Time To Start Building Your Foundation – Beginners Leg Workout
Regardless of your sport or fitness goals, you need a solid base, a strong foundation, and that means leg training! This is the first of 3 posts I will do – a beginners, intermediate and advanced leg workouts. This beginners leg workout will start you on what you need – to hit those quads, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles hard.
Many men new to strength or weight training focus on upper body exercises like bench presses, curls, shoulder presses etc… They completely neglect leg training. Women new to training tend to focus on weight loss and aerobic activities also avoiding direct leg training. In both cases, this lack of leg training leads to imbalances. To build a balanced, strong and stable physique that also prevents injury, you must train your legs. And ladies, if you truly want to slim down, tone up and burn fat, training legs is the way to go.
Leg training is not easy, we work our legs daily by walking, climbing stairs, etc. so to truly strengthen the leg muscles requires hard work. Let’s take a look at a beginner’s level leg workout that requires only your own bodyweight as an introduction to leg training and muscle groups. Later, we’ll add free weights and machines to your training.
Always start with a proper warmup and stretch before each training session.
Now, let’s start are beginners leg workout with basic bodyweight squats. Squats use every muscle group in your legs and by properly training them now, you will build a good base for adding free weights as your training progresses.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed slightly outward. Now look straight ahead and squat down slowly in a controlled descent as low as you can. Keep eyes forward, and concentrate on keeping your feet and heels flat on the floor. You can place your arms out in front or cross them across your chest. From the lowest position of your squat, without bouncing, return to the upright position. Easy, right? Now do twenty more… work up to 3 sets of 20.
Bodyweight front lunges. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, hands at your sides or on your hips, plant your left foot and take a big step forward with your right foot. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and lower yourself to just above the ground. Your right knee should be directly above your ankle and your left knee is just off the floor and that back foot on your toes. Now forcefully push back using that right leg to return to the upright, start position. This time, plant your right leg and step off with your left and return to the start position. Alternate left, right, left until you reach 20 repetitions and work up to 3 sets of 20. If you have the space, you can do walking squats across the floor alternating left and right. This is another exercise that you will do with free weights as you advance.
Bodyweight side lunges. Start with your feet much wider than shoulder width. Plant your left foot firmly and keeping you back straight and upright, lean to the right. You are lunging to the right and squatting above your right leg. Now squeeze your butt and push back to the upright position and repeat on the left leg. Side lunges work your inner and outer thighs and quads. Work up to 3 sets of 20 repetitions for each leg. In future workouts, you can add free weights like dumbbells, or hold a weight plate across your chest in order to increase resistance.
Once you feel confident in your ability with this beginners leg workout to squat and lunge, we’ll advance to the next level of your training by adding weights and dynamic plyometrics which will not only increase strength, but improve explosive power plus balance and coordination.