In all the years I have trained clients. I don’t think I have ever heard a client say “yay. Legs today”
Training legs is an amazing way to burn calories / reduce body fat as they require a lot of energy to be stimulated.
If you are looking at developing bigger & stronger legs. Follow my routine below.
- Sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
- Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
- As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make around a 90-degree angle.
- Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.
I have always preferred leg press over squats first in my routine. I like to do 3 sets of around 8-10 reps , followed by one high volume of around 20 reps.
- Begin with the barbell supported on top of the traps. The chest should be up and the head facing forward. Adopt a hip-width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
- Descend by flexing the knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward. Ensure that they stay align with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible.
- Continue all the way down, keeping the weight on the front of the heel. At the moment the upper legs contact the lower legs reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.
Again . I like to use a rep range of around 8- 10 reps & do 3 sets. Now that my quadriceps are trained , I then move on to hamstrings.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts:
- Hold a bar at hip level with your palms facing down. Your shoulders should be back, your back arched, and your knees slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
- Lower the bar by moving your backside as far as you can. Keep the bar close to your body, your head looking forward, and your shoulders back. Done correctly, you should reach the maximum range of your hamstring flexibility just below the knee. Any further movement will be compensation and should be avoided for this movement.
- At the bottom of your range of motion, return the starting position by thrusting the hips forward to stand up tall.
Rep range here is around 8 – 10 reps
Lying Leg Curls:
- Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie face down on the leg curl machine with the pad of the lever on the back of your legs (just a few inches under the calves).
- Keeping the torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are fully extended & grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances described on the foot positioning section). This will be your starting position.
- As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
- As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
I personally like to use a little higher rep range with leg curls & perform around 12- 15 reps.
Standing Calf Raises:
- Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.
- Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward (or using any of the two other positions described at the beginning of the chapter). The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with the heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
- Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
- Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
I like to perform around 8 – 10 reps / 4 sets.