If you’re looking to improve your running times, or you just want to enjoy longer hikes, building strong legs should be an important part of your workout plan. Here are some workout tips for building great legs.
First rule of building great legs – to get the best results from your leg training, you need to work them just like you work your upper body: from various angles and positions. Doing so helps you to also build stability around your joints, since bigger muscles on your legs don’t really do you any good if your joints can’t support them.
Next – it helps to know a bit about your legs. Your legs, including your quadriceps and hamstrings are actually pretty complex. Your legs are built from an extraordinary amount of muscle that passes through multiple joints and performs an incredible amount of movement. The following tips can help you train your legs from multiple angles and positions, not only building up the muscles around your joints, but also fully training your muscles to deal with many degrees of movement that you experience in the rest of your life.
Tip #1: Vary your stance while doing squats.
When you change the foot position and the width of your overall stance in a squat, you change the muscles that are working hardest. Varying your squat stances during your workout changes the emphasis on the muscles you need to grow. Try three stances during your sets – wide with toes pointing out, shoulder-width with toes very slightly out, and a narrow stance (feet inside the shoulders) with toes straight ahead. By experimenting with your stance, you’ll be able to feel which muscles are working hardest.
Tip #2: Change up your foot placement during extensions and curls.
If you have just been keeping your feet aligned during your extensions and curls, you’ve been missing out on targeting other muscles. And, even more so if you’ve avoided them due to knee pain. (If you do experience knee pain during any workout, make sure you talk to your doctor and get it check out before doing any leg exercise). Try turning your feet out like a duck, and do about 3 to 4 reps this way, pausing at the top. You’ll feel an entirely different burn on muscles you didn’t know you had! Then try pointing your toes inward for a number of reps. You’ll find that you’ve now hit your inner and outer quads – building more shape, more strength, and stronger knees as well.
Tip #3: Train your Adductor Magnus!
What is your adductor magnus? This is the largest of your adductor muscles – the muscles that make up your inner thigh – and working them also helps your glutes and hamstrings. Hamstring curls miss hitting these muscles. But, doing one-leg barbell squats, goblet squats, and Romanian Deadlifts can definitely hit these muscles while also building up stabilizer muscles that help you with balance – great for running or skiing!
For more information about getting lower body strength equipment, or any other type of fitness equipment for your Phoenix area home, contact Fitness 4 Home Superstore today and we’ll be happy to match you up with the perfect piece of exercise apparatus – cardio, strength, core or flexibility.
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