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Leg Workouts – A Necessary Fitness Evil

We’ve all seen the guys at the gym (yes, typically guys) who spend oodles of time on their upper body, without ever giving their lower body a second thought. Training your lower body is vitally important, because the lower body contains the largest single muscles of the human body. People spend a ton of time using lower body muscles just walking everyday, but this is simply not enough activity to promote growth, particularly if you’re working diligently on sculpting the perfect upper body. Those who do spend quality time building their lower body know that it’s a very intense love/hate relationship. It hurts even to walk after the first several sessions, but it’s a necessary evil to ensure symmetry in the eyes of the Grecian Ideal for you bodybuilders, as well as a magnificent way to burn a ton of calories for those looking to tone up. The muscles of the lower body are BIG and it takes a lot of energy to move them, which produces loads of heat and makes you SWEAT. Don’t be surprised if you leave the gym after the 30 minute leg workout below looking like you just came from an hour spin class.

The lower body routine below is one that I do a lot, especially during the summer in order to ensure that I keep my quads, calves, and certainly my gluteus maximus (aka: butt, ass, behind, moneymaker, badonkadonk) in tip top shape during the snowboarding off season.

If you’re a snowboarder or skier looking for a way to take your riding to the next level, or even just go bigger, then this is absolutely a post you need to read. Don’t squander the first half of the season by relying on it to condition your body for the second half. Snowboarding and skiing are far too expensive now days, and the season is too short to waste time building strength on the hill.

Below I outline a quick 30 minute routine to increase your leg strength with 7 killer leg exercises that will get you burning fat, and building lean muscle! I recommend you warm up first for at least ten minutes with some cardio (e.g. Stairmaster or elliptical) to get the blood flowing. The first three exercises are simply exotic variations of the basic leg press shown below.

Basic Leg Press

1. Over/Under Leg Press – Perform 15 reps w/ each foot forward with no rest period in between.

2. Duck Leg Press – Do 15 reps

3. Wide Leg Press – Do as many reps as you can in 45 seconds using the same weight from #2

4. Leg Curls – Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps with only 1 minute rest in between sets (Add weight when you can do 15 for all 3 sets)

5. Leg Extensions – Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps with only 1 minute rest in between sets (Add weight when you can do 15 for all 3 sets)

6. Calf Raises – Do 3 sets of 25 reps with only a 1 minute rest between sets (Add weight when you can do 25 for all 3 sets)

7. Jumping Seated Leg Press – Try to use a weight setting that’s close to your body weight to start. Perform the exercise by squatting and then extending your legs and pushing off,  jumping from the platform (Be SURE to catch yourself on the way down). Do 3 sets of 15 reps with a 1 minute rest period between sets. (Add weight when you can do 15 for all 3 sets)

More to come soon including videos! Get out there and push yourself to the next level.

I’d like to hear what you think of the routine from those of you who try it. Also, feel free to share your favorite exercises, maybe a classic, or maybe a new twist on an old favorite.

Keep it lean and clean!

-L.M.M.

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