10 Minute Leg Exercises For Great
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Are you making the most
of your leg workout? Seriously, do you really know what youre doing or
are you just going through the motions?
Veteran fitness expert Brad Schoenfeld
has found that far too many clients slap together a few random lower body
exercises, then grunt and sweat without any real method to their madness.
They do lunges... they do squats...
without knowing squat about what makes an exercise routine effective!
The thigh is complex. Its not
just one muscle, Schoenfeld, the author of the bestselling
Naked: Slim Down, Shape Up and Tone Your Trouble Zones in 15 Minutes a Day
(Prentice Hall Press), tells eDiets. You have to target all areas properly
without overlapping exercises.
"The exercises need to work
synergistically with each other to maximally target the thighs. This is one of
the biggest training mistakes people make. They do any three leg exercises:
squats, lunges and leg presses.
What happens is that youre
basically working the legs in the same type of movement. Theres not much
difference. Theyre all terrific exercises. You just dont want to do
them in the same workout because the exercises are overlapping each other.
"To have optimal leg development, you
have to hit the leg at different angles. This gives you symmetry and also
reduces the potential for overtraining the legs.
Thats not the only no-no when it
comes working the thighs.
Schoenfeld says theres plenty of
room for error when you dont know what youre doing. Thats why
hes here to set the record straight.
His expert advice for great-looking
DONT lock your knees when
training your thighs! All too frequently, women completely straighten their
legs at the finish of a rep. Not only does this take stimulation away from the
thigh muscles, but it also places a great deal of stress directly on the
DO stop just short of lockout, keeping
continuous tension on your thighs at all times! There always should be a
slight bend in your knees at the finish position of each move.
DONT over-exaggerate foot
position when training your thighs! In an effort to work various aspects of
the frontal thigh, it is common to turn the feet in or out during exercise
performance. However, the benefits of this practice are rather subtle, and the
overall effect will be limited. Certainly, you should avoid exaggerating these
foot positions, as it can cause damage to the knee. This is especially
important during closed chain movements where the feet are immobile (such as
the squat, leg press, etc.).
DO keep your feet turned slightly
outward during all closed-chain movements (such as the squat and leg
press)! Doing this allows the patella (knee) to move to its natural arc,
maintaining the integrity of the joint. If you choose to experiment with
different foot positions, do so only in open chain movements, (such as leg
extension) and make sure to stay in a comfortable range.
When done in tandem with healthy eating
and cardio exercise, you can achieve lean, muscular legs. Schoenfeld suggests
doing the following workout one to three times a week with at least 48 hours
rest between. Perform 12 to 15 reps of the Step Up. Without resting, perform 12
to 15 reps of the Seated Leg Lift. Then move onto the Side Lunge without any
Once youve completed all three
exercises, rest one minute and perform the entire set again. Then rest another
minute and perform a final superset.
Begin by grasping a pair of dumbbells and allow them to hang at your
sides. Stand facing the side of a flat bench with your feet shoulder-width
Pushing off your right leg, step up with
your left foot and follow with your right foot so that both feet are flat on
Step back down in the same order, first
with your left foot and then with your right, returning to the start position.
Seated Single Leg Lift
Begin by attaching a leg weight to your right ankle. Sit on the
floor, leaning back slightly and supporting your weight with your hands. Bend
your left knee and keep the left foot planted on the floor. Straighten your
right leg and let it hang down a few inches from the ground. Slowly raise your
right leg upward as far as comfortably possible. Contract your right quad and
then reverse direction, returning to the start position. After performing the
desired number of reps, repeat the process on your left.
assuming a stance slightly wider than shoulder width. Grasp two dumbbells and
hold one in front and one in back of your body.
Keeping your left leg straight, slowly
bend your right knee out to the side until your right thigh is parallel with
the floor. Then, slowly rise back up and repeat this process immediately on