A lot of people are bragging online about their brutal leg routine, follow them round for a bit and the routine is pretty boring, a few squats, boring stiff deadlifts and some burn on the machines then off they go. If you are wanting the best legs ever to match your awesome arms, shoulders and chest then traditional exercises are just not going to cut it.
Your leg day should be customised to eradicate the most common source of lower-body weakness. It should be hard, but also diverse enough to rid you of the muscular imbalances that are common in holding back muscle and strength gains.
These are some of the best ways to boost time under tension, increase intensity and keep the growth coming.
Turn basic squats into super squats that will really make your legs burn and help them to grow. This simple technique will increase the time your muscles are under tension and also emphasize the crucial bottom range of the squat. By stressing full range of motion and increasing the involvement of your glutes and hamstrings it will also help make you better at all kinds of squats:
A helpful tip is to keep your core tight for the whole phase of the 1 and a half rep set to maintain positioning and control during the set.
The 21 method is amazing for arm growth, this classic intensity booster is also great for the biceps femoris and the other two big muscles that make up your hamstrings as well as the glutes and lower back.
Keep your shoulders pulled back and your knees slightly bent, focus on pulling through your heels to enhance hamstring contraction.
You live in 3D so why train in 2D with your legs and two feet on the ground? There is a time for planting your foundation and loading up as heavy as you can, but you will be surprised by what you can accomplish through the simple addition of training laterally or side to side.
The lateral lunge forces you into a different plane of motion, targeting the abductors, adductors, glutes and calves whilst boosting hip and lower back mobility, it also offers benefits for those looking to boost their athletic ability, it also gives your muscles a serious shock, even with lower weight.
Keep your head and chest up by pulling the kettlebell back in front of your chest, be sure to push-off the floor on each rep instead of dragging your foot.
Who says you have to get through nose-bleed inducing very heavy squats for them to be effective? To add intensity to the king of all exercises, lighten the weight and explode into the air. Performing jumping squats can boost power production as well as the anabolic hormone responsible for muscle growth.
Drive from the bottom up keeping your chest up and proud throughout the whole movement.
Pistol squats as their also known are a great way to add balance and symmetry to your lower body whilst boosting overall athletic performance. Many people avoid them, believing they have to do rock bottom pistols to see the benefit, this is not true.
One of my favourite lower body movements is the box squat, not just the two-footed, barbell loaded variety either. SIngle-leg squats on a box or bench are a fantastic add-on to a workout, allowing focus on one leg at a time, dealing with imbalances that may be affecting your performance and ultimately your gains. They are easy to customize as you can adjust the height of the box and the weight if you use it.
Always keep your head and chest up, maintain a tight core and flat back throughout the movement, once you can easily do 12 reps per side, add-on some weight to make it more challenging.
The perfect way to end your leg day? Both hands on a kettlebell and finish off your workout with this explosive exercise that works on your glutes and hamstrings, increases your heart rate and takes the workout to a whole new level.
Always keep your head and chest up, controlling the kettlebell so as not to lose your stance and positioning, always maintain a flat back throughout the movement, focusing on driving with your legs and core.
These really are some of the best leg exercises in the business that will help change-up a dull leg workout and help you to start seeing gains again.
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