LEGS FOR GAYS
WORDS BY IGGY GONCALVES
There are several benefits of working out your lower body. Squats help the body produce natural testosterone, whilst those interested in fat loss – not only will working out the lower body tone you up and make you feel firm, but it also burns more calories. A weak lower body, will result in muscle imbalances and also increase the risk of injuries on the hips, knees and ankles. Stronger legs will also result in a stronger core, and ultimately help you improve strength and muscle gains on your upper body.
Ass to Grass Squats and Squats Time Under Tension
A common mistake people make on a squat, is that they lean forward as they are squatting which adds a lot of pressure on the lower back. In order to fix this problem, keep your chest up, and focus on moving your body straight up and down like a rocket. As a beginner, you want to make sure you use moderate weight so you get acquainted with the form and feel the muscles engaging properly.
You want to keep your knees pointed forward, and not outward at all times, and feet shoulder width apart. When standing up from the squat position, do not lock your knees. Keep your knees slightly bent: this way the muscles, especially the quadriceps, are engaged at all times. In this exercise you would want to do 4 sets of 15-20 reps. You can play around with this exercise – one week you can do 15-20 reps of the highest amount of weights you can do. The following week you can use a lighter weight and do 15 very slow reps (8 seconds down, 8 seconds up). This is called time under tension. The goal is to feel the burn to the point where you are almost failing as you complete 15 reps. When using free weights please seek someone to spot you, especially with squats.
Laying Alternating Single Leg Curl with Regular Leg Curl
Use 1/2 of the weight that you normally use on this machine. Alternating leg by leg after each rep, lift the weight until you complete 15 repetitions on each leg. Once completing 15 repetitions on each leg – immediately double the weight and use both legs to do a regular leg curl for 10 repetitions. After each superset you can increase the weight by 10lbs or more – depending on your comfort level.
“A common mistake people make on a squat, is that they lean forward as they are squatting which adds a lot of pressure on the lower back.”
Leg Extension Drop Sets
One of the most difficult but most effective exercises is the drop sets on the leg extension machine.
Start by following the instructions on the machine to position yourself properly. Then start with 1/3 of the maximum weight you are used to doing on this machine. Do 20 repetitions using 1/3 of the maximum weight you are used to. Immediately after doing 20 repetitions drop the weight to 1/2 of the weight you are used to doing, and do 20 more repetitions.
After completing 40 repetitions, repeat the same process 2 more times by increasing the weight gradually.
Lunges on the Smith Machine
Make sure that the bar aligns with your hips. Your front knee does not pass your toes when you are lunging. Your back knee should touch the floor. Your chest should stay up at all times and your eyes should be looking forward. When standing up/lifting the weight up, make sure you push off with your front heel, which will make you feel your glutes engaging. Lunges are perfect to develop that curve right where your hamstrings and glute muscles connect.
To start, you should aim at using a weight that you are comfortable with. You should not feel any pain, with the exception of muscle burn towards the end of each set. Start with 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Do 15 repetitions on one leg, then switch to the other leg. Increase the weight gradually after each set as you feel more comfortable.