Leg Workout for Definition

So we’re all squatting. (You are squatting, aren’t you? You’ll love it, I promise!) And squats are great, both for strength gains and for aesthetic gains. But maybe you really just want to focus on nice light weight and high reps and not worry about strength gains today. Or maybe you have a knee that is made of fucking glass that hurts all the time and therefore you can’t squat right now. Not that I would know anything about that particular hell.

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here is a machine-based leg workout that will focus on getting you those nice muscular legs you’ve been dreaming about without super high impact on your hips or knees. Let’s get started!

Exercise #1: The Glute Master

glutes

Hopefully your gym has one of these, but if not, guess what? This exercise can be done without any weight at all, on your hands and knees on the floor! Rather like your mom!

Simply adjust the machine to your height and proportions as per the directions. (I wish I didn’t have to say this, but somewhere out there, a 6’4″ man is trying to fit himself into a matchbox because the internet told him to.) Brace your body and press back with your foot, squeezing your glutes at the top. This is a great exercise to get DAT ASS warmed up for the excitement that is yet to come.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 15-20 repetitions on each side.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 12-15 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Exercise #2: Hamstring Curls

lying-hamstring-curls

Also known as the most compromising position in the gym. Many machines will allow you to do this exercise sitting up, but I vastly prefer the pronate position, as it prohibits you from cheating. Lie flat on your stomach and make sure your legs are extended all the way. Curl the weight up so that your legs are bent, making sure your body stays flat. Ideally, your feet should almost touch your butt. Then lower all the way back down and repeat.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 15-20 repetitions.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 12-15 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Exercise #3: Hip Abduction

image140421

Again, if your gym doesn’t have this machine, or if you don’t go to a gym, you can totally do this exercise with resistance bands!

Sit straight and tall in your seat, back flat against the pads. You’ll begin with your knees together. Spread your legs, much like your mom did last night, until you cannot spread them any more. You’ll feel that great tension in your outer glutes. Then bring your legs back together and repeat. Make sure you’re not arching your back or slouching.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 15-20 repetitions.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 12-15 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Exercise #3: Hip Adduction

Cybex.-Hip-Adduction

This is just like the previous exercise, only reversed, so this time you are bringing your legs together.

Once again, sit with good posture in the seat and set the pads so that you feel a slight stretch in your inner thighs. (It doesn’t need to be super intense.) Bring your knees together so that you feel the burn in your inner thighs, then let them back out again and repeat.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 15-20 repetitions.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 12-15 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Exercise #4: Donkey Calf Raises

Maxicam_Donkey_Calf_Raise

This exercise is similar to regular calf raises, but the bent-over position helps target the muscle and provides a great range of motion.

Position the pad so that it rests on your lower back. Make sure your heels are hanging off the edge of the platform and grip the handles. Like a regular calf raise, begin with your heels all the way down so that your feet are flexed back, and bring yourself up onto your tiptoes, flexing the calf muscle. Sink all the way back down and repeat.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 15-20 repetitions.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 12-15 reps.

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps.

Exercise #5: Leg Extensions

LegExtensionMachineExercise

This is a great way to really burn out your quads at the end of your workout!

Sit so that your back is flat against the pad. Your knees should be perfectly level with the axle of the machine – if not, you are sitting too far forward or too far back. Using your quad muscles, lift the weight that is in front of your ankles, flexing as hard as you can at the top. Got it? Good! Time for drop sets!

Set #1: Pick a weight where you can normally do about 20 reps, but only do 15 reps. IMMEDIATELY do Set 2.

Set #2: Pick a weight where you would normally do 15 reps and do 10.

Repeat this whole thing three times, with brief breaks in between. On the last rep of your workout, HOLD the weight at the top for ten seconds.

Done! Nice job! Have fun climbing stairs for the next three days.

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