Ask most bodybuilding coaches and they will tell you that symmetry is the best indicator of a great physique. Nothing looks more incongruous than a well-built upper body that is supported by a set of puny legs. Training your legs is part of developing the body that will make your appearance the envy of many. All that was considered in the article that brought out 5 reasons why you must train your legs. To train your legs, you will need to target 3 muscle groups: quads, hamstrings and calves. Let’s talk about how we can train each of he muscle groups.
Barbell squats is the best exercise for training your quads; however, it is a tough undertaking and as such, beginners need to master the movement using very light weights, or even an empty bar, prior to moving on to bigger poundage. To proceed with the exercise, load the bar, while on the rack, with the appropriate amount of weights and step under it. Place the back of your shoulders below the bar and then lift by pushing with your legs; straighten your torso on the way up. Spread your feet so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders. You’re now in the correct position to begin your squats. Begin sinking down slowly keeping your chest up, your head facing forward, and your back straight. Keeping your chest up as much as possible will help you push yourself back up to a standing position. While you can sink down as low as you’d like, stopping when you hit parallel will minimize the stress on both your knees and lower back. You hit parallel when your hip joints and knees are on a plane that is parallel to the floor.
Other quad exercises include hip belt squats, barbell hack squats, front squats, and dumbbell squats.
An excellent way to work out your hamstrings is via the barbell stiff-legged deadlift exercise. As the name suggests, stiff-legged deadlifts require that your legs remain straight, or with a very slight bending of the knees, as opposed to conventional deadlifts where knees are bent. To perform the exercise, pick up the loaded bar off the floor and bring it up to your thighs slightly below the waist. Lower the bar by pushing your butt back until the bar is slightly below the knees, then bring it back to just below the waist. Keep your chin up and your back straight throughout the exercise (although your lower back may bend slightly during full hip flexion, target muscles are exercised isometrically if it does not bend). Also, keep the bar close to your legs during the cycle. Other hamstring exercises include cable pull through, leg curls, and barbell good mornings.
One of the best calf exercises is the standing barbell calf raise. To begin the exercise, place the back of your shoulders under a rack-mounted barbell as you would for barbell squats. Raise your heels up until you’re standing on your toes. Flex your calves and then come back down. Repeat the cycle until you’ve reached your desired number of reps. Other calf exercises include hip belt standing calf raises, leg press calf raises, and standing dumbbell calf raises.
Implementing these exercises in your workout regimen will ensure that you build a nice set of legs to complement the rest of your body.