Undoubtedly, one of your fitness goals is to have strong legs to support your body. But do you ever wonder if your leg exercises are as effective as they could be? Here are four new ways to work out your legs that will result in strong, lean muscles.
Warm UpTo get started, do a body-weight goblet squat with a 3-second hold and then a hold reverse lunge with a hold and reach 3- to 5-second hold, alternating sides. Doing these two exercises together helps to open up your hips and primes your knee joints and supporting muscles for your upcoming activity.
You can also help improve your range of motion by pushing your knees outward with your elbows at the bottom of your squat, and shifting the hip of your back leg forward while reaching your opposite arm up as you lunge. Move slowly through each rep and doing this for about five minute total.
Power CircuitThe most effective way to workout is to start with the most difficult movement and on an easy note. This is because your body is at its peak readiness at the beginning of the set before it fatigues. This 15-minute workout begins with squats and ends with the much simpler pull-through.
To help keep your heart rate up during this exercise, do a bunch of reps as a fast-paced circuit without resting in between. Try to do a total of three or four complete rounds of the following routine:
- 8-10 goblet squats
- 10 deficit reverse lunge reps per side
- 10 dumbbell step-up reps per side
- 12-15 single-leg pull-through reps per side
In order to build bigger, defined muscles, you have to challenge your legs with significant resistance. This breaks down muscle fibers which are then rebuilt while you rest. A good pair of moves you can do to allow your legs to handle heavier loads safely are goblet squats and deficit reverse lunges. Start with 2 reps and work up to 10 of goblet squats with a 10-second rest in between each. Follow this up with 10 reps per side of deficit reverse lunges.
Do this routine once a week with a weight that you can only handle for 10 squats at a time, which is probably heavier than you would expect.
FinisherDoing this last exercise will help wear you out. It is important to note that once your body is tired, you tend to lose correct form, so it's not a great time to do difficult exercises. However, a pull-through is a smooth and easy modified swing movement which is not too hard on your joints.
Do as many reps as possible of a pull-through and work for speed and intensity rather than control and balance. Do this with both feet on the ground and perform as many reps as you can with perfect form in 30 seconds. Rest for one minute and repeat up to five times.
Add in Some CardioTo get even better results, add in some cardio each week that challenges the muscles in your legs. For example, hike up a hill or walk while carrying a heavy object at your side. Walking up an incline helps to increase the activation of your leg muscles. Remember, the steeper the incline, the more benefit your muscles will get out of it.
If you want to build your muscles to be able to complete heavy strength workouts, you have to improve your fast-twitch muscle fibers. This part of the muscle gives you the explosive power you need in order to do an effective workout. When you are doing cardio, add in some intervals such as sprinting for 20 seconds, then recover for one minute, then repeat seven more times.
About the Author
Dave Mugavero is the owner of Custom Bodies Fitness in Irvine, California. He is extremely proud of his success as the top rated health club in Orange County. Dave has been in the fitness industry for over 24 years, and is widely considered by his peers to be a “Weight Loss Guru”. His extensive knowledge of nutrition, human physiology, personal training and weight loss techniques, and his caring commitment to each client are what make him an expert in his field. He has been a top ranked Natural Body Builder and highly sought after personal trainer and lecturer.