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Gym Leg Workout

workouts Mar 16, 2018
 
 

The Many Benefits of Leg Day

I don’t know a single lady on this planet that doesn’t want great legs! But leg workouts are potentially the most physically and mentally challenging for people, which explains why some people avoid training them altogether… Before you decide to skip it though, let’s explore the benefits of training those stems -

More Calories Burned

Your legs make up the largest muscles on your body and, therefore, require a lot more energy to do high intensity workouts. What does this mean for you? It means MORE calories burned! Your leg workouts aren’t just helping you build some great pins but they’re all firing up your metabolism more than other resistance training workouts and keeping your body tight and lean.

Build Your WHOLE Body

Leg dominant compound movements also help build the rest of your body! Squats and deadlifts predominantly work your legs but also recruit your core and lower back to assist, making these movements great for balance and overall muscular development In addition to your core and back, leg movements develop your glutes! Squatting, deadlifting, or lunging all require the glutes to power through the movement.

Basic Function

You use your legs for almost every physical activity you perform each day. There’s just no avoiding it. You use your legs to walk around the office, to bend down to pick something up off the floor, to take the dog out, to sit down and stand up, to walk up and down stairs… the list goes on and on. But if you aren’t keeping your legs strong and able, you are increasing your chance of injury performing all of these day to day activities (trust me, it’s easier to do than you think!) And as life goes on, the strain these activities can have on your body can make for very poor quality of life if you haven’t spent time building your strength through exercise.

Sports Performance

Building strength in your legs will help to increase your power output throughout your whole body. You will be able to run faster, jump higher, and move with more agility. For anyone that plays sports, this is essential to optimizing your performance for game time.

Now that we’ve gone over the benefits, let’s jump into a killer leg workout to get you started! The video above provides tutorials of every exercise to help with form and written explanations are shown below. Pin this article so you can reference the form for each exercise during your gym session!

Sumo Squat

1. Start with your legs further apart than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell between two hands at arms length in front of you. 

2. Slowly bend your knees, keeping them in line with your toes, until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

3. Driving through your heels, lift yourself back up to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top. 

Kneeling to Standing Squat

1. Start kneeling on a mat with a body bar or barbell on your back. You can also do this exercise with just your body weight if you don't quite feel ready to add more weight to the movement. 

2. Bring one leg out in front of you and use it to step up into a standing position. Perform a single squat.

3. Bring the opposite leg behind you and return to your kneeling starting position. 

Single Leg Glute Bridge

1. Lie down on your back on a mat. Place your hands directly at your sides or spread out. Bend one knee with your heel pressed against the floor and your other leg straight out in front of you.

2. Drive through your heel to propel your torso upward. Your straight leg should stay in line with your torso as you do so.

3. Slowly return to the starting position. 

Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlift

1. Begin with dumbbells in each hand at arms length. One foot should be firmly planted on the ground with the slightest bend in your knee. Your other foot should just lightly touch the floor with your toes. This leg should be bent. 

2. In one motion, lower your upper half forward and raise your bent leg until your upper and lower body form a straight line parallel to the floor (or as close as you can get to parallel without losing your balance!)

3. Slowly return to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

Step Up

1. Start in front of a box or bench with a body bar or barbell on your back. You can also do this movement with just your body weight to get adjusted to the form. 

2. Place one foot on the box and drive through your heel to stand straight up on top of the platform.

3. Slowly lower yourself back down.

Hip Thrust on Leg Extension Machine

1.  Adjust a leg extension machine so that you can sit underneath the leg pad with the pad comfortably resting on your pelvis. Bend your knees and rest your back against the seat.

2. Drive through your heels and push your pelvis upward until you feel a squeeze in your glutes. 

3. Slowly return to the starting position. 

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