7 Short and Sweet Resistance Training Routines to Develop Your Legs
The first thing you need to do is decide what type of exercise you want to perform. You have many options available. For example, if you are interested in building your quads, squats might be a good choice because they work all the major muscle groups in the body: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and calves.
If you want to build your abs, deadlifts or lunges would be a better choice. If you want to develop your core strength, then sit ups and crunches would be great choices. And so forth…
Another option is to choose one exercise from each category. So if you want to improve your quads, squatting might be a good choice because it works all the major muscle groups in the body: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and calves. If you want to strengthen your core, then doing some sort of pushups or pullups might be a good choice.
And so forth…
If you are looking for a simple way to get stronger, then choosing exercises that target specific muscles will certainly help. However, if you want to really make progress with resistance training programs, then it’s important that you include other types of exercises too. So if you want to improve your core strength, then doing some sort of pullups or pushups might be a good choice.
And so forth…
Finally, there are hundreds of other exercises that you can also do. This website has a list that you can use as a reference. Once you become more familiar with the exercises, then you can decide which ones would be best to help you achieve your goals most efficiently.
There is no real secret as to what exercises you should do. Most exercises are fine as long as you are using proper form. So if you want to improve your quads, then doing some type of squats might be a good choice. And so forth…
In other words, keep it simple! Just pick one exercise from each category and alternate between them. So if you want to improve your chest, then doing some sort of pushups or bench presses would be a good choice.
For shoulders, you could do some shoulder press or lateral raises. For back, you could do pullups or bent over rows. For legs, you could do squats or lunges. For arms, you could do bicep curls or tricep extensions. And for cardio, you could just jog in place or jump up and down. You can also do some other exercises for the core (abs), back and neck if you want.
When it comes to your legs, you want to pick exercises that will work all the major muscles in the legs. The best exercises to accomplish this are the squat, the lunge and the calf raise. When most people hear the word “squat”, they automatically think about the barbell back squat.
This is just one variation of the squat that you can do. You can also perform a body weight squat or a jump squat (also called a squat jump).
When it comes to your upper body, there are not too many exercises to choose from. The pushup, chest dip and chin up are probably the best choices for your chest. For your back you have the pullup, row and back extension.
For your shoulders you have the shoulder press, lateral raise and front raise. For your core you have the plank, situp and twist. For your arms you have the bicep curl, tricep extension, wrist curl and forearm twist.
And finally, for your legs you have the squat, lunge and calf raise. As you can see, most exercises overlap onto two or more categories. This is by design because you want to do as many exercises as you can to give all parts of your body a proper workout.
For your arms you have the bicep curl, tricep extension, hammer curl and wrist curl. If you want to work your core, you can do the plank or ab rollout.
So if you want to improve your chest, then doing pushups or dips would be a good choice. For back, pullups or row machine would be a good choice. For your shoulders, shoulder press or lateral raise would be good choices.
However, if you look closely, you will see that there are no exercises that work your lower body and upper body on the same day. So if you were to do a squat workout today, then you would not do a pushup or any other exercise that works your upper body until another day. For your core, planks, situps or ab rollouts would be good choices. And for your legs, lunges or the squat machine would be a good choices.
It’s best to start off by purchasing a gym membership first because it gives you access to a greater variety of equipment. However, if money is an issue or you just don’t want to join a gym, then you can purchase some exercise equipment on your own at home.
I know that was a bit mind numbingly boring, but if you want to create your own routine then you need to understand the basics of it first. Once you have your list of exercises, you can plug them into the calendar and rearrange them as you see fit. There are no restrictions on how to schedule the exercises as long as you give yourself a day of rest in between similar muscle groups.
For example, you can back on Mondays and Thursdays, but you cannot back on Mondays and then back again on Thursday. You can chest on Tuesday and Friday, but you cannot chest on Tuesday and then chest again on Friday. And do not even think about chest and back in the same week.
Friday is always your day of rest so whatever muscle group you train on Tuesday will have to wait until Friday.
You can do legs on Monday since they are separate from your upper body. Thursday is your day of rest so you can do arms since it’s a separate from your lower body. This gives you Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to schedule your workouts.
Pick 3-4 exercises for each muscle group and divide them between these days. If you have particular favorites, you can add an extra workout for that muscle group. If you have a favorite exercise that targets more than one muscle group, you can add that in too, however, allow at least a day of rest between doing upper and lower body exercises.
For your cardio, you can do it after your weight training or on a separate day, it’s up to you. If you’re doing it on a separate day then do 30-60 minutes of moderate to high intensity cardio. If you’re doing it on the same day as weight training then keep the cardio to a moderate level and keep it to 20-30 minutes.
If you’re doing an hour or more of cardio then you don’t need to do any the same day as your weight training.
You can split up your workouts anyway you like as long as you give yourself a day of rest in between and stick to the format on the exercise page. You don’t have to, but it’s recommended that you take a week off from working out every month. This will keep your muscles growing instead of burning them out.
Now you’re ready to start filling in your schedule with your preferred exercise routines. Good luck and have fun!
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of an intrahospital exercise program intervention for children with leukemia by A San Juan, S Fleck, C Chamorro-Vina… – … in Sports+ Exercise, 2007 – academia.edu
Acute and session RPE responses during resistance training: Bouts to failure at 60% and 90% of 1RM by RC Pritchett, JM Green, PJ Wickwire… – South African Journal of …, 2009 – ajol.info
Effects of early progressive eccentric exercise on muscle size and function after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a 1-year follow-up study of a randomized … by JP Gerber, RL Marcus, LE Dibble, PE Greis… – Physical …, 2009 – academic.oup.com
A new approach to monitoring resistance training by MR McGuigan, C Foster – Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2004 – search.proquest.com
Effects of resistance training and dietary protein intake on protein metabolism in older adults by WW Campbell, MC Crim, VR Young… – … Journal of …, 1995 – journals.physiology.org
Cycle-length variants in periodized strength/power training by D Baker – Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2007 – thehubedu-production.s3 …
The effect of short-term Swiss ball training on core stability and running economy by R Stanton, PR Reaburn… – The Journal of Strength & …, 2004 – journals.lww.com
Locomotor training after human spinal cord injury: a series of case studies by AL Behrman, SJ Harkema – Physical therapy, 2000 – academic.oup.com
Contributing factors for increased bat swing velocity by DJ Szymanski, C DeRenne… – The Journal of Strength …, 2009 – cdn.journals.lww.com