How to train your legs... Everything you need to know about them

Many people ignore legs day as they thought that it is not important to train them.  Legs are a major component of your body and training them is just as important as other body parts if not more. 

Training them improves cardiovascular health, burns more calories, improve, increase speed, and provide many more benefits. 

Check out why training legs is very important here.

So before constructing your leg workout and hitting the gym, let's look at the muscles we are about to train. 

Legs majorly contain 5 muscles-

1. Hamstrings- These are the muscles that are located at the back of your thigh. Their main function is to help in bending the leg at the knee joint. When we take a step forward, these muscles contract. 

Their main functions are knee flexion ( bending knee to bring the heel towards buttock) and hip extension ( due to which we can take a step back )

2. Adductors- They are sailed like muscles on the underside of your pelvis. They are responsible for flexion of the hip. If you squeeze your knees together, you can feel these muscles in your upper thigh.

3. Quadriceps- As the name suggests they are made of 4 muscles. They are often regarded as the most important in the lower body. They are responsible for hip flexion and extension, knee stabilization, and absorption of any kind of force when we jump or sprint. 

4. Calves- Calves comprises of two muscles, both lying in the lower leg. Their main functions are extension and flexion of your foot.

5. Abductors- They perform function opposite to that of adductors, they are responsible for pulling off the upper leg. They help in moving the leg away from the body and also help rotate the leg at the hip joint. 

The top exercises that I feel are the best for training legs are- 

1. Squats

The most basic exercise for training legs is squats. All types of squats are excellent compound exercises. Based on the depth of squatting, you can train different parts of your leg. You can add weights once you can do at least 30 squats with proper form. 

How to perform- It is very simple to perform squats as it is a natural body movement. Open your legs slightly wider than your hips. Strongly plant your feet on the ground and point your toes outwards. Bend your knees and go down. Hinge on your hips and while going down push them backward. Imagine that you are about to sit on a chair. Don't let your backbend, or overarch. Keep it neutral. Keep shoulder back and chest up to provide balance. Squat according to your potential and come up in the same way. The best way is to start with 90 degrees i.e. squatting till your thighs are parallel to the ground and then return to the original position. 

Muscles involved- Quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals. 

2. Lunges 

Lunges are another great exercise to build muscles. It targets nearly all the muscles in the lower body while also improving posture. Focus on going for heavyweight and fewer reps as it helps in muscle hypertrophy. Holding dumbells in both hands or a using barbell is a great way of increasing difficulty. 

How to perform- Start by standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart. If you are doing it with weight, lift the weight in both hands. Throw your dominant leg forward and bend your other leg knee. Make sure your knee of the forward leg does not cross your toe line. Make a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and chest up to balance. Return to the initial position in the same way. Keep alternating between the legs in the same way. 

Muscles Involved- Glutes, calves, hamstring, quadriceps, back muscles, and abdominals

3. Romanian deadlift

The Romanian deadlift is a type of deadlift that targets two major muscle groups of the lower body, hamstrings, and glutes. As compared to a conventional deadlift, the Romanian deadlift is a more leg focussed exercise. You can do some variations, like stiff leg Romanian deadlift or one leg Romanian deadlift to increase difficulty. 

How to perform- Stand straight with your feet slightly shoulder-width apart. Take a barbell and place it near your shin bone, take an overhand grip, and keep your back straight. Engage your core. Lift the bar while inhaling, push your hips backward, and make sure that your knees are just slightly bent. At the top position, don't overarch your back. Continue this way, but make sure your neck is in a neutral position. 

Muscles involved- Hamstrings, glutes, forearm flexors

4. Leg press

The leg press is one of the few exercises that are staples in the routine of those looking to build mass on legs. The leg press is an excellent isolation exercise that targets every muscle in our legs. 

How to perform- All you need is a leg press machine. If you are a beginner, it is good to have a trainer help you if something goes wrong. Place both your foot on the platform. Strengthen your core, and don't arch your back. Push the platform with the help of your legs, exhale on the way up and inhale when coming down. 

Muscles involved- Hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps

5. Box jumps

It is probably the best bodyweight exercise when it comes to training legs. All you need is just a box of various heights and you are good to go. 

How to perform- Stand at a comfortable distance from the box, open your feet to the shoulder width. When ready, start the movement with a half squat, use the force to push your body, and make a jump. Swing your arms and push the floor with your feet to make the jump. 

Muscles involved- Glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads

6. Calf raises

Calf raises is a perfect isolation exercise for training calves, it is great for growing both the calf muscles. It is very simple to perform and all you need is an elevated platform and dumbells. 

How to perform- Stand on an elevated platform with only your toes. Keep the rest of your foot in the air, push the platform with your toes until you are stretching your calf muscle fully. Stay at the maximum position for 3-4 seconds and then slowly return to the original position. 

Muscles involved- Calves


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