Some love it. Others loathe it. Everyone however should do it. What is it? Leg day!

The legs are a large and very important group of muscles. They help to provide balance and symmetry. They are our platform, our propulsion, they help us to ambulate. So leg strengthening exercises are a necessity.

The leg muscles provide us with power to climb the stairs, stand out of a chair, or walk to work or class. And the beauty of training them is that leg exercises do not have to be complicated. These exercises are simple and easy to integrate into your current exercise program.

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Your leg strengthening plan

Depending on your current routine, you can combine these exercises with your split routine (completing legs 1-2 times per week) or you can pick a few of the exercises to add into your total body workout two to three days per week.

If including some of the exercises as part of your total body routine, be sure you give yourself at least one day to rest in between, so your muscles have time to recover fully before your next workout. Remember that it is recovery when gains are made.

In order to build strength, you are going to want to use a heavy weight – in excess of 75% your 1 repetition maximum. This will provide an overload of stress on your muscles, enough to produce the neural and cellular changes necessary for strength and size gains.

That said, your rest time may also need to change. You should only take as much time to rest as you need.

When using more moderate loads and 8-10 repetitions, you should be able to begin your next set after 30-45 seconds. With heavier loads and 5-8 repetitions, you may need to take up to 3-5 minutes in order to recover before your next set.

For this workout, you should aim to complete 5-10 repetitions of each exercise. Three to four sets will be sufficient to produce results.

leg strengthening exercises_2

The Exercises

As stated previously, these exercises can be easily integrated into your current program. Together they make an excellent leg day workout for your split routine.

You can also add 1-2 exercises to your current total body routine to work the legs. These exercises will provide an excellent variety as well as they hit all the major muscle groups of the legs.

• Back squat

• Romanian Deadlift

• Walking Lunge (complete 8-10 repetitions on each leg for this exercise)

• Leg curl

• Step up (Complete 8-10 repetitions on each leg for this exercise)

• Bulgarian split squat

• Calf raises

Adding these simple leg strength exercises will be a great addition to your current program. Don’t be afraid to try variances, for example: front squat instead of back squat, lateral lunge instead of walking, etc to keep the results coming after a few weeks!

Remember to give your body adequate rest to repair and restore. And be sure to push yourself by using the appropriate load, reps and rest. Get this combination right and I assure you the results will follow!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Sarah Walentynowicz

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