Image © Vince Del Monte
I know you’ve heard this a million times — do not skip leg day. But still, there are those courageous ones who can go out looking like this.
It is tempting — we all know that! No matter how crucial you think your upper body workout is, the same principle still applies to your glutes, quads, and calves. These are large group muscles that are very difficult to bulk. Results are only seen after months and months of training, hence, the still increasing number of leg day skippers. Although some leg day enthusiasts religiously train, they still commit mistakes such as doing unnecessary leg exercises, partially squatting, and focusing on the number of reps. If you want those killer monster legs, you need to focus on your posture, perform the right exercises for you, and most importantly, you need to be patient.
Now, onto the five of the best and most effective leg exercises.
1. Barbell Squat
The classic barbell squat is perhaps the most effective leg exercise you can perform. It just burns every muscle in your legs in one move. Proper posture and maneuver are very crucial for this exercise to work. Your head should be aligned with your back, the chest is up, shoulders back, spine aligned with the rest of the body, and your knees should not be over your toes. Your heels should stay flat on the floor when you squat, and when you carry the weight up, the pressure should be on your heels and not on the balls of your feet.
Image © Body Rockers
2. Barbell Lunges
To target your quads and glutes, another classic move is what you need — that is the barbell lunge. When performing this exercise, make sure your chest is up. This is a universal rule whenever you carry a weight on your back. This is to put your chest above your centre of gravity and avoid any injury or accident. Also, the barbell should be on the muscle and not on the spine. To do this, simply squeeze in your shoulder muscles and place the bar on top. Check out this video to practice your lunges.
Video © Scott Herman Fitness
3. Leg Press
There are two types of leg press machines, the standard horizontal and the 45-degree / seated leg press. Remember that there are no half reps when doing leg press, make sure you extend your legs through a full range of motion. Also, don’t hold your breath when pushing the weights.
4. Weight Plate Thrusters
This exercise will definitely bulk up your quads and calves. Stand behind a staircase, whilst holding a 25- or 45-pound weight plate. Start with a lighter plate if you’re a beginner. Place it at chest level. Keep your balance as you sit back, keeping your knees behind your toes. Once your butt lands on the second or third step, quickly stand-up as you press the weight plate overhead.
Image © Muscle and Fitness
5. Romanian Deadlift
To isolate your hamstring muscles, the Romanian Deadlift, or RDL, will do the job for you. Start by grasping a barbell from the floor, keeping a shoulder width to a wide overhand grip. Your stance should be shoulder-width or narrower. Bend your hips and knees while keeping your spine neutral. When you feel the stretch on your hamstrings (at this point, the barbell is almost touching the floor) lift the bar by extending both hips and knees to an upright position.
Image © Muscle Mag
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