Whether you are getting ready for a marathon or trying to bulk up your legs, an effective leg workout plan is what you are looking for. You’re going to learn the essentials for doing beginner leg exercises at home or the gym. The key principle of any workout routine is to challenge yourself to push beyond the comfort zone and then rest. When you exert your muscles during a workout, your muscle fibers tear. The torn fibers then repair and regrow stronger, adapting to the new level of power and stamina that are required to perform the workout. This is how you bulk up your muscles with resistance training.
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Often, beginner workout enthusiasts focus more on the upper body than on the legs. However, a well-balanced workout routine is always more effective. It is advisable to schedule enough time so both your upper and lower body get equal amounts of attention.
The following are the most popular and effective beginner leg workouts that you can add to your training schedule.
The squat is one of the most popular workouts among gym-goers. No other exercise is more effective than squats for gaining muscle mass in your legs. So, it's an essential inclusion to a beginner ‘leg day’ workout. This exercise equally targets quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
If you are a starter, choose a smaller weight. Place the bar on your slightly arched shoulder and hold it with your arms. You should stand erect with your head facing directly forward and the feet shoulder-length apart pointing slightly outward.
Then do a knee bend and then stand up slowly. For optimum results, you should bend down until the thighs are parallel to the floor. In the beginning, if you can’t reach this position, try a smaller weight or just increase the bend slowly as your leg muscles get stronger through continuous workouts.
Perform this workout 5 sets at a time with 6 repetitions in each set.
This exercise targets only quad muscles, therefore, it is effective in activating this muscle group. You’ll have to go to the gym unless you have this machine at home.
First, adjust the machine for your body frame. Then sit comfortably, feet facing forward with the padded lever just above your shin. Then extend your legs pushing the weight up, hold the top position for a count and slowly release the legs. Do this rhythmically on the count and be gentle when you push your legs up and release. Because high impact pushing might affect knee joints adversely.
As a beginner 3 sets of 8 repetitions are recommended.
Lying leg curl
This exercise targets the hamstrings. Hamstrings mainly control the descent of the body against the weight. When you perform a knee bend while in a squat, your hamstrings are the set of muscles that control the rate of descent. This exercise focuses on hamstrings which are often ignored in most workouts.
You’ll need a leg-curl machine for this exercise. Lie face down on the machine and place your Achilles’ tendons below the lever. Your knees will be off the edge of the bench at this position. Keep your knees slightly bent throughout the exercise to make sure the resistance is not directly applied to the knees.
Now raise your legs slowly but in a deliberate strong motion and then release slowly. At the top position of the leg movement, try to push your legs aligning parallel to your torso, not more, not less for better results.
3 sets of 8 repetitions are effective for a beginner.
Leg-press calf raise
This workout challenges your calves to resist weight. Lie on the leg-press machine and place your heels on the leg platform. Do not position the balls of the heels in the middle of the platform, keep them at the bottom. Then slowly push the platform outward until your legs get straight but not locked out. Then slowly release the pressure to the initial position and repeat the cycle.
Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
What should you do after the workout?
Above 4 exercises cover the main muscle groups in the legs. What next? The next is recovery.
How to recover legs after ‘leg day’?
After a strenuous leg workout, you’ll feel soreness in your legs. An effective workout always ends up with your muscles feeling a bit sore. The torn muscle fibers will then begin to recover, preparing to endure equal amounts of exertion next time successfully. So, the muscles get bulkier and stronger. That’s why the recovery of the muscles is just as important as the workout.
Resting is key. Avoid workouts or other activities that exacerbate the soreness of the muscles. In a couple of days, you’ll be back on track to do the workout again.
You should have a plan to recover after workouts. Have protein-rich meals, drink a lot of water or a sports drink with electrolytes, have your legs massaged to regulate the blood circulation and reduce muscle inflammation, or use an Active Compression tool to speed up the recovery process.
What are Active Compression tools?
When the leg muscles are weakened, the blood circulation of the legs fails to be as efficient as in regular conditions. So, the blood concentrates in the leg area, especially around the ankles and the feet, and results in swelling and pain.
Active Compression and muscle recovery tools apply external pressure to the muscles to work efficiently and that successfully subsides the inflammation of the muscles and speeds up the recovery process. Read more about how Active Compression tools work here.
Why is SPRYNG the leading Active Compression tool today?
SPRYNG is the most advanced Active Compression tool on the market. Highly regarded scientific studies and anecdotal reports have proven the efficiency of this tool.
SPRYNG’s affordability and convenience also make it stand out from the other Active Compression tools.
SPRYNG is an easy-wearable device that is untethered, so you can use it wherever you are.