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Lower Body Workout

Performing lower body training sessions is a great way to add strength and stamina to your legs.

When performing a lower body training session, bear the following in mind:

  • A workout like this should be performed twice per week – this allows ample time for your muscles to recover.
  • The body adapts quickly – be sure to change your workouts around on a regular basis.
  • Your muscles need protein to grow – be sure to include protein with every meal.
  • The more consistent you are, the better the results. Use a training diary to keep track of your workouts.

This lower body training session will work all the major muscles in the area. Be sure to warm up properly before you start (10 minutes easy CV will warm up and prepare the muscles).

It’s easy to push big weight on some of these exercises – however, it’s far better to start with lower weights and focus on good, safe technique. As your strength and proficiency increases you can add more weight.

Seated leg extension – this works the Quads – the muscles on the front of the thigh. With your back firm against the machine, your legs should be under the pad, just above your ankle level. Lift the weight smoothly, pause before your knees lock out, then slowly lower to the starting position.

3 sets of 10 - 12 reps is ideal for this exercise. You can also lower the weight and work one leg at a time.

Calf Raise – works the muscles on the back of the lower leg. Stand tall on the balls of your feet, the weight cushions resting on your shoulders. Rise up on your toes as high as you can go, pause, then slowly lower until your heels are below the foot rest. Pause, then repeat.

2 to 3 sets of 12 – 16 reps is recommended, starting with a small weight – you might find this easy to do with more weight, but if you’re not used to it you’ll be struggling to walk the next day!

There are also seated varieties of this machine, the motion is exactly the same.

Cable adductor and abductor pulls. These work the muscles of the Inner and Outer Thighs. With your foot in the strap, aim to smoothly move your foot out and back to the side. Work one leg, then turn around and face the other way to work the abductors. Repeat on the other leg.

Perform 2 sets of 10 - 12 reps with a light weight.

Leg Press. This works the Quadriceps and Glutes (Butt). Most people can handle heavy weights on this machine, but start off light or walking will be torture the next day. Push out until your legs are straight, but avoid locking the knees. Pause, then slowly resist as the weight returns. Stop when your legs are at 90 degrees, pause, then repeat.

Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, the first set with your feet close together, the second set with feet at shoulder width, the third set with feet wide apart. These different positions will work the muscles differently and add good variety.

Hamstring Curl Machine. Works the Hamstrings, the large muscle on the rear of the thigh. Use a light weight and perform smooth reps – many people have tight hamstrings which can be easily damaged.

2 to 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps is ideal.

Cable Pull - Works the Glutes and Hip Flexors. Connect the foot strap around the lower leg, just above the ankle joint, and slowly pull the cable backwards. Pause, then slowly return.

Be sure to stand upright and keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Perform 2 sets of 10 - 12 reps, on each leg - facing forward for the glutes and rearward for the hip flexors.

Lunges – These work just about every muscle in the Lower Body. These can be performed either using a Smith Machine, or holding dumbbells. Start off light to give your body time to get used to this motion.

Step forward, and lower your back leg until is almost touches the ground. Be sure to keep your knee behind your toes on the front leg. Using the front leg, push upwards back to a standing position. Aim for 2 sets of 10 - 15 reps each leg.

Adductor Machine. Set the machine so that is does not take your legs out too far. Keep your legs and back in contact with the machine at all times, and use control to slowly open and close your legs.

Aim for 2 sets 0f 10 - 12 reps with a light weight – it’s easy to strain yourself if you use too much weight on this machine.

You will not always have all these machines available, so using what you can, perform a combination that works all the areas of the lower body.

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