As the summer gets ever closer, the sun seems that much hotter – flesh starts appearing here and there. Jeans become dresses and shorts, and more and more people try to lose weight before their holidays.
As a weight loss trainer, I am becoming increasingly more observant about people’s exercise habits.
While there are more shorts coming out – I am not seeing nearly anywhere as many people training their legs! This means that a lot of women are not getting the most out of their exercise program, especially for fat loss……..and men remain with legs that resemble thick twigs.
You may even hear the phrase “He’s got chicken legs!”
Any man doesn’t want that.
If you’ve got a bad case of chicken legs……..I suggest you man up and get under the bar!
It amazes me at how much men give so much attention to their chest and arms – when sometimes there is no base underneath. The whole posterior chain – your lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves are responsible for producing the most powerful forces from your body.
Look at any quick or explosive athlete and you will see great posteror chain development – and will often have great quads as a nice aesthetic by-product.
I do train my legs!…well remember to anyway …
Ok, ok, so you already know you should be training your legs……or at least more frequently. I’ll bet even some of you are thinking, ” Steady on there Cammish, I do train my legs….on that……………..um….one where you sit down and straighten your leg.”
That’s a leg extension. Yes, they will activate the quadriceps muscles on the front of your thigh, but that is all it will do. (Apart from inhibit your glutes, because you are sitting down……….and we all do could with a bit more time sat down right???
“Oh but I do the leg curl too” could be another excuse. (Another sitting-down exercise).
I would like to show you 2 weapons you can use to ramp up your metabolism for fat loss, or add some size to those twigs.
These 2 exercises are simple to do, but they are not easy! I suggest going light when you try them, but after a while try to increase the weight. You should be striving to get to parallel…….Glutes in-line with you knees, or even lower – if your flexibility allows ….see ‘How low should you go’ for more info (Click Here!)
Don’t be satisfied when you can out-lift most of your mates, thats just the start. An impressive set of legs goes in hand with an impressive amount of weight on the bar.
Why these are superior exercises
1. If you are not training legs at all (and running does not count as leg training) – then these 2 exercises will get your largest muscles working, and thus burn more calories.
2. You are standing up, and moving many more muscles, and even in some lunge variations you are moving around a lot. This will burn even more calories.
3. These exercises will stimulate particularly your muscles, (lean body tissue) to stay metabolically active and again burn more calories! Running, will use the your legs, but will not stimulate the muscles of the legs anywhere near as much as a well executed squat or lunge.
4. The exercises ‘force’ you to use your abdominal muscles to stabilise yourself, so you don’t fall over. Who doesnt want a little more ab stimulation 😉
5. This ones for you lads. The bigger muscles that are stimulated produce more of your natural growth hormone. This can burn fat at one level (again a big advantage), and also you can increase your upper body muscle size. This works two-fold, as other exercises become affected. For example, if you have weak legs, they may limit the weight you can use in the deadlift. What has more chance of building a thicker back and bigger arms – a 100kg deadlift……or a 150kg deadlift?
We all know a big deadlift can pack on size – so you lads better get training those legs!
The number 1 reason why you won’t see many squats and lunges being done:
They’re really hard. Step it up a gear and either start training your pegs, or be happy with chicken legs!
John Cammish (BSC) is a local East Yorkshire Fitness Bootcamp Instructor and real-world fat loss expert. He has helped countless individuals change their lives through postive habits with a focus on tried and tested methods. For more details about Personal Training, Fitness Bootcamps, Free Articles and more – check his website (www.yournextlevelfitness.co.uk)