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In India, a lot of people tend to ignore a leg workout because it is not as visible as the upper body. However, training your lower body is extremely important to look proportionate as well as avoid injuries. Below is an excerpt from Kris Gethin s (who has trained celebrities like Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham) book The Bodybuilding.com: Guide to Your Best Body, which lists out a few exercises you can do to get really toned legs.
Standing Calf Raises
Place your shoulders under the pads of a standing calf press machine and position your toes facing forward. The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the block with your heels extending off of it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until you can stand up straight. This will be your starting position. Now exhale as you raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible while flexing your calves. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment, then inhale and slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Read about how you can do a standing calf raise.
Trainer Tip: Your knees should always keep a slight bend and should never be locked.
Seated Calf Raises
Sit down on a seated calf press machine and place your toes on the lower portion of the platform with your heels extending off it. Place your lower thighs under the lever pad, adjusting the pad to fit snugly against your thighs. Place your hands on top of the lever pad to prevent it from slipping forward. Lift the lever slightly by pushing your heels up and release the safety bar. Inhale as you slowly lower your heels by bending your ankles until your calves are fully stretched. This will be your starting position. Exhale as you raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible while contracting your calves. Hold the top contraction for a brief moment and then slowly return to the starting position. Read more about seated calf raises.
Set a barbell on a rack that best matches your height. Once it is loaded with your desired weight, step under the barbell and place the back of your shoulders under it. Lift the barbell from the rack by simultaneously pushing with your legs and straightening your torso. Step away from the rack and position your legs shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed out. This will be your starting position. Inhale as you slowly lower the bar, sitting back with your hips as though you were going to sit on a chair. Maintain the arch in your back. Continue lowering the weight until your hips and knees form a line parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift the bar to the starting position, leading the movement with your head. Read more about squats.
Trainer Tip: As you squat, don t let your knees drift forward over your toes; keep them in line with your ankles throughout the movement.
Sit down at a leg press machine and place your feet on the platform directly in front of you shoulder width apart. Lower the safety bar holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform up until your legs are almost fully extended in front of you; do not lock your knees. This will be your starting position. Inhale as you slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs form a 90-degree angle. Driving mainly though the heel of the foot, exhale as you push the platform back to the starting position. Read more about leg press.
Lying Leg Curls
Adjust a leg curl machine to fit your height and lie facedown on it. The pad of the lever should be on the back of your legs, a couple inches below the fullest part of your calves. Keep your torso flat on the bench and ensure that your legs are fully stretched. This will be your starting position. Exhale as you curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting your upper legs from the pad. Once you reach the fully contracted position, hold for a brief moment, then inhale and bring the legs back to the starting position. Read more about leg curls.
Choose your weight and sit on a leg extension machine with your legs under the pad, your hands holding the sidebars. This will be your starting position. Make sure your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. Using your quadriceps, exhale and extend your legs while the rest of your body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second in the contracted position, then inhale as you slowly lower the weight back to the original position, stopping right before the weight load touches the weight stack. Read more about leg extensions.
'The Bodybuilding.com: Guide to Your Best Body' is authored by Kris Gethin and published by Simon & Schuster (2013). It can be purchased online onFlipkart. Watch this space for more excerpts from the book.
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