Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Fit Files by Julia Hubbard

Leg Training-How to get killer wheels or hot pins!
Love it or hate it Leg Training always gets people talking! I love training legs so I'm going to share some of my favourite leg workout tips with you
To get a full leg workout we need to train the Quads, glutes, hamstrings and calf's. To choose your rep range you need to decide what your goal is.
Muscular endurance, shaping and toning 12+ reps
Mass Building 6-12 reps
Strength / Power up to 6 reps
For most people 3-4 sets on 2-4 exercises per body part will produce good results. I incorporate all the rep ranges during the year to make sure I'm hitting all the fibres and getting the most out of my training!
My Top 2 Key Leg exercises
-Squats- the daddy of leg exercises, so make sure you include them, and theres lots of variety you can try, barbell back squats, front squats, overhead squats, dumbbell squats, wide and narrow stance, single leg, deep, half and quarter range.... so theres a squat exercise for everyone!
-Lunges- Great for quads and glutes, barbell or dumbbell
SO what exercises are good for each part of the legs?
Squats, lunges, leg extension, hack squats, step ups, leg press
Straight leg deadlifts- fabulous for getting the hamstrings working! also try leg curl machine and Swiss ball hamstring curls.
Calf Exercises
Calf Press- smith machine, off the leg press, dumbell, standing or seated versions
bridge, single leg bridge, cable glute kicks, hip extensions

Advanced Training techniques
If you have been training for a while and want try some more advanced training here's some ideas to try!
Supersetting / trisets
This is where you link 2 or 3 exercises together with minimum recovery between
An example superset
Back Squats and Hamstring curls - complete one set of each = one set, take a short rest, then repeat, complete 2-4 sets of the combination
Try adding a jumping exercise between each set for example
when doing squats, after each set, compete a set of non weighted jump squats / tuck jumps or split squats before resting and doing your second set, be warned, this challenges the muscle and nervous system and is a killer, make sure you have a break from this type of training regularly to avoid over training symptoms.
Non Gym Leg Training
Training Legs outside of the Gym is a great way to give the legs a shock by adding variety to keep the muscles guessing and also counts as cardio so you get a double benefit!
Running up Stairs
Hill Sprints
Track Sprints
Try several reps, with short recovery for some high intensity interval training. eg 30 second sprint / hill or stair climb with walk back recovery.
Never neglect your leg training as it has a positive effect on the training for the rest of your physique. As the legs comprise a large proportion of your total body muscle mass, training legs hard is thought to stimulate your growth hormone / testosterone response and therefore helps the development of the rest of your body!
Girls- don't be afraid of the weights room... we naturally have much lower testosterone than men so we can train legs hard and get well defined, toned legs without them growing too big!
As with any new workout, if you are not sure how to do the exercises, get advice from a trainer at the gym, if new to training, make sure you check with your doctor and get an induction at the gym so you know you are performing the exercises correctly.
I hope this gives you some new ideas to try in your next workout, whether you do a full body workout or a split programme training legs on their own, you can incorporate some of these ideas, just be consistent and make sure you let the muscles recover before training them again.
If you would like to benefit from online training programmes, please contact me via Facebook for further details!/pages/juliafit/114193935318986next time, as requested by Lindsey Philip. I will be looking at short / effective workouts for busy people so lack of time is never an excuse not to get into shape! coming soon, supplement special!

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