Leg Exercises:- are very important for blood circulation across the body and for keeping our body muscles toned. Our legs are composed of some of the biggest muscles of our body and strong legs are mandatory for most sports as well as overall athleticism. In order to keep our body, fit and leg muscles strong, it is important to practice certain exercises daily. Nowadays, athletes are stronger, faster and more explosive than before. Prowess and explosive strength must be assessed, understood and developed properly for an athlete to reach his full potential.
A higher speed of contraction (affects explosive strength) and speed of movement (effects power) is beneficial for any athlete regardless of any sport or weight of external load or skills. The rate of force development (RFD) at the onset of contraction is known as explosive strength which is very essential for all athletes playing any kind of sport. In order to improve RFD, exercises for athletic legs are mandatory. This article is based on the exercises which pave the way for the development of athletic legs.
Athletic legs are compulsory for athletes. However, any other person can also develop athletic legs after rigorous practice and exercises. It is advisable to take a physician’s permission before venturing for such difficult exercises. One of the biggest factors of the functionality of legs and properly training speed is the core stability. In the absence of core stability, a person cannot fully activate his legs and move fast with full potential.
The core must be stable and still all the time to maximally target the legs. 3 sets per exercise and repeating them 5-10 times per set will work well for anyone willing to develop athletic legs. There should be 2 minutes of rest between the sets. The initial state of the muscles before contraction impact the power and explosive strength of the athlete greatly. Muscles begin to contract when they are in one of these four initial stages:
- Dynamically stretched
- A “shock” stretches
Different types of squats help in muscle contractions and the development of athletic legs. We will discuss a few of them along with other exercises in this article.
Leg Exercises:- The leg press is a weight training exercise where an individual pushes a weight or resistance away from their body using their legs. This kind of exercise not only helps to make the leg muscles stronger, but it also provides a variety in what might otherwise turn out to be a squat centric legs program. However, the leg press machines are found only at multi gyms.
The muscle groups on which the leg press works are as follows:
- Gluteus maximus
- Calves (works partially)
The leg press can cause lower-back injury if practiced improperly. It is only beneficial when it is learned with the help of a professional trainer. One needs to sit squarely in the leg press machine and place his feet shoulder-width apart on the sled. The person’s chest should be up and lower back needs to be carefully pressed into the pad and slowly the person must unlatch the sled from the safeties. The person needs to bend his knees to lower the platform and stop before his glutes lift off the pad. After that, the person needs to powerfully extend his knees to press the weight up.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT:-
Leg Exercises:- Bulgarian Split Squat is another exercise which works on the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Bottoms up (bottom of a person’s feet facing upwards) Bulgarian split squat places more weight on the front leg. Lack of support from the rear leg also helps in gaining knee stability of the front leg. While performing this humble squat a person needs to experiment with weight and get the distance right. Improper practice of this exercise may lead to a knee injury.
Leg Exercises:- Lateral lunge emphasizes on the inner thighs, lateral lutes the outer part of quads. A person needs to stand straight keeping his feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. The back should be straight, and the weight should be on the heels. Then a person must take a big step to the side, keeping his torso as upright as possible and then lower himself slowly until his knee of the leading leg is bent at around 90°, keeping the trailing leg straight. Once the position is reached, he can push back up and return to the starting position. A person must be careful while performing this exercise as there are high chances of collapsing over the straight knee if a person is unmindful.
Leg Exercises:- Step up is one of the most simple and functional exercises of all. This is a unilateral exercise, and it also points out that it is difficult for a stronger leg to compensate for a weaker one, and each leg takes its turn absorbing the full brunt of the motion. A person needs to hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of a knee- to hip-high step, platform or bench. He should start with his feet in a shoulder-width stance, step forward with one leg onto the platform and drive through that thigh to propel his body upward. After that, he needs to bring the trailing leg up and stand atop the platform, then steps back with either leg to return to the floor. A person can repeat these steps with one leg at a stretch or use alternate legs to practice this exercise.
BULGARIAN SPLIT JUMP:-
Leg Exercises:- This is an advanced variation of the Bulgarian split squat where a person does explosive jumps with every repetition. This explosive push works mainly on the quads and calf’s area. The hip flexors are also getting stretched when a person lifts the knee up. Initially, it will be difficult, but this is one of the most challenging exercises to develop muscles for athletic legs.
Apart from the above-mentioned exercises, there are many other variations of squats and step ups to enhance leg muscles for athletes. Some of them are step up knee raise, pistol squat, hack squat, front squat, barbell squat, etc. A person needs a proper trainer to learn all these squats and step-ups before trying them. Otherwise, there can be a serious muscle injury.