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So how do you gently start working out your legs and how to refine them? I will give you some tips based on my own experience to build up your legs.
The basic exercise : To workout your legs, walk !
To begin strengthening your legs, you can start with walking: at a slow, medium or fast pace, it’s a great way to get your muscles working on a regular basis and stimulate blood circulation.
The advantage with walking is that you do not need to go to a gym to perform a session: you just have to replace public transportation or driving with walking or riding a bike, choose the stairs over the elevator or on your free time you can even learn about walking exercises that help with digestion.
You will notice results following the first sessions and you will begin feel to better; you will increase your oxygen flow after each session.
My advice: for each walk, try to walk for at least an hour for optimal results
The flexion exercises
During your walking, you can consider flexion exercises. There are many of these exercises that exist: knee flexion, combined flexion, vertical flexion, and finally half-flexion with extension.
To do these exercises properly and especially not to put too much pressure on your muscles (and your joints), you can start with the knee flexion exercise. It can be done in a position lying on your belly with the arms forward. Fold your knees successively while bringing them back towards the buttocks. Repeat this movement for 5 to 10 minutes.
The combined flexions are done lying on your back: bend your knees towards you and then relax your legs by suspending them at a 45 degree angle. Continue this motion for 5 minutes.
Vertical flexions is another of these exercises but only consider doing these if you do not suffer from knee joint pain. To begin, stand with your back straight and your hands behind your head: bend one knee while maintaining a vertical position. Alternate between both knees and repeat this motion for 5 to 10 minutes.
Finally, the extended half-flexion consists of half-flexing while standing and extending one leg at a time. Remain still for 10 seconds then repeat the movement with your other leg.
Want Larger Legs? Commit to These Two Weekly Workouts
Leg day. If you’ve spent any time in a gym, those two words should be familiar. Leg workouts conjure up images of limping and soreness, with none of the glory and instant mirror satisfaction that comes from working, say, your chest and arms.
One common issue that can arise with leg workouts is hitting plateaus when bulking up. Even though you may have increased resistance and/or reps, you may find that your legs stubbornly remain the same size. The best way to rise above? Shake up your workouts, and get on board with a new program.
For most novice to intermediate lifters, splitting this program into two leg days—with a 2-day separation—will be more than enough to bulk up, while for more advanced lifters, making the split between a morning and afternoon workout is doable.
Single Lying Leg Curl
This isolation movement sets the stage for gauging how your hamstrings will perform for the subsequent movements. Starting with your weaker leg, lie face down on the machine after adjusting bar to lay above your ankle and determining the appropriate weight for the stack.
Focusing on squeezing your hamstrings, take tension off the stack and curl ankle towards buttocks. Slowly lower back to starting position and complete all desired reps (aim for 15, work towards 20). Alternate with stronger leg for 3 sets total.
This will serve as your power lift for your hamstrings. Using a barbell, bend at the waist to grasp bar, keeping feet hip width apart. With knees bent, deadlift the bar until knees lock and bar is at hip height.
Each rep will now consist of you lowering bar with legs straight, to just below your knees. Because bulking muscle mass is the goal, aim for higher weight and less reps—5 sets of 5 is ideal. Start lighter on the weight used for the first 2 sets, increasing it for the final 3.
Focus on slow, deep lunges that make your hamstrings scream, and you’ll be in the bulk zone. Keep your upper body as erect as possible, and knees from going farther than toes. Aim for 3 sets of 12 lunges, adding dumbbells in when desired.
Lying Leg Curl
As with the single leg curl, begin by lying face down on the machine, adjusting weight and ankle bar. Following the same curling motion, lift and lower the weights in a slow controlled motion. Aim for a 6-second movement: 2 seconds up and down, holding for one second at both the top and bottom.
Perform 3 sets of 15, and add in one final drop set on the last rep by stripping some weight and then going for an additional 5 reps minimum.
Single Leg Press
By isolating each leg at a time, you can really zero in feeling the quad muscle do its thing. After loading the machine with desired weight, set with weaker leg’s foot in the middle of the sled. Inhale and extend foot, lowering it back down on the exhale slowly to control the movement until leg is bent to 45 degrees. Repeat for 3 sets of 8-12 reps, alternating legs between sets.
The power of the pause will level up your squats and build your quads in no time. Aim for 5 sets of 5 squats each; begin with lighter weights to ensure proper form on the first 2 sets, increasing for remaining 3.
Using a similar resistance to the Romanian deadlift, consider using wrist wraps even though the bar sits at shoulder height.
Continuous reps are the key to this all-encompassing quad movement. Begin on the machine with feet shoulder width apart, and legs extended. Lower yourself down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle, but no pausing at the bottom—immediately drive back up until legs are back fully extended. 3 sets of 12 reps are the goal, reducing weight if you’re struggling through the last few reps.
Begin seated on the machine with shins behind padded bar. On an inhale, extend legs with flexed quads, exhaling as you return to starting position. Pay special attention that your knee is lined up with the rotation axis point of the machine. This consideration, along with doing each rep slowly, will protect your knees from undue stress. Aim for 3 sets of 15, adding in a final drop set as you did with the Lying Leg Curl.
For those who prefer a light leg workout using machines or equipment, an alternative can be of course, the treadmill or an exercise bike machine, that build your butt too! And don’t forget to workout your calves, it’s for my very difficult to get results, and I decided to workout this part of my body 4 times a week !
Overall, you have many options at your disposal to begin strengthening your legs: it’s up to you to choose the most appropriate method for your level and your goals!