Leg Workout To Suit You
I love a good leg workout. It always makes me feel like I am really helping myself in so many ways. Lifting heavy weights strengthens the bones which in turn helps to prevent Osteoperosis, so with the Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps and Hamstrings being three of the largest muscles groups in the body; I can not only think of Leg Workouts as my ‘Back Off Osteopersis Workout’ but they also burn more Calories than a run or upper body workout alone! Score.
If you are new to weight training then start off these moves without weights. Don’t worry, you will still be getting a great workout. Just stabilising yourself through the movements works a whole heap of muscles throughout the body and not just the ones in the legs; the core (stomach area) has to work really hard when working the legs! As you become more confident with the moves and are starting to find the workout easier,; start with a 2kg dumbbell or small bottle of water in each hand. You can even use a Kettlebell of around 4kg.
If you are more experienced then play about with tempo (explained below); before you run on through the weights rack and find yourself at 24kg, maybe go with 80% of your normal weight and really focus on the muscles you are working. To do this, ensure you are thinking about and feeling the muscles of the backside, front of the leg and back of the leg throughout the whole move. Don’t just switch off and think of the next shopping trip or what happened at work – think about the muscles and you’ll get more from the workout. To change the tempo you are simply going to slow down the up and down portions of the exercises. This adds a whole new challenge, gives you more time to think about the muscles being worked and can keep thing fresh, fun and challenging. Anything from 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up, to 4 seconds down to an explosive 1 second up, to 2 down pause at bottom for 1 second and back up for 2 etc etc. So many possibilities! Just always ensure that what you are doing is intense and focused otherwise it can be almost pointless. Without intensity your muscles aren’t really working, so be your own PT and make yourself work hard!
Now this routine is never the same! Thanks to the Cards!
You will need
Step Lunges = Spades
For both beginner and Experienced I would make each step a rep not left and right as 1 rep.
Beginner–No Weights or 4kg dumbells
Experienced– Dumbells 80% of your normal weight for Step lunges
Front squat = Clubs
Beginner- Kettlebell 3/4kg
Experienced– Kettlebell 80% of Your Front squat weight
Calf raises = Hearts
Beginner– No Weights.
Experienced– Dumbells/Barbell/Olympic Bar
Walking Lunges = Diamonds
For both Beginner and Experienced I would make each step a rep not left and right as 1 rep.
Beginner– No Weights or 2xSmall water bottle/2kg weights
Ok so if you haven’t already worked it out, each of the exercises are given a suit. You then just turn over the first card and do however many reps of the allotted exercise.
Number cards are what they are, Jack, Queen king and Ace are 10 and jokers are a minute rest. If you are wishing to make it even harder then you can make Jack 11, Queen 12 and King 13 and Ace 15.
This is a great easy way to focus a gym session. Next time I will share my fave exercises for a Full Body Workout!
I would possibly do half the allotted numbers on your first attempt!
You can do this exercise with or without Dumbbells, Kettlebells or a Barbell. Obviously for beginners start without weights as you will be working so many muscles to stabilize and maintain your balance that sans weights will be more than enough of a workout!
- Stand with a neutral spine. From beginning to end the shoulders should be back and the core engaged.
- Step straight forward with your left leg about two shin lengths in distance. Far enough forward that when you bend the back knee to the floor the hip will be directly above it. Also for the front leg aim to keep the knee directly over the heel. This prevents undue stress on the knee joint.
- Now push off your front leg to take you back to your starting position.
- Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.
Front Kettlebell Squat
This exercise is great for the Gluteaus Maximus(the bottom). Being the largest muscle in the body it is the greatest opportunity to work to burn fat. Also by focusing on working the bottom we are aiming to keep our thighs trim and not grow out of proportion.
- Take a hold of the kettlebell handle with both hands. Hold the bell in front of your chest. Ensure your core is engaged and you are standing tall. Feet shoulder width apart, toes facing forwards.
- Feel like you are bending down to sit on the toilet. Weight balanced throughout the whole foot. Keeping the kettlebell infront of the chest the whole time. Focus on keeping the knees also following the train tracks of the toes, making sure they don’t roll inwards on the movment downwards or upwards.
- Once at your lowest stable position, hold for a count of 1. Then with control extend the legs, driving the hips upwards and forwards back to its first position.
- Repeat as necessary.
Focus on keeping the knees also following the train tracks of the toes. They have a tendencey to roll inwards whatever level you are at. So especially if you are a beginner be aware of them, as it pays to not get into bad habits early.
This exercise can be done with or without weights. Even for experienced gym goers I would possibly try to use dumbbells or a small barbell if available. If without weights then you could take this move to step. Being on the edge of a step enables you to get a larger range of movement.
- Without or without weights start in a neutral position. Engage the core.
- Really focus on not letting your ankles curve outwards as you raise up onto your tip toes.
- Slowly lower under control, still concentrating on keeping the ankles in line and bringing them back to their starting position.
- Repeat as necessary.
This exercise mainly hits the Quadriceps. However as i am finding recently if you really put your attention on the other muscles you are working you can almost specify which one you use to push through the movement.
- Start with a neutral pine, feet hip widths apart.
- Step forward with your left leg a good two feet in front. Bending the knees to take the back knee as close to the ground as you can whilst maintain your balance. Your upperbody should remain upright with your core still engaged like the starting position. To prevent undue stress on the left knee aim to not take it further than the heel on the lowest part of the bend.
- Drive through the heel of your front foot and straighten both legs to raise yourself to a standing position.
- Step forward with your right foot, repeating the movement on the opposite leg.