While many gym-goers dedicate multiple days to their upper body, legs are often condensed to one. Chest, triceps, biceps, back, and shoulders can quickly become the focus of strength training. However, legs take up half of the body. Dedicating ample time and focus on legs can help build a balanced, strong, functional physique. Those bored with their typical leg day workout routine should consider trying out some of these exercises to spice things up. Quads, hamstrings, adductors, abductors, and calves will all feel the love afterward. Training smaller muscles like adductors and abductors can help improve form across all leg-focused exercises through stabilization.
The barbell squat involves a forty-five pound barbell and weighted plates on either side. Individuals should select a height for the barbell on a squat rack slightly lower than their shoulders. After selecting the height, they must bend their knees, so their shoulders are under the bar, sitting behind their neck, with support from their hands. With this exercise, the feet should be slightly wider than hip-width distance apart. Once individuals have gotten into the starting position, they must press down through their feet to lift the chosen barbell off the rack and take a step back to ensure the rack does not inhibit their form. Upon inhaling, bend your knees and allow your thighs to come parallel with the floor, before shifting weight back into the heels as much as possible.
When attempting this exercise, keep your sternum wide so your spine does not round. This is crucial as rounding can put pressure on the discs in lumbar spine and cause damage. Upon exhaling, press down through your feet to straighten your legs, but stop before locking your knees. Be sure to shift your hips forward at the top. Those who work with heavy weights may wish to support their lower back with a weight belt.
Continue reading to discover how champion gym-goers perform the leg press.