Happy Wednesday Everyone! It’s leg day again, and you are one of two kinds of people: you either love it, or like many others, you dread it. Either way, we know that to build stronger legs, we must never skip leg day. Today we’re going to talk about some tips and tricks to boost your leg workout to build muscle safely and efficiently.
Foot placement influences what muscles are the primary “workers” during each exercise. In the squat, if you are performing a sumo squat you should be activating the muscles of your inner thigh versus the regular squat which should be putting more emphasis on your quads. If you are on the leg press, the lower your foot placement the more you will target your quads. The higher your foot placement on the leg press the more your hamstrings and glutes will activate.
Resistance bands are a great tool in the gym that will build muscle and, more importantly, stability. Resistance bands build the stability of your joints and ligaments by isolating the targeted area. Using resistance bands for leg exercises such as squats will help you activate muscles that you may not normally while on the squat rack. Activating those other muscles will help you learn how to activate those muscles during your squats and in turn build more muscle in your legs.
It is easy to get stuck during leg workouts just going through the motions of strength based exercises. To get the most out of your leg workout, mix up the intensity throughout your workout. You can do this by adding in supersets, plyometrics, or even some sprints. This will get the heart rate elevated, help you break a sweat, and fatigue your legs. Try to decrease your rest time in between sets and keep your legs working.
It’s as simple as this, the tighter you are in any muscle of your legs, the less mobile you will be. Working on becoming more mobile will allow for a greater range of motion during your exercises and, in turn, build more muscle. Also, if you are tight, this can lead to injury stopping the progress that you have made. After your workouts, make sure to perform some stretching to keep your muscles loose. If you are like me and stretching feels terrible, do it anyway. You can also use the foam roller to break up muscle tissue to help with your range of motion.
Written by GUADS staff member Patrick with contributions from www.jj-fit.com