Ultimate Leg Day

I always dread doing legs, because it's hard! My heart rate is through the roof, I sweat like crazy, and usually get pretty nauseous. But, you can't deny that burn you have for the next few days. It works! Number one thing about working your legs is correct form. If you have a question about your form on any of these moves, google it! Youtube it! Ask someone to help you with it! Incorrect form can easily cause injury, especially when you are doing heavier lifting using your back and legs. Also pace yourself. If it's burning, it's working. Don't lift too much, or too quickly. For some of my exercises I did drop sets. I started with the heaviest weight I could manage to do for a few reps, then I dropped my weight down 10 pounds with each set. (Ps... I got all of these images off of Google Searches, they are not my graphics, I just thought they may be helpful in explaining correct form for each exercise.)


Warm Up:
Warming up well before a leg work out is crucial. 
5-10 minutes of cardio - to get the blood pumping. 
5-10 minutes of Static Stretching (stretching for only a few seconds, with fluid movements)
15 jump squats - Starting in squat position, then power up and reach towards the ceiling while jumping. Landing back in squat position.

1st Exercise: DEADLIFT 
Dead-lifting has so many benefits in forming a powerful physique.
So why don't we see a lot of people doing it? Well, it is hard, the hardest exercise in my opinion. It requires your entire body to work, not just your legs. Also, most people don't use correct form when dead-lifting, this can easily cause pain in the lower back and make the lift feel more difficult than it is.
But, the results it brings are undeniable. So, if you aren't dead-lifting during your leg routine, you should be. The most common grip that is used for this is under over. But you can do both over as well. Arms usually shoulder width apart. Feet are shoulder width apart as well, just a little more narrow than your arms. Keep your chin up and look forward, do not look down.
The muscles involved in the lift are as follows:
*Lower back - majority of the stress 
*Lats/Upper Back
*Glutes/Hips 
*Legs - pretty much every part of your leg is working
*Arms/Forearms - this lift will strengthen your grip
*Shoulders/Traps

Now find a weight that works for you. Start heavy and drop down with each set.
1st set: 95lbs - 6 reps
2nd set: 85lbs - 10 reps
3rd set: 75lbs - 10 reps
4th set 65lbs - 12 reps

2nd Exercise: SQUATS Front to Back

The squat is indeed the king of leg exercises. This will give you the best leg (and booty) definition than any other exercise.
Front Squat: If you have never done one before, it can be uncomfortable. The barbell is resting on the front of your shoulders, in front of your neck. With your elbows pointing directly in front of you towards the mirror. Because of the weight distribution you are forced to keep your back arched more and your chin up. This puts less stress on your lower back than a back squat. The front squat doesn't specifically target your glutes or hamstrings. Rather, it focuses on all three heads of your quadriceps.
Back Squat: This is the one I'm sure you are more familiar with. It is the single largest mass gaining move for your legs. It targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, as well as all the other supporting muscles. The bar rests on the back of your shoulders, keeping your chin up and your back arched you squat down to a 90-degree angle not letting your knees go too far over your toes, then power back up through your heels to standing position. 

You will probably use much less weight for front squats than you do for back. 
I alternated between the two preforming drop sets 
1st set front: 65lbs - 8 reps
1st set back: 95lbs - 8 reps
2nd set front: 55lbs - 10 reps
2nd set back: 85lbs- 12 reps
3rd set front: 55lbs- 10 reps
3rd set back: 75lbs- 12 reps

3rd Exercise: Kettle Bell SUMO SQUAT / Swing
This lift is to target the inner thighs and also get the heart rate up. A sumo squat is similar to a regular squat except you have your legs wider apart and your toes pointed slightly outwards. You hold the kettle bell (or dumbbell) and squat down until it touched the floor. Power back up really focusing on your inner thighs. 
Then super set ( super setting is moving on to another exercise without resting in between) with a wide kettle bell swing. In (wide) squat position you swing the kettle bell through your legs, powering up to standing position and swinging your arms until the kettle bell is directly in front of you. Hold for a half count then swing back down and repeat. This will get your heart pumping and your thighs burning. 
 
I used a heavier kettle bell for the squats, and a lighter one for the swings. I also squat wider than either of  these pictures show. 

-Kettle Bell Sumo Squat: 12 reps
-Wide Kettle Bell Swings: 10 reps
-4 Sets



4th Exercise:  BULGARIAN SQUATS
These split squats really challenge your balance and all your supporting muscles. You can do these a variety of ways, body weight, using a dumbbell, barbell, or kettle bell. If you are using dumbbells or kettle bells you can use one or two, over head, or at your sides. Mix it up anyway you like. I used one dumbbell, over head, in the hand opposite of the in front.  

-Right Leg: 12 reps
-Left Leg: 12 reps
-3 Sets



5th Exercise: HAMSTRING CURL
We are getting to the point where our legs are jello and it is time to just exhaust them completely. At this point I move to the machines and do some burn outs.
Using the hamstring curl machine, I start with a heavier weight, do 12 reps, then rest 20 seconds and drop down to lighter weight and do 12 more reps, rest, drop down, etc..


 

6th Exercise: LEG EXTENSION
Same with the leg extensions. Start out slightly heavy, 10-12 reps, rest 20 seconds, drop the weight and repeat 3-4 times.




 7th Exercise: HIP ABDUCTOR for inner thigh
 Set the machine to the widest setting and do 1 set that feels slightly heavy, rest 20 seconds and do 1 more set on a light weight for as many reps as you can.




 




YAY! the hard part is officially OVER! 
Now, spend 10-15 minutes stretching really well. 
It's important to stretch after working out and also for the next couple days especially if you are sore to break up the lactic acid that will build up due to the breaking down and repair of your muscles.


Remember to pace yourself. If you aren't used to working your legs, then maybe work your way up to this work out by using lighter weight and fewer exercises. Don't forget to warm up and cool down. Also, stay hydrated! I tend to feel a little sick after leg day, staying well hydrated can help with that.

Have fun walking tomorrow :)