Leg Day Workout for Your Leg Training
When it comes to working out, it is important to target different muscles in your workouts to ensure you work all parts of your body. Without a doubt, leg days will always be killer, yet it seems extra challenging to build strength in your legs. That said, doing a leg gym workout can be difficult in itself, but pairing this with back exercises can have even more benefits than you may realize. Working the two body parts on their own will be effective in itself but putting the two together can make a world of difference.
While it can be extremely tempting to skip on leg day because of how painful it can be, your legs and back engage the largest muscle groups in your body. Thus, working them can improve your overall body function, especially your lower body area. Whether you do your workouts in a fitness center or at home, there are tons of leg exercises that you can do to build strength and muscle.
Leg and Back Muscles
The leg muscles include your quads and hamstrings and calves. The major back muscles, on the other hand, include your lats, erector spinae, and trapezius. The lats are located at the back of your ribcage, from the bottom of your shoulder blades to the pelvis area. The erector spinae then stretches from the lower back to the neck, providing the much needed support for your back. Finally, the traps, short for trapezius, are one of the widest back muscles found around your shoulder blades and stretch from the lower back to the neck.
Essence of Following a Proper Form
When doing a leg gym workout, or any workout for that matter, following proper form is key to working your muscles effectively and preventing accidents or injuries. If you are new to fitness, it can be tricky to get into the proper stance and form for different exercises. However, practicing this is critical to ensure your energy is utilized in the most efficient way possible. While starting out, take your time to get used to the right form, as this will be more important than the number of reps you can do.
Getting personal training can help you learn more about proper form, but even without it, you can still teach yourself as you go along your journey. For leg workouts, you will often have to follow a hip-width or shoulder-width stance. Essentially, standing hip-width means that your feet align with your shoulder blades, while standing shoulder-width means your feet align with your shoulders.
Strength-Building Leg Exercises
Now that you are more familiar with what muscles to work, you can consider these effective exercises to include in your leg workout.
While holding a barbell, stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, bringing the barbell down with you. After that, head back up and stand straight. You will feel this the most in your hamstrings and glutes while also training your back. Make sure to keep the barbell close to you throughout and engage your core as you lower the load.
Sumo High Pull
The sumo high pull is similar to a deadlift, but this exercise requires a wider stance. Here, you lower into a squat, grab a loaded barbell or kettlebell, then hoist it to chin level. This exercise works your traps, upper back, shoulder, glutes, and hamstrings, and can typically be done more times than the regular deadlift.
Lie face down on a mat, with your arms and legs stretched out. Keep your neck neutral to avoid straining it, and as you exhale, lift your arms, upper back, and head off the floor. From afar, your body will look like it resembles a U-shape, but make sure you do not lock your legs when raising it up. This exercise will be a killer for your lower back, glutes, and core, but it will surely work those muscles effectively.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet at least hip-width apart and flat on the ground. Lift your hips until your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line, then squeeze your glutes and keep your core engaged. This exercise works almost every muscle in your lower body, particularly your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.