To anyone who has ever picked up a weight – or even thought
about it – this four-letter word can take on a variety of
For many, legs are the indomitable foundation for which a healthy
physique is formed. To a large number of others, the leg day is the
one square on the calendar that you painfully dread, the one that
you know will require both vigorous effort and agonizing labor.
And yet to many others, legs mean absolutely nothing. Hence, they
are woefully neglected.
But nothing looks sillier on a fitness fanatic than a beefy upper
torso cemented atop a pair of chicken legs.
So, don’t be that chicken. Take on these painful, gainful
exercises that are sure to turn your legs into logs in due
HACK SQUATS: After setting the desired weight, station
yourself inside the machine, so your shoulders are flush underneath
the pads and your feet are in the middle of the platform. You feet
should be at a shoulder length width. Releasing the safety bar,
slowly bend your knees, allowing the weight to push your buttocks
toward the platform. When your quadraceps are parallel to the floor
– or perhaps dip a little lower - immediately reverse the
movement, exploding the through an upward motion. Stop just before
your knees are locked as you squeeze your legs during the
contraction. Try 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
LEG PRESSES: Lie down on the machine so that your feet are
on the platform. Make sure that your feet are parallel to each
other and not pointed inward or outward. Allow the weight to push
your knees toward your torso. Stop when your knees form a 90-degree
angle. Reverse the movement as you push with your legs, pushing
your torso away from the platform. As your legs begin to straighten
out, stop just short of your knees being locked. Slowly let the
weight bring your buttocks down into the starting position. Try 3-4
sets of 10-12 reps.
LEG EXTENSIONS: Sitting on the bench, clasp your ankles
underneath the pads, gripping the side handles for balance. Slowly
raise the pads, squeezing your quads, and stop the motion when your
knees are locked in front of you. Squeeze your quads for a
two-count before releasing the tension, allowing your legs to drop
to the starting position. Repeat the motion for 3 sets of 12-15 for
an incredible burn.
HAMSTRING CURLS: Set yourself face down on the hamstring
machine, sliding your heels underneath the pads. Grip on to the
handles for balance. Setting a manageable weight, slowly curl your
legs upward, so your heels push toward your buttocks. Your feet
should be flexed during the movement. Curling upward, the motion
should stop when your legs and torso form an angle of roughly 45
degrees. Squeeze your hamstrings during the motion. Slowly release
the weight and return to the starting position, as your legs should
straighten out. Repeat this movement for 10-12 reps for 3–4
A leg workout requires optimum intensity, if your intentions are
to increase size and strength. Nothing in weight training will wear
you out the way a rigorous leg workout will so be sure to provide
yourself with ample rest before leg days. Also, legs should be done
only once a week to insure time for the torn muscle tissue to
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