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Run and Leg PT

stew smith

Exercising your legs is very often overlooked by even the most avid weight lifters and exercisers. Many people simply cannot and should not perform some of the more basic leg exercises like squats and lunges due to knee and lower back injuries. But, that does not mean you have to neglect the pillars of our bodies' foundation. Doing leg workouts not only make your legs stronger and able to support your body better, but you will actually burn more calories in your workouts by incorporating a leg routine.

Since your lower body has the biggest muscles in your body, by exercising the thighs, hamstrings, calves, lower back and glutes (rump), you can actually kick start your metabolism and burn more calories with the following quick, but challenging leg workouts. You will find that leg workouts also have a cardiovascular element to them. Once again, this is because these muscles require so much more blood, so the heart will beat more to supply new blood to the lower body.

The exercises:

Squats - Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Drop your butt back as though sitting in a chair. Concentrate on squeezing your glutes in your upward motion. Keep your heels solid on the ground. Grab some dumbbells to make it more challenging and only do a half squat to place less strain on your knees. Alternate exercise for squats is the leg extension machine.

Lunge - The lunge is a great leg exercise to develop shape and flexibility. Keep your chest up straight and your stomach tight. Take a long step forward and drop your back knee toward the ground but keep the front shin vertical - do not over extend. Want to make it more of a challenge? Grab some dumbbells. Make it easier on your knees by only going down half way. Alternate exercise for lunges is the leg curl machine. Single Leg Calf Raise Hook one foot behind the other and raise up on your toes. Make certain you use a full range of motion. It won't take long to make this burn.

The workout:

Warmup by jumping jacks and squats mixed:
Jumping Jacks - 10 / Squats - 10 (repeat 5-10 times)

Workout #1:
Repeat the following three times: (in circuit order with no rest)
squats- 20 reps
lunges 10/leg reps (regular, 1/2)
bike or jog - 5:00

Workout #2:
Mix jogging or biking with leg exercises with this time saving workout:
Jog 1/4 mile or bike 2:00-3:00 / stretch

Repeat the following four times:
Jog 1/4 mile on a treadmill or outside (or bike 2:00-3:00)
Squats - 10 - 20 reps
Lunges - 10 -15 reps each leg

You will find leg workouts to be challenging and you maybe quite sore the following day. Do not neglect your post-exercise stretch routine and you will be much less sore. Do legs 2-3 times a week maximum and give yourself 2-3 days before another leg workout. This is a great way to build up leg endurance if you are training to pass a rucking test, running test in a physical fitness program, or for sports too.

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