Tips for strength in your legs
The legs are usually one of the most undertrained body parts among people who work out. Almost everyone wants washboard abs, a big muscular chest and ripped arms. But great looking legs? Not so much. However, a great workout includes balance, which means you should improve your legs as well. Here are 4 training tips to strengthen your legs.
Target a combo of muscles
If you do leg exercises which only target one particular muscle, chances are you’ll be burned out before even completing all your leg training exercises. The best way to do it is to do exercises which utilizes several muscle groups. For instance, squats can hit three muscle groups all at the same time—your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Another exercise which targets multiple muscles is the step-up. This is performed when you step-up on an elevated platform with one foot, followed by your other foot until you stand with both feet on the platform. Then, step back again, starting with the lead foot you used. Lunges also provide the same benefits. Either than targeting several muscles groups and saving training time, another advantage of using muscle combo exercises is it accelerates you metabolism. It’s because your body is given the signal that more muscles are being utilized and should burn more calories to fuel those muscles.
Maximize benefits by using diverse combos
While on the topic of multi-muscle group exercises, maximize their benefits by diversifying the combo. Although this seems a bit complicated, it really is not. It just means that you should use a different angle. For example, lunges can also be done not just in front. You can perform side lunges, even back ones. You can also add weights to increase the level of intensity. Why the need for changes? Well, because the lower part of your body is composed of large muscle groups. The groups have numerous fibers in separate directions. The more angles your exercises cover, the more fibers are targeted, improving your overall leg workout. Squats can also be modified for maximize benefits. You can add back squats and split squats to your leg routine.
Bring on the weights
Although bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats and step-ups are effective, if you really want to intensify your workout you have to bring in the big guns—weights and machines.
Start with a kettlebell. Tightly grasp the handle of the kettlebell. Then dip down (like in a squat) lowering the kettlebell between your legs. Now, swing the kettlebell up by getting up using the power of your thighs and legs. You should be in a standing position, with your knees slightly bent. Your arms should be straight, in front of your chest. That’s a one count. Do as many as you can.
Angled leg curl. You’ll need a leg curl machine with this exercise. But one with an inclined bench. Lie face down on the machine. Your knees should not be on the bench and the upper part of your ankles should be on the extension pad. Then, lift the weights. Engaging the muscles of your lower back and hamstrings. Remember not to rush this exercise. Take your time, feel every contraction this exercise makes.
Contract your muscles, including your core
You don’t want to rush exercises just for the sake of finishing them. Take time to contract your leg muscles, glutes and thighs to help maximize the effectiveness of the exercises. This includes your core. Why include your core when it’s all about your lower body? Well, if you want to strengthen your lower body you have to have a strong core.
Finally, as you work to strengthen your legs don’t forget to wear a durable pair of shoes with lots of support. Your feet and ankles will definitely take a beating so you’ll need a strong shoe with good cushioning, without compromising your ability to move. Reebok shoes, for instance, because of its ties with CrossFit, produces tough but flexible shoes. Also, choose shoes with good traction. You’ll need a good grip to prevent slips and slides as you move, especially when it involves weights. You can check out their shoes at trusted Reebok shops.