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Legs That Will Move You

BY SUSIE CURRY

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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 toned.

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.

Muscle&Fitness Nov-97               

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