While focusing on chiselled abs and toned arms is definitely not a bad thing, we tend to forget about isolating our legs in workouts. By doing so, we can focus on certain muscles to create strong and lean limbs you'll want to flaunt all summer long.
Bulk Nutrients ambassador and Personal Trainer Ella Martyn is here to share her seven moves that will have your legs burning (in the best way possible).
1. Squat it like it’s hot
There are many different variations of squats from barbell to goblet to dumbbells, all with their own levels of difficulty. Whatever level you are at, be sure to include some sort of squats into your leg workout as they are a great way to target multiple muscle groups. To get the most out of your squats make sure your abs are engaged before starting the set, this way you will be hitting your thighs, butt and abs all at the same time.
2. Lunge into it
Whether you're performing a static lunge, walking lunge or step back lunge, uni-lateral exercises (single arm or leg) are an awesome way to challenge the body and tone-up. Weighted walking or static lunges are also epic for targeting those large thigh and butt muscles, whilst working on your balance and core strength.
3. Deadlift till you drop
Deadlifts are a great compound exercise that targets the posterior chain. The posterior chain is the muscles that go all the way down your back from your neck to your calves. By activating the posterior chain, your activating all those muscles down the back of your legs including your bum. Variations on these could be sumo, conventional, deficit, snatch grip or Romanian deadlifts. Developing strong hamstrings and glutes is essential for creating the ultimate summer legs.
4. Step up your leg game
Step ups are another great unilateral exercise to sculpt the legs, this exercise is really great for working specifically on the quads. You can make this more challenging by increasing the height of the box and really focusing on driving up using the working leg and not pushing up off the back leg.
5. Single-out to sculpt
As well as normal deadlifts, a single-leg deadlift is also an essential part of toning legs. Body weight for this exercise can be challenging enough for some and when done right you will feel the burn in your hamstrings and glutes. You can make this more challenging by holding a dumbbell, in the opposite hand (counterbalance) or in the same hand of the leg that's working (unbalanced). Each will create a different resistance on the working leg.
6. Split squat all summer long
Although Bulgarian split squats may be one of the most hated uni-lateral exercises, it really is the best exercise to sculpt the glutes and thighs. There isn't a muscle in your legs that's not working during this movement. Not only will it build single-leg strength and tone, but it will also increase your hip mobility and balance.
7. Raise the stakes
Calves are attached to the legs but everyone forgets to train them! A few sets of high rep calve raises to finish a leg day workout will make sure your session is well-rounded. To get the best results you should do seated and standing raises in the same week so you target both of the calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius).