There are thousands of variations of leg exercises but you often find that people in a gym tend to stick to the same 3 or 4. Squats, leg press, leg extension machine and hamstring curl machine. This is usually due to either lack of understanding or people are a bit nervous to try something new. No one wants to be the outsider or the person being filmed for a gym fail video. It’s a safer option to stick to the basics and blend into the background.
I believe that we should be sticking to core movements that are big compound exercises. Working multiple muscle groups at once and putting the body under as much stress as possible should be the aim for most workouts, but not everyone is ready for that or have the capability to perform those exercises. Slapping on some big weights and looking ‘cool’ would be the obvious choice, but what about the forgotten exercises that are vital for your results and health? I want to show you a few exercises that I believe should be in everyone’s arsenal, but are often pushed to the side as they aren’t the first exercise that springs to mind when thinking legs training.
- Hold the dumbbell close to the body in a v shape with the hands
- Feet just over shoulder width apart
- Slow and controlled on the way down, fast on the way up
Hamstring Ball Curl
- Drive the hips up towards the ceiling
- Pull the heels in towards your bum
- Slow and controlled on the way out
- Place your hands on the floor to give you balance
- Flat back throughout
- Push the hips back
- Do not bend the knees
- You should feel this in the hamstrings (back of the legs) and bum
- Squeeze your bum tight at the top when driving the hips forward
- Wide stance with the legs for support
- Take a step back keeping the chest up tall
- Slow and controlled on the way down
- This is a great alternative if normal lunges hurt your knees
Dumbbell Step Ups
- Keep the chest up tall
- Drive through the leg on the bench, not the floor
- Lower the body down under control
If you want to follow the crowd and get the same half arsed results as they have, then follow them in the gym. If you want to keep things interesting, enjoy your workouts and try something new, then add a couple of these variations in your next leg workouts.
The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.