Last week, I told you about my adventure in weight lifting by sharing an amazing triceps and shoulders work out. I have also shared in the past WHY you should be lifting weights and HOW to get started. You can find my post about the necessity of weight lifting HERE if you missed it!
Today I will share a “guaranteed results” leg workout with you. This takes anywhere from 35-45 minutes when done in full, resting between sets and super sets. I must give credit where credit is due: my friend Hayley Sample, walked me through this workout and taught me these exercises. She is amazing!
A “set” involves one exercises where you take a 1-1.5 minute break between sets.
A “super set” involves two exercises done back to back where you do not rest until you have performed both exercises. Both exercises together is considered one time through.
Warm up your knees and hips on the bike for 2-3 minutes at around a level 10. Don’t make it easy! This will help prevent injury or strain while lifting.
Exercise 1: Set
Activity: Goblet Squats
Duration: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps in each set.
Tutorial Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrVgpDOLlgM
Goblet squats involve holding a dumbbell or kettle bell close to your chest while doing squats. Your legs should be a little further than hip width apart, with feet angled outward. While holding the weight close to your chest, slowly lower by bending the knees and sticking your butt behind you. Go all the way down and squeeze your glutes and rock your hips forward at the top!
Don’t let your knees come in front of your toes and always keep your back straight as opposed to relaxing those back muscles.
Exercise 2: Super Set
Activity: Straight leg dead lift & Seated hamstring machine
Duration: 3 sets: 10 reps of EACH activity in this super set
Dead lift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCptXVjRTAA
Seated hamstring machine: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seated-hamstring-curl/MM00746
Because this is a super set, you do both activities back to back and THEN rest for about a minute. Do not step between these two exercises.
Straight leg dead lift: Grab two dumbbells ( I started with 10′s in each hand and worked my way up). Feet should be hip width apart and you need to bend your knees so your quads are in the beginning stages of a squat. Holding the dumbbells in front of your thighs, slowly roll the dumbbells down your leg, bending as you go. Once the dumbbells get to the middle of your shins, your back should be a straight line, parallel to the ground. Slowly roll the dumbbells back up your legs, keeping knees bent the entire time. That is one rep.
You should feel this in your hamstrings!
Seated ham string machine: Make sure your seat is positioned properly so that you gain the optimum benefits from this exercise. See tutorial above. You can do this one leg at a time or both legs at a time per set. I recommend changing it up during your workouts!
Exercise 3: Super Set
Activity: Split Bulgarian Sqauts using bench & Seated leg press machine
Duration: 3 sets: 10-12 reps of EACH activity in this super set
Split Bulgarians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s_70Nm3Nw4
Leg Press Machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LKoZOl7nx4
Split Bulgarians: With a bench behind you, place one foot on the back of the bench and jump forward so your other leg is a couple feet from the bench on the ground. While keeping one foot on the bench, you will do a squat using the leg on the ground. Wiht your back straight and arms at your side, slowly lower into a squat. Make sure your squat forms 90 degrees at the bottom of the squat. If it does not change your distance from the bench. Repeat exercises with other leg on the bench and on the ground.
To add difficulty as you get stronger, hold weights in each hand while squatting.
Leg Press Machine: Use the leg press machine to target ONE LEG AT A TIME in this super set. Be sure the chair is the correct distance from the foot holds, and slowly push away from your foot, using only one leg at at time. You should not ever lock your knee at the top of the exercise. Slowly lower back down, but do not let the weights hit on the machine. That is one rep. Do 10-12 reps and then repeat with other leg.
To change it up, use both legs on occasion for variation.
Exercise 4: Super Set
Activity: Seated Leg Extension machine to target quads & Walking Lunges with dumbbells
Duration: 3 sets total: 1 set is 10 reps of leg curls PER LEG and 20 walking lunges (10 per leg)
Leg Extensions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XcVxzv_DBU
Walking Lunges: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HflELi3M4Ys
Seated Leg Extension: This machine targets your quad muscles. You will do ONE LEG AT A TIME! While seated you will place your ankle behind the bar at your feet and slowly raise your leg to extend the knee. Slowly lower back down. This is one rep. Do 10 reps, switch legs, and repeat.
Walking Lunges with Dumbbells: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, you will do walking lunges. Start with 10 pounders and go up from there! Make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are back the entire time; your lunges should end in a 90 degree angle at your knee. As you walk step out wide rather than just forward- this will target more muscle groups! In between steps, do NOT allow both feet to touch the ground, but continually step from one lunge into the next lunge, regaining balance at the top.
Be sure to do at least 10 lunges per leg!
END WORKOUT! You did it!
I hope you have found this helpful. Many people have asked for detailed weight training workouts.
Let me remind you, you SHOULD be sore and it SHOULD be hard. Do not be afraid to lift heavy and push yourself. The benefits are worth every bit of pain!