Whether you are just beginning to work out and lift weights, or if you have been training for a while, there will be something in this for you. The legs are one of the most important body parts to train but unfortunately, a lot of people neglect leg day. Many trainers either totally neglect to train legs, or they half arse their leg workouts and treat it as a rest day.
The legs are key to strength on a lot of exercises and in terms of bodybuilding, it looks pretty weird if you have a jacked upper body but tiny chicken legs. Train legs often and train them with intensity. Here is a leg workout to avoid that imbalanced physique in 2018.
Cardio- Exercise Bike
This may not be how you do things, everyone has a different regime, but personally I do a bit of cardio every day. Rather than doing all my cardio on one day, I do about 10/12 minutes of intense cardio every day at the start of the workout. Usually I use the cardio rowing machine but on leg day I do my cardio hit on the exercise bike. It just makes more sense given that it gives me that extra work on the legs.
The first exercise should always be the corresponding barbell exercise. On leg day it is of course the squats. If you have never squatted a barbell before, it will be difficult and painful at first. However, when your legs get stronger and you get into the flow, it becomes a very satisfying exercise. Especially when you break your personal bests. But this takes time!
There is no shame in just squatting the bar at first. Build up the weight over time or you could risk injury. With squats it is important to set up correctly. After you duck under the bar, make sure it is nestled on your shoulders and behind your neck securely. Stand up, take a couple of steps back, bend your knees until your bum is close to the ground and drive up off the floor.
This is the best leg growth exercise. Once you become accustomed to an amount of weight so that you can perform a lot of reps on it, increase the weight. You will slowly work your way up in weight and set personal bests.
When you become confident on the exercise you can make it heavier each set. For the real savages, work up to your top set and then work back down again, doing a set on each weight.
The leg press should be a lot easier for you than the squats, however, everyone’s different so don’t worry if you find it harder. With leg press you will load up a bar on the back with weight, it will be positioned behind a large rectangle which hangs above a seat. You will get inside and pull a lever to release the weight. You then use your feet to push the rectangle bearing the weight up.
This exercise works your your quads and hamstrings but like with the squats, other parts of the lower body will come into play. This is a really important exercise which you will no doubt get stronger with every session. It is great for building confidence in your leg strength.
It is important with this exercise to correctly position the machine. There is usually a handle you can pull to adjust the part of the machine that you extend your legs against. This is an excellent exercise to get more growth in your quads.
I like to do this exercise after the leg extension because it works the hamstrings after the quads. You are getting a full mini workout half way through your session. The leg extension focuses all of the work on the quads and the leg curl focuses on the hamstrings. The leg curl looks similar to the leg extension but in this case, you are bending your legs and bringing the rig towards you rather than pushing it up.
This exercise can be done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell. It is better to do it with a kettlebell as it will fit in your cupped hands better but it can be done with one side of a dumbell. You will cup the weight in your hands. Hold it out from your chest, then, keeping your core tight you will squat down and drive back up.
This is a great exercise to finish off. It has the range of motion that you get with barbell squats but you can do way more reps. It is like doing even more weighted squats with an easier range of motion. You almost trick your body into forgetting that the weight is there. As a result you can do tons of reps and get a really good burn right into the muscle. It is the difference between having size and being big and lean.
Thank you for reading this. This is one of many fitness related posts on the site but the first that gives you a full workout. Let me know in the comments section if you want to see more like this. I will be posting regularly again now that university assignments are taken care of so be sure to subscribe!