Preparing For The Best Leg Workout Of Your Life
Training legs are something that many people prefer to avoid. It can be pretty treacherous; after all, the legs are the largest body part, and they take a whole lot of energy to work properly. However, they make for a brilliant workout, and strengthening your legs can have so many benefits on your life overall. However, preparing for a leg workout properly is something that must be done. If you do not prepare, you run the risk of hurting yourself. Or, even simply experiencing painful DOMs in the days afterward. Here’s how you can prepare for the best leg workout of your life:
5-10 Minutes Of Moderate Leg Based Cardio
By doing 5-10 minutes of leg based cardio at a moderate pace, you can make sure you’ve loosened and warmed those legs up ready for exercise. It’s important to do this first, as starting with stretching or bodyweight exercises on cold muscle can leave you with a painful pull that you can’t shake off. It’s a good idea to do this on a stationary bike. Or, a treadmill on an incline, or even by simply walking to your gym. Don’t go too hard – this is just a warm up!
Now it’s time to do the appropriate stretches to make sure those muscles are all warm and ready to be worked out. There are certain stretches you should save for after exercise, such as the hamstring stretch. Yoga poses are brilliant to do before a workout. They really help to stretch deep muscles, and multiple muscles at the same time. They can open up the chest and help you to breathe better, as well as give you better flexibility and mobility. You must stretch hip flexors before a leg workout, so make sure you try a few poses you like and stick with them. Holding each stretch for around 10 seconds is a good idea.
Bodyweight Exercises Based On What You Want To Target
Now, depending on what you want to target, do a few sets of body weight exercises. Many people like to target the gluteus maximus while working the legs, so they do things like donkey kicks, fire hydrants, and glute bridges before beginning the workout. The key is to give the muscles a bit of a ‘pre-burn’ so that they really respond to the weight training you do.
2 Sets Of A Light Weight For Your First Exercise
You’re nearly ready to start working out! Many people start their leg routines with compound movements. Which is great for working the entire leg and even places like the back and core. Compound movements include squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, and lunges. Let’s use squats as an example. We all know that we should challenge ourselves and the last few reps of a set should be a struggle. But, before you start hitting it hard with the heaviest possible weight, do two light sets of a weight for your first exercise. These exercises should be around 6-7 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). It’s up to you to make sure you’re working to an appropriate RPE!
Now Time For Your Working Sets!
Wahoo, you’re done! It’s time for your working sets! Ideally your warm up will take you anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Don’t rush, but don’t spend so long warming up that you’re in the gym for hours. When it comes to your working sets, make sure you’re working at around at least 8-9 RPE for each one. There’s no need to work to 10 each time – you would exhaust yourself if you did that for every exercise. Simply use RPE as a scale to use so you feel confident you are challenging yourself. Work as hard as you need to in order to get the results you want.
When you’ve warmed up appropriately, you’re ready to work those legs with heavy weights. However, it’s so important to remember that form is more important than weight. If you haven’t got the form right, nail that with a light weight before moving on to a heavy weight. You should never sacrifice your form unless you’re on the last rep of an exercise. And, even then if you’re failing, it could be worth finishing the set then and there.
Don’t be embarrassed if you need to lower the weight, or even drop the weight during a set you’re finding too difficult either. This is important for your safety. Watch videos on how to drop the weight safely so that you never feel obliged to finish a set you can’t handle!
Good luck with your workout, the best leg workout of your life!