Thursday, August 1, 2013


LEGS ARE THE HARDEST BODYPARTto train at home. And there’s so much great equipment available at the gym — power racks, leg presses, hack squats, leg extensions . . . you get the idea. However, as this routine proves, training legs at home is far from impossible.
The front squat was included instead of the rear squat because if you’re a seasoned lifter, you can “clean” the barbell into place if you don’t have a rack. If this isn’t an option for you, replace this move with dumbbell squats, in which you hold a dumbbell at each side to do the exercise.

START: In an upright, shoulder-width stance, take a barbell from a rack (or have a spotter help you), letting it rest along your upper chest. Grasp the bar with an Olympic-style grip, where you hold the bar in place with the ends of your fingers. This position can be stressful on your wrists, but stretching them out and slowly increasing the weight you use will help you adapt to this in due time. In addition to providing the most control over the bar, holding the bar in this manner also allows you to handle more weight and squeeze out more reps.
MOVE: Perform a basic squat, bending your knees and driving your hips back to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly beyond. (Look forward and maintain the natural arch in your back throughout the squat). Think of the movement like sitting back into a chair. From the bottom, drive back up through your heels to the start position.

START: Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and step into a lunge position, one foot forward (that knee bent 90 degrees), the back leg nearly straight, toe down, knee
not touching the ground.
MOVE: Push explosively off the ground using both legs and switch foot position mid-air, landing with your other foot forward. Repeat for reps — one full rep is two jumps.

START: Stand on a bench set next to a stationary object you can hold onto. Grasp a dumbbell in your free hand, step to the side of the bench so one leg is in the air (with no bench beneath it, as shown).
MOVE: As in a two-leg squat, keep your head up and back arched as you bend at the knee to lower yourself, moving your hips backward until your working thigh reaches a point parallel with the floor. From there, drive up through your heel back to a standing position.
Move slowly and deliberately (especially in the deep position). Your non-exercising leg can be kept either in front of your body, which is better, or behind. To get the hang of
the movement, work without the dumbbell for your first few leg workouts.

START: Grasp a stationary object with both hands and lean back with your body straight and knees extended.
MOVE: Let your knees bend and extend out in front of you and lean back as your torso descends. Slight changes in body position, such as leaning back further, can make this movement much harder. As your knees come forward, your heels will come up off the ground. At the bottom, simultaneously push down through your feet and drive your hips forward and up.

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