Posts Tagged ‘leg training’


tmnt_leg

I was in the gym limping over to my locker after an especially hard leg training session with my coach, when I heard a kid giggling with his buddy and using the term “Ninja Turtle legs”, before promptly going into a discussion about the cookies he was about to bake. Something in me wanted to smack him around enough that he might avoid the meathead future that lay ahead for him, but instead I pondered the notion, and that was the genesis of this particular post.

Legs are one of those things that set the boys apart from men in my view. I see a lot of guys with well-developed upper bodies and chicken legs, but just as many untrained people whose legs have gotten quite strong beneath their large frames while the rest of their body is as soft as lemon lime jello.

While legs have never been a particular strong point for me, I’ve also never let them lag behind either; so I tend to have a relatively balanced body most of the time. But when I want to really raise eyebrows, I’ve found my legs tend to respond well to lots of stimulus.

I’ve had the most success when I break each group of leg muscles into two movements, and treat each of those movements slightly differently.

Here’s the breakdown of each muscle group, their primary functions, the two different movements for each, and how I utilize those movements for the best results:

Quads:
Functions: Extend knee, flex hip

Movement 1: Pressing (Squats, leg press) – high volume AND high load, no lockout, incl super slow negatives, outward tension

Movement 2: Extension (machine leg extensions) – high volume, burn, flex to initiate, slow negatives

Hams:
Functions: Flex knee, extend hip

Movement 1: leg curl (lying, standing, seated) – heavy, flex quads at bottom, squeeze glute into pad

Movement 2: Stretch (stiff-leg deadlifts, hyper-extensions) – moderate volume, squeeze glute at top

Calves:
Functions: plantarflexion, dorsiflexion

Movement 1: seated – very high time under tension, slow movements

Movement 2: Standing – heavy

One of the least used exercises these days, which I like to use as much as possible for leg training is: Walking Lunges. It’s a very functional movement (though exaggerated), and hits virtually all of the muscles. Walking lunges can also help strengthen grip, core and traps, especially as the weight gets heavier.

If the back of the legs are a priority, Weighted Glute Bridges tend to utilize a lot of the leg muscles as well.

Also make sure to take lots of electrolytes and water before and after your workout to help avoid cramping.

Good luck, and good legs!

Related: Wolverine training; Man of Steel training


Super Hero Physique
superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

Two leg workouts in one!

Posted: February 16, 2012 in fitness, Muscle Building
Tags:

So on Monday and Tuesday I did two workouts each day, a strength session in the morning and a hypertrophy session in the pm (in addition to early morning cardio).

Wednesday however I had a ton of errands to do so I decided to get a little creative for my leg routine.

My normal practice is to pre-exhaust with an isolation move, go into compounds, then finish off with some hamstring work, but this being a high load week I changed it up a bit…

I started out doing heavy leg presses, first feet close together, then changed up foot position and did some pushing with heels (to hit hams).

I then also did a few different version of the hack machine, front facing, backwards, and deep partials.

I then went went into the isolation moves, starting with leg press, then I focused on hamstrings doing leg curls with my knees elevated.

To hit my hams a little more I finished off with some stiff-legged dead lifts. That was it, then I wobbled home!

One of the things I did to help with this workout (as well as the others this week) was to double up my normal glutamine intake, as well as adding some before bed.