Ready to make a legs workout part of your exercise routine? Walmart speaks with an expert to get the best legs workout advice to help you get your legs in their best shape yet.
“When you’re working legs, it does take a lot out of you, which is probably why a lot of people avoid the exercises that are available, and many people fall into the idea of doing the same thing over and over,” says fitness coach Tommy Europe. “Legs are great, though, because there are so many [exercises] to do.”
Voted twice as one of Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers by IMPACT Magazine, Tommy Europe earned his fitness credentials in the school of hard knocks: as a professional football player. An 11-year veteran of the game, he is a two-time all-star defensive back in the Canadian Football League. Following Europe’s career with the CFL, he founded Tommy Europe Fitness, and developed the SHRED® training and performance tool—which stands for Strength, Heart, Resilience, Efficiency, Discipline. Europe applied this SHRED® philosophy to build his own successful business including making the leap into the entertainment industry as a stunt actor. He is also a television personality and fitness trainer to the stars.
Table of Contents:
- What’s the best workout for your legs?
- How can I build leg muscle fast?
- How many leg workouts should I do per workout?
- Is it bad to train legs every day?
What’s the best workout for your legs?
Europe shares his favourite exercises for the best legs workout. “Squats are awesome when done correctly; lunges too,” says Europe. “You can also work the hamstrings with hamstring curls. But be sure to use a full range of motion, so you’re strong at every point.”
Europe suggests using an exercise ball (also referred to as a fitness ball or stability ball) for hamstring curls. Lie down on a mat. Rest the back of your feet and your calves on the ball. Next, raise your hips as you pull the ball towards you with your heels. Then, gradually lower your hips as you slowly push the ball away from you. This leg exercise, when done correctly, also works the back muscles.
“Always ask [yourself] what muscle group am I working?” advises Europe. “Am I feeling it where I want to? If the answer is no, change what you’re doing and adjust your form.”
Fitness balls can help you tone your body, gain better balance and flexibility without joint strain. This fitness ball by Everlast has a textured surface to help ensure greater control. It inflates to 75 cm (30”) and comes with a two-way action pump. A fitness guide is also included.
How can I build leg muscle fast?
“Building leg muscle fast really comes down to putting in the work, and what you’re building muscle for,” says Europe. “Barbell squats will put size on you the fastest when done correctly. To get that symmetry and get nice round hamstrings and glutes, be sure to go down low enough, so the glutes are doing all the work instead of the quads.”
To work the glutes, sit into heels and don’t rock on your toes, says Europe. “A lot of people do damage to their knees because they’re rocking weight on their toes, which drives weight through the knees. Instead, you should be feeling it through the hamstrings and glutes as you go down and up.”
This 100 lb Barbell/Vinyl Dumbbell Set by Sunny Health & Fitness features hollow chrome bars and vinyl coating. These weights are designed to keep rust and corrosion at bay. Set includes one 60-inch hollow chromed bar, two 16-inch hollow chromed bars and a variety of different weighted plates.
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How many leg workouts should I do per workout?
You should do six to eight leg exercises per legs workout, says Europe, or two to three different exercises if you’re doing splits, such as shoulders and legs.
“Throwing in some plyometrics [also known as jump training] is awesome for the legs,” says Europe. “[They] are fast, explosive movements to go with the more strength-related movements of traditional lifting,” he explains. “BOSU jump squats, box jumps and step-ups all force you to move quickly and create explosiveness through the legs.”
The BOSU Sport Balance Trainer 50 cm is a smaller version of the original BOSU Home Balance Trainer. The sleek, compact design is designed for easy transport and storage. It is ideal for all levels of fitness.
Is it bad to train legs everyday?
“It’s bad to train anything every day,” says Europe. “You should train muscle groups twice a week. Legs, however, can withstand a little bit more, because they’re a bigger muscle group and recover faster, but they still need rest.”
For legs, Europe also likes weighted lunges. “There are lots of ways to work the area, but you want to focus on [a] full range of motion,” he says. Proper form, he explains, includes putting your weight into the heel of whichever foot is in front. “Your body should move straight up and straight down; the knee shouldn’t go past the toe,” he advises.
According to Europe, beginners should focus on achieving a full range of motion, but they should also focus on functional movements. “Get off the machines and let your body do the work so you can reap the maximum benefits for the time you’re putting in,” he says.
Dumbbells, when used correctly, can help to improve all major muscle groups including chest, arms, back, legs and core. Each of these cast iron dumbbells is designed with a Hex shape to help prevent the dumbbell from rolling. These dumbbells by CAP Barbell feature a semi-gloss finish that helps prevent rusting. The knurling pattern embedded in each handle helps provide a sure grip during workouts. Dumbbells are sold individually.
For those at more advanced fitness levels, Europe recommends setting goals for yourself, so you can monitor change instead of going through the motions. “Switch it up. Work with a trainer, take a group class, pick up some tips and see different ways of doing things,” he suggests. “Anytime you think you know it all, you’ve lost the race. There’s always something you can learn and something new you can incorporate into your routine.”
See also: Full Body Workout: Build a Healthier You
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