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Legs That Will Move You
BY SUSIE CURRY
When I first began weight training, I was
overly concerned with how much weight I used. Making sure you use proper exercise form is
far more important. Use moderate weights and feel your leg muscles work as you train them
insted of trying to lift heavy weights.
I`m a big believer in basic movements, but
feel free to experiment with various set-and-rep combinations. Four set per exercise for
five exercises is the set/reps acheme thats works best for my quads, hamstrings and
glutes, but you may need to do fewer or more sets to get the results you want. Be patient
and see what works best for you.
I train instinctively, so I tend to change my
workouts a lot. Admittedly, I also like to switch my exercises regularly so that
my legs will never get accustomed to the exact same routine month after month. Changing
your workouts regularly also helps prevent mental boredom.
Emphasizing a muscle group is an ideal way to get
the best possible muscle growth, but that`s difficult to do with your quads
because most exercises are compound movements that work more than one muscle group. Leg
extensions and the Mutt Blaster machine are among the few leg and glute exercises that
allow for almost complete muscle emphsis.
When you do compound movements like squats, dead-lifts and lunges,
keep the movement controlled to maintain continuous tension on the muscle group for
maximum development. A slower movement also allows you to concentrate on proper form.
Cheating and bad form have no place in my training.
I keep my reps pretty high when training legs.Typically
between 15 and 20. I don`t necessarily increase the weight used with each subsequent set
because I`m not trying to build size and bulk; rather, I want to keep my legs shapely and
Never underestimate the importence of stretching your
legs between sets. Not only is it important for your flexibility, but it also enhances
your muscular development and helps reduce your changes of injury
Honestly asses your physique. What areas need the most
work? My legs used to lag behind my upper body. Although this imbalance was primarily due
to my lifelong training as a gymnast, I had to work extra hard to bring my legs up.
Experimenting to see what worked best for me involved a lot of trial and error, but I
found that higher reps (15-20 per exercise) were better for my leg training, though not
for my other muscle groups.
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