According to our Reno personal trainers, no matter what your fitness goals happen to be, incorporating leg workouts is going to be an important part of any training program. When putting together your training plans for leg day, keep in mind that while you should be training intensely, you also need to be training intelligently and safely.
If you are like the average gym-goer, your legs are probably your weak point. This is largely due to the fact that most gym-goers tend to focus a majority of their energy on their chest and arms. However, if you want to build up those “chicken legs,” you should plan to work them at least once every week and focus on compound (multi-joint) exercises like full squats and deadlifts.
Contact one of our Reno personal trainers to help you develop a schedule that includes leg training for an effective, holistic workout plan.
Squat or No Squat?
In reality, there is no question here. If you want to build up strength, stamina, and a balanced body, doing squats is the only way to go. Squat workouts train many of the major muscles in your legs and your core, including your glutes. Squats are a demanding exercise and should be completed earlier in your workout when you are at your freshest and most energized. Varying the type of squats you are doing can also help to break past training plateaus by hitting other, subsidiary muscles.
One of the biggest problems seen in the average gym is that squats are often not properly performed. Beginners will often load up the squat bar with excessive amounts of weight and only go down a few inches at a time. This achieves very little in terms of activating larger groups of muscles. Instead, you would be much better off using less weight and going deeper while maintaining proper form. If possible go down the point at which your hips are lower than your knees before going back up.
It’s All About Position
What other personal trainers in Reno fail to do is educate on the importance of form. Specifically, with squats, there are a number of positions for your feet. Varying these positions will depend on the type of exercise you are doing, but when improperly performed can lead to injury. If you want to develop the most power in the most efficient way from your squats, you should stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly towards the outside. The more muscle mass and tone you develop the more you may want to consider using different foot positions to vary up the exercise.
While squats are your bread and butter when it comes to leg day, there are other exercises you might want to incorporate into your workout. Dumbbell lunges, leg presses, and calf exercises are all adequate workouts to help maximize your leg day routine.
Dumbbell lunges involve holding dumbbells at your side while lunging forward one leg at a time. This leg workout trains various muscles including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Dumbbell lunges can be a safer alternative for those just learning proper squatting form. While few people seem to do this exercise regularly, it is a safe and effective alternative to squatting with a straight bar.
The leg press is a type of resistance training exercise designed specifically to strengthen the legs by building muscle. The most common way to perform a leg press workout is by using a leg press machine, but other methods are used as well. To use a leg press machine, you simply sit with your back pressed against the bench and push your feet against the weights.
When it comes to calf exercises, you want to focus your attention on the soleus and the gastrocnemius muscles. These muscles are responsible for improving your jumping ability as well as enhancing your running and walking speeds. All of these movements contribute to better endurance and stamina. Some calf exercises you may consider trying include standing and seated calf raises, stretching, and jump rope.
Work With Our Reno Personal Trainers
Now keep in mind that this is just to get you started. At Flex Appeal, we are happy to help educate you on proper lifting form and technique. Don’t be afraid to ask us to spot you when you are lifting! Finally, the most important part of getting the most out of leg day at our Reno fitness center is to make sure you are mentally ready to take on the challenge and push your body to the limit. Flex Appeal offers a free gym trial. Stop by to get yours today!
To meet with a personal trainer in Reno, contact us! We’re happy to set up a time for you to meet with a Reno personal trainer who will help you create a workout routine that works for you.