3 Tips for Spicing up Your Leg Routine

This is a guest page by Iron Simba.

The barbell back squat is regularly touted as the best leg exercise, and for good reasons. However, if you have been performing this exercise over and over again with little change in your leg routine, chances are that you’ve hit a plateau and are seeing little gain. Here is how you can spice up your leg
workout routine and add and mix other leg exercises.

Use the Leg Press
If the squat is not helping you anymore, try the leg press as a mass builder. It might not target the whole body like the squat but if you have a weak back or have a psychological fear of a 150Kg weight hanging on your shoulders while you move up and down, the leg press will certainly help you break through your limits. In the leg press, you are seated and only your legs are involved to push. You are also more stable and do not need to worry about keeping your balance. These two factors will greatly contribute to increasing the weight you can push and you will find out you can rapidly and safely push more than 4 times your maximum weight in the squats.

Learn the Leg Burner
Many of you have probably done some leg extensions after a few sets of heavy squats, just to ‘finish off’ the quads. That’s a good routine. But if you are seeing no gain, here is how you can surprise your legs: do the leg extensions first, then the squats. Your legs are recruited throughout your daily life to carry you around as you walk. The quads are therefore a very strong and large muscle group that requires considerable effort from you to tire them out, more so than other muscle groups. As the conventional squats involve other secondary muscles as stabilizers, these often get tired before the mighty quads. So by pre-exhausting the quads first on the leg extension, you can this time ‘finish them off’ on the squats and you won’t need to handle as much weight. Imagine doing a set of 60kg squats and struggling with it!

As you get more with less weight, you will also be able to squat deeply without fear of putting too much stress on your knee joints. The leg extension is an excellent pre-exhaustion exercise because it isolates the quadriceps very well. No wonder they burn so much in this exercise. If you are masochist, you can do a set of leg extension followed immediately by a set of squats. Rest and repeat again!

To incorporate all this in a workout, you could do the leg press first followed by this superset of leg extensions and squats. Because you will have only exhausted your legs on the leg press, your lower back will still be fresh when doing the squat and it won’t be the weakest link in the chain.

Finish it Off with a HOBO Ball
If this isn’t enough for you, consider a few sets of lunges on a HOBO ball to finish off. As you lunge forward, place your leading leg onto the HOBO ball. You might think lunges are for sissies but this version will separate the men from the boys. The balancing act will recruit every strand of muscle in your exhausted leg.

After that, good luck dragging yourself up the stairs!

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