Wed | Nov 20, 2019

Try these gym leg exercises at home

Published:Monday | October 28, 2019 | 12:19 AM

The legs are important organs of the body. That’s why you should keep them fit. Running, skipping, jogging and walking are typical ways that you can keep your lower limbs in good health. Still, there are more productive and rewarding exercises that you can include in your workout routine. Don’t know of any? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

Flair visited Fit Farm, where fitness experts and bodybuilding champions Jonhoi Vaughn and Kadeem Saunders took us through some robust yet rewarding exercises. They said all you need is an hour and a half each day to optimise these walking stumps, unless you have your eyes set on bodybuilding.

The two stressed that the most imprtant thing which you should consider when training your legs is that you use them every day. You walk every day, which means the stimulus that is needed to provide muscle growth has to be of a certain level.

“You have to focus on creating progressive overload to encourage muscle growth,” Saunders told Flair.

STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT

You can start with the stiff-legged deadlift. Saunders said this is one of the best hamstring exercises ever. Some key things you need to consider when doing this are keeping your legs shoulder width apart, your torso straight, grasping the bar with palms facing down. These help a lot! You could also use dumb-bells.

If you’re creative, this can be done at home using substitutes for a metal bar or dumb-bells.

“There’s a substitute at home for everything in the gym. For this one, if you have a weighty metal pipe or two orange juice bottles you can use them. You’ll get the same result as if you were in a gym,” Saunders said.

LEG PRESS

If you’re hitting the gym this afternoon, you have to hop on to the seat of death. Don’t worry. It’s not as dreadful as it sounds. This is the same thing you know as leg press. Load it with as much as you can manage – remember, you need to be able to move the weight.

Like the deadlift, it targets the hamstrings, and your fully stretched and contracted muscles will be on show.

Essentially, this a seated squat that overloads your quads (a large muscle group on the front of the thighs). You will want to do this at home. So, how about substituting the machine with a child?

LYING HAMSTRING CURL

We’re still focusing on the hamstrings. You can choose to focus on both legs; but concentrating on one is not a bad idea, especially if your muscles are imbalanced. So, you might want to take a look in the mirror before you start this exercise. Or if your gut tells you there’s a muscle disparity, trust it!

“Isolation is crucial when working out, your left quad may be bigger than the right and you need to correct. It’s all about balance, especially if you want to compete against others. And it’s why you need a trainer to help you spot the difference,” Saunders said.

At home, you can try using a heavy knapsack bag. Lock your feet in the strap of the bag, lie at the edge of the bed and curl your heels to your buttocks.

LEG EXTENSION

Have you ever wondered how some men get their legs to have a round full look? You can have this, too, if you focus on your quads. Leg extension is the key here. It’s a resistance weight-training technique that’s done on a leg extension machine. Building your quads helps with improving kicking power, so if you play football, it’s a plus. Here’s another bonus is, leg extension also helps with your hamstrings.

You can use anything to mimic this technique at home, for instance, water bottles. Rap the load around your feet, sit at the egde of the bed, and with very strict form extend feet with the load repeatedly.

SQUATTING

Squats are popular, so use them to the advantage of keeping your legs fit. Done with a metal bar in your hand, you’ll be building those muscles in your legs. Still that’s not all, it is a compound movement that engages every muscle in the body.

Saunders explained: “Some may argue squatting is a lower-body movement, but what it takes to keep your body in the position, especially when holding weights, it takes a lot out of you. It’s part of the big three movements, bench, squat and deadlift, which makes it a perfect workout regime.”

Remember, these exercises require weightlifting, so restock your weight when you are through exercising.

Story by Rocheda Bartley

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com

Photos by Shorn Hector

shorn.hector@gleanerjm.com