Train the Legs
Training for the legs and lower body can feel like a minefield: there are so many exercises that it can be difficult to understand which ones are really useful. There are many muscles that form the lower part of the body, so it is crucial that everyone is trained in order to obtain a muscle balance that gives toned legs, but at the same time avoiding injury.
The main muscles of the lower body include:
– i quadricipiti
- the hamstring muscles
- and glutei
- the calves
Then there are smaller muscles, which are trained when larger muscles are exercised during a workout.
Composite Exercises for Toned Legs
The composite exercises are innovative exercises that you can use to get toned and proportioned legs. These exercises move different muscle groups simultaneously to make a movement. In particular, two exercises that should be included in every leg workout schedule are the squat and deadlift.
However, it should be emphasized that, in particular with regard to deadlifts, the posture must always be kept in sight during the execution, because despite the fantastic results that could be achieved on the legs and lower back muscles, the exercise could also cause damage if not done correctly. Conversely, if you already suffer from back problems, you should consult a doctor before doing this exercise, to understand if it is suitable for you or not.
1) The Barbell Squat
The barbell squat has earned the well-deserved nickname of "King of all exercises". It is often discarded by women out of fear of the unknown, especially when it involves the use of an Olympic barbell and squat cage.
It is really a shame, as few other exercises can equal it in terms of benefits, not only to achieve an excellent shape of the thighs and buttocks, but also for its ability to burn fat. In fact, during this exercise many muscles of the whole body are used, even the abdominals, which allow you to maintain a steady posture during the movement.
Many women are afraid of hurting their backs with a squat, but in truth it is an easily avoidable damage if you pay close attention to posture, also because the squat is one of the most natural series of movements a man can perform. Young children who are learning to walk often squat on the ground to pick up their toys, rather than leaning their bodies forward to bow as many adults do when picking up something from the ground, which is much worse for the back and involves the establishing a bad habit of many in adulthood.
The main points to focus on during a squat are to push the hips back towards the wall, chest out, and the discharge of your weight on the heels. If you follow these points, you can't go wrong. Try not to bow your body during the movement, as this will result in a twist of the back which will make you more prone to damage. You can change your routine by practicing with various types of squats; valid alternatives are the front squat, the "sumo" squat and the overhead squat.
2) The Deadlift
The deadlift is another excellent exercise to include in your lower body workout schedule. This exercise is very simple and consists of lowering yourself, take a barbell and rise to a standing position. As mentioned previously, good posture is critical to the success of this exercise, not only for the prevention of damage, but also for the possibility of increasing the weight lifted as a progression. It should be noted that this is also one of the best exercises for the glutes and, when done correctly, also strengthens the lumbar muscles of the back, helping to reduce the risks of spinal trauma in everyday life.
Among the most useful tips for a safe deadlift: pull your hips back with your chest always out when lowering, and always keep the bar as close to the shin as possible. In this way, your body will lift the weight more efficiently because it will be gathered around your center of gravity. Keep all muscles contracted, especially the buttocks.
Push your weight off your heels and always keep your back straight. Once the lifting movement is finished, contract your shoulder blades to lock the bar in a safe position and give yourself a moment of rest before repeating the movement in reverse. Never keep your shoulders forward, as this will cause your back to rotate and this is where you could damage it.
3) Lo Step
Step is another great exercise to include, because it consists of individual leg exercises and helps correct any imbalances in the lower body muscles. It also improves balance and coordination, and is also a great job for the lower body muscles to do, especially the glutes. Dumbbells make the exercise safer at first, especially since it is easy to drop them if you feel unbalanced, but a barbell can also be used for progression once you become more confident in performing the movements.
Make sure that the bench you use for the step is solid and does not cause you to slip or wobble once you lift the weights, especially when you lift heavier ones.
Begin the exercise by holding yourself close to the bench with a dumbbell in each hand, or with a barbell on your back if you want to make the exercise more difficult. With your back straight, step onto the bench with one foot. Shift your weight to the other foot and squeeze your glutes and quadriceps, then stretch your leg to propel your body forward by releasing your weight down on the heel. Bring the other foot onto the bench next to the first. Repeat the movement in reverse, so that you return to a standing position with both feet on the ground behind the bench. Make sure you do the exercise an equal number of times for each leg, to avoid exercising one more than the other.
4) Barbell Lunges
Barbell lunges are another special exercise for toning the legs. If you have never tried it before, it would be helpful to start without weights, and then progress with a barbell or dumbbells at an advanced stage. To do this exercise well, make sure that your back is straight and that the knee you move first does not bend forward beyond the position of the foot, as this movement could hurt you.
This exercise is also great for improving balance. Like this as with the other exercises described, it is important to keep the muscles in contraction and ensure that you maintain the correct posture during all phases of the movement. You can add variation by doing side lunges, which are very similar but perform the movement sideways instead of forward, and you can also do backward lunges, actually moving backwards.
5) Calf Raise
Calf raises are usually done at the end of a workout. This because the calves are small muscles that are used in major exercises to provide stability, so you can actually train even through isolated exercises, such as calf lifts, when you want to lighten your routine.
The calf raise is simple to perform but effective at the same time; you can use either a gym machine or a small step with a weight or a barbell, slowly lifting your heels up to support yourself on tiptoe, extending your ankles and flexing your calves, then slowly lower your heels back down. You can do this exercise on the edge of a step bench for more freedom of movement.
A tip not to be forgotten
By adding these exercises to your leg workout, Not only will you develop toned legs, but you will also improve your strength and body structure, because by training the legs you will burn a lot of calories and you will also use the muscles of the upper body along with the lower one, such as the arms in the deadlift, or the abs for the squat. The most important advice to keep is to constantly focus on posture, and only progress in using heavier dumbbells when you feel ready to do so, and never too quickly, to avoid physical damage and to get the best result from your training regimen. .