with lighter weights.

Seated Leg Curls

Pickford employed three-second eccentrics and paused in the fully lengthened position during leg curls. A study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercises study concluded that training hamstrings at longer muscle lengths, such as in seated curls, may promote greater hypertrophy compared to prone variations. (1)

Pickford added that pausing at full extension helps eliminate momentum, ensuring the target muscles move the weight.

Per NPC News Online, Pickford earned her IFBB Pro card by winning the 2022 NPC Worldwide Raistrick Royal Rumble. She must win a pro show before the Sept. 15 deadline to debut at the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13, 2024, in Las Vegas, NV.

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Maeo S, Huang M, Wu Y, et al. Greater Hamstrings Muscle Hypertrophy but Similar Damage Protection after Training at Long versus Short Muscle Lengths. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021;53(4):825-837. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000002523

Featured image: @chloepickford_ifbbpro on Instagram

The post How To Build Legs Like IFBB Wellness Pro Chloe Pickford appeared first on BarBend.


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