Why you should not skip the leg day

Health & Fitness

Why you should not skip the leg day


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Robinson Joel Nairobi Demonstrates How to Make a Leg Press on November 3, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • Having a perfect lower body is a dream for most fitness fanatics and those who procrastinate starting the exercises next month or a year after.
  • Improper exercises can, however, give you a disproportionate body, which is heavy on the upper and slimmer in the waist down.
  • Without proper training, you may suffer from “chicken thighs” or “Johny Bravo” syndrome.

Having a perfect lower body is a dream for most fitness fanatics and those who procrastinate starting the exercises next month or a year after.

Improper exercises can, however, give you a disproportionate body, which is heavy on the upper and slimmer in the waist down.

Without proper training, you may suffer from “chicken thighs” or “Johny Bravo” syndrome.

Fitness trainer Robinson Joel, popularly known as Robby-Piyo, of the AV Fitness Center in Kilimani, Nairobi, explains that three important factors contribute to fitness walkers having an unbalanced body.

The lower body forms the larger muscles in the thighs, hips and legs. This makes it difficult to see fast results that one can see while training the upper body. Also, many people do not put in that much hard work. The second factor is that people do not work for their body types.

“Not every lower body exercise will work for your body type,” Robinson says.

The second factor is poor nutrition, but you expect fast results. He recommends that in order to tone and shape the lower body, one eats lots of proteins and carbohydrates in equal measure as well as some fats.

“You can not eat as usual while exercising unusually. Fill up on a lot of calories after exercise, including macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A good meal will involve something like roasted potatoes with chicken breast and rice. Chicken breast has a lot of protein, Says the coach.

Robinson explains that in order to have a well-defined lower body, one must combine explosive movements such as box jumps, staggered cone jumps and tire jumps with strength training.

He states that with these exercises you are targeting a group of four muscles found in the lower body, including the hamstrings, the power center muscles of the leg, on the back of the thigh; quadriceps, commonly known as the drop muscles, as they form a drop, when well-formed, on the front of the thigh; the gluteal muscles of the buttocks and the muscles of the legs attached to the tibia and fibula.

Then there are the hip flexor muscles, which are responsible for providing more stability during smooth movements as well as strengthening the legs during fast movements.

“A good training routine for the lower body will incorporate all four muscle groups. It is advisable that during a training day with leg training you never combine it with any other training, but focus exclusively on the four muscles,” he advises.

For well-toned legs, you need to find a proper exercise routine that puts a lot of strain on the calf muscles to help them grow. To achieve this, incorporate strength training and explosive movements, which will cause the muscles in the leg to split.

“When you explode and jump, it’s like carrying twice your body weight. That’s why sprinters have the best calf muscles you could want. That’s because their sprint training routine involves a lot of explosive movements,” he says.

Some of the strength training exercises, says trainer Robinson, include the following:

Squats

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This is a complex exercise to build legs and strengthen the abdominal area. For proper technique, make sure your knees are in line or behind your toes, but not in front. The back should be straight and flat with the legs slightly wider than shoulder width. If you want to build leg muscles, then you need to walk heavily on squats. Add weights when doing squats, and do more reps.

If the goal is only to chisel and tone the lower body, then do low-intensity high reps of between 15 and 20 with weights three-quarters of a person’s body weight.

“There is no leg day without a squat. If you have a weak lumbar region, use a belt. The belt helps balance the anterior and posterior abdominal pressure, ensuring that the spine is in a correct position while squatting. “

Leg press machine

This workout is a great replacement for squats for those who have trouble doing squats. “The heavier you get, the harder it is to perform a squat properly. A leg press machine is a good replacement to avoid injuring your back while doing squats,” he says.

Sit in a predetermined position, load manageable weight and then push while either angling your feet differently, either pointing with your toe in or out. One can also isolate each leg at a time and see which leg is stronger than the other to bring the weak up to speed.

Leg extension

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Robinson Joel demonstrates how to do a leg extension on November 3, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Robinson explains that there are different ways to do this exercise. First, it’s the pose pattern where you go up slowly and then collapse, or the one where you go up and then hold it for a few seconds before lowering them.

“Go heavy if you want to build or grow muscle, but light with higher reps if you want to tone the muscles.”

Hammer curl machine

This focuses more on the buttocks and is good for isolating the power center muscles.

Calf lift

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Robinson says this exercise hits the lower calves and isolates them to get a better structure and not chicken thighs, although not many people like to do them.

Others

There are other machine-oriented exercises, including a backlash machine aimed at the glutes, adductor and abductor, which strongly isolate the hip flexor muscles and are very popular among female fitness enthusiasts.

The trainer recommends kettle-bell sumo squats, goblet squats, lunge step up, dumbbell box step-ups and dumbbell walking lunges as some of the best exercises outside the machine for a good lower body.

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