Go That Extra Mile With Your Leg Workout

An effective leg workout involves intensity, work ethic, sweat, blood and tears. When all of those factors are taken advantage of… it is at this point that you will see results from your efforts.

If you don’t go into the gym with this mindset… then don’t expect to see results. You have to want it bad enough to put the effort in, remember… you will only get out what you put in. Invest the time and sweat equity and you will have valuable real estate in the leg department.

It’s What Moves Us And Grooves Us

There are four muscles that are involved in the composition of the quadriceps they are the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and the vastus intermedius. The vastus intermedius sits under the rectus femoris. Tasks at hand for this muscle group is to extend (straighten) the leg.

There are three muscles that are responsible for the composition of the hamstrings they are the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and the biceps femoris. Tasks at hand for this muscle group is to flex (bend) the leg at the knee.

The calves are located on the back of your lower legs; they are comprised of two muscles which are the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Tasks at hand for these magnificent fellows are to pull up your heel and extend your foot when you push off to walk and run.

On the opposite side of the calves we have the front of your shin, the shin has four muscles they are the tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus and the peroneus tertius this muscle group is responsible for flexing (bending) the foot upwards at your ankle.

Last but not least, located on the outside area of the lower leg are the muscles that are responsible for lateral movements. The two muscles located there are the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. Tasks at hand for these gorgeous fellows are sideways movement of the foot at the ankle and stabilization of the leg upon the foot.

Go Parallel, Get Interaction… Forget Shallow

A key factor to success with your legs would be working them from different angles it is real important to work all four of your quad muscles during your leg workout, we want to squat up, squat at angles and also vary your stance.

While squats are the most effective leg exercise you can do, an important factor is hitting parallel in your squat. You gain the most interaction with all the leg muscles when you do this.

When you are working with a shallow squat, the legs don’t have to work as hard and therefore will not give you as much progress in the form of muscle or great strength growth.

As with all body parts that you train, pay attention to strict, controlled perfect form. This is one key factor in seeing progress in your leg development.

Safe Lifting… 3 Steps To A Quality Leg Workout

We want to execute our squats as safe as possible when we do them, so it is important to use a squat rack. When we set up the squat rack we want to make sure all the settings are correct. When this is achieved… we will always rest assured that we are lifting as safe as we can. Follow the outlined steps to ensure a safe lifting environment.

  1. Make sure the bar is set just below shoulder level.
  2. Make sure that you have the lower safety catches set in case of failure at the bottom of the movement or the ending position.
  3. Test to make sure with the setting of the lower safety catches in place, that you will be able to hit parallel in your squat.

Just The Beginning… A Start Up Leg Workout

I’ve included on the chart below just a few start up leg exercises, these exercises would be something for you to use if you are a beginner not knowing what direction to go. Hopefully these will get the blood pumping and start sparking ideas for some harder workouts as you move towards more advanced leg work.

Swap It Out If Need Be

If you don’t feel as though you can do the barbell squat yet with your leg workout, feel free to swap out the barbell squat for the dumbbell lunge.

As time progresses, I know that you will be able to conquer the barbell squat as you get more versed in the different leg exercises that are available.

Follow the steps below to execute the dumbbell lunge correctly and safely.

  • Stand upright holding two dumbbells directly down to your sides, now step forward with your right leg while keeping the left leg stationary behind you with your left toes in contact with the floor, your torso will stay in an upright position while keeping your head up to maintain your balance.
  • Always make sure your knee on the forward leg does not go past your forward toes, your forward shin should always be perpendicular to the ground.
  • Now with the heel of your forward foot and by squeezing your forward glute (butt) push back up to the beginning position to repeat the motions and complete all of your sets and reps that are required.
  • Try to do 4 sets with 15 reps each leg.

Improvement And Progression

Always be sure to progress with your workouts and goals. It’s not about going to the gym and just wasting time wondering around, you have to progress with your workouts… always make them harder as each day progresses and that my friend is how you will hit all of your fitness goals.

Your lower body has the biggest muscles in your body, by incorporating a strong leg workout you can actually kick start your metabolism and burn more calories. Since our legs are one of the largest muscle groups in our body and they are the base of your structure, let’s keep this foundational base as strong as we can get it. Now let’s get busy and rock this leg workout!

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