In today’s digest we bring you articles on 5-minute back workout, The Best Leg Exercises For All Levels Of Gym-Goer, 5 MOVES FOR STRONGER LEGS. and Larry Wheels 95kg/209lb Strict Curl Challenged By Former NFL Star James Harrison. Hope you enjoy them…
5-minute back workout
We’re back with another speedy home workout from the brilliant Anne-Marie Lategan (you can find her here). This time, we’re honing in on our backs. We’re definitely guilty of neglecting back workouts, but a strong back improves running form and can help you avoid spinal injuries. If you’re suffering from a back injury then we’d…
We’re back with another speedy home workout from the brilliant Anne-Marie Lategan (you can find her here).
This time, we’re honing in on our backs. We’re definitely guilty of neglecting back workouts, but a strong back improves running form and can help you avoid spinal injuries.
If you’re suffering from a back injury then we’d suggest this full-body workout instead. It’s equally quick and effective.
Once again, there are five exercises that you should perform for a minute each. If you’ve only got five minutes, then job done! But if you’ve got a bit longer and want to really feel the benefit, Anne-Marie recommends repeating the whole workout up to five times.
As with all workouts, you should stop immediately if you’re in pain.
If you’re struggling with any of the exercises, you can watch the video below where Anne-Marie demonstrates:
1. QL lifts
- Lie on your stomach on the floor
- Lift your right leg up and then move it out away from your body (drawing an upside-down letter “L”)
- Reverse the move back to the starting position
- Complete one set on one side before changing over to the other side
Tip: Keep your hips on the floor – it’s a small move
2. Hip roll
- Lie on your back on the floor with your legs at a right angle
- Extend your arms sideways for balance
- Roll your legs over to one side until your knees touch the floor but don’t rest your legs on the floor
- Ensure that you keep your shoulders flat on the floor in this position
- Use your side muscles and lift your legs back up to the starting position
Tip: If the exercise feels too easy to straighten your legs to increase the intensity
3. Cat scratch
- Kneel on the floor
- Curve your back up and tuck your head in – look at your knees
- Hollow your back and lift your head – look forward
Tip: Do slow controlled moves and never work through the pain
- Lie on your stomach on the floor with your arms extended out in front of you
- Keep your forehead on the floor
- Lift your right arm and left leg
- Alternate with the opposite arm and leg
Tip: Do slow controlled moves and never work through the pain
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent
- Place your hands next to your ears
- Lift your head and shoulders off the floor
- Push your lower back into the floor
- Pull your tummy muscles in
Tip: Don’t pull on your head
5-minute back workout was originally published at https://www.womensrunning.co.uk/training/5-minute-back-workout/
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The Best Leg Exercises For All Levels Of Gym-Goer
It’s always tempting to skip leg day, mostly because no-one enjoys the DOMS that tends to follow, but no weight training plan is complete without at least one leg-focused workout a week. So to ensure you’re never struggling for ideas of exercises to do on leg day, we spoke to Andy Page, strength and conditioning…
It’s always tempting to skip leg day, mostly because no-one enjoys the DOMS that tends to follow, but no weight training plan is complete without at least one leg-focused workout a week. So to ensure you’re never struggling for ideas of exercises to do on leg day, we spoke to Andy Page, strength and conditioning coach at the new Pure Sports Medicine Chancery Lane clinic.
Here are Page’s top leg exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced gym-goers, and a few of our favourites too.
Beginner Leg Exercises
“Any lower-body programme should be built on the ability to squat,” says Page, “and the goblet squat is the ideal way to perfect the movement before moving on to its more complex cousins.
“Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest, push your hips back and squat down slowly until your thighs are parallel to the ground. From this position, drive up to standing, leading with your chest. Working in front of a mirror will help to keep your knees in line with your feet and torso upright.”
“The step-up is an ideal introduction to the world of single-leg exercises.” says Page. “Set the step at a height that means the thigh on your leading leg doesn’t go beyond parallel to the floor.
“Holding dumbbells at your side, plant your foot on the step securely and drive up powerfully, focusing on contracting the glute muscles on the same side as your leading leg. Bring the opposite knee up and stand on the step to complete the movement.”
“The glutes are often overlooked but they’re a key muscle group,” says Page. “Strong glutes will make everything from running and squatting easier, as well as helping to keep you injury-free. One of the most common causes of lower-back pain is poor glute activity.
“The bridge is a great way to work on your glutes. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes and push your heels into the floor to lift your hips into a bridge. You should finish with your hips straight and abdominals tight.”
This simple exercise is just about the best way to work on your calves, which are not the easiest muscles in the body to target. If you’re a keen runner or sportsperson then calf raises are an absolute must, whether you do them in the gym or while waiting for the kettle to boil.
While standing, push down through the balls of your feet and raise your heel so you are up on your toes, then lower again. You can also do calf raises with your toes on the edge of a step which allows for a greater range of movement at the bottom of the move, or add weight to increase the challenge.
The leg curl requires the use of a dedicated weights machine, so it’s one to do in the gym unless your house is unusually well kitted out with a multigym. The reason for doing leg curls is simple – it’s one of the most effective ways to strengthen your hamstrings. To do a seated leg curl (some gyms also have machines you lie on to perform the move), sit on and set up the machine so the padded lever sits just below your calves (also refer to the instructions on the specific machine you’re using). Raise your legs in front of you, then pull the lever back down using your legs.
This weights machine exercise isolates your quads and is simple to perform, but it’s best done with light weights at first to avoid any risk of damaging your knees. Sit on the leg extension machine with your back straight against the backrest and adjust the pad so it sits on your shins just above the ankles. Hold the side bars and extend your legs out in front of you, making sure you’re powering the movement with your quads rather than kicking up with your feet.
The leg press is another machine move, but unlike the leg extension and leg curl it doesn’t just focus on one muscle group: it works the quads, glutes and hamstrings in one fell swoop. Sit back on the machine with your feet on the plate shoulder-width apart. Release the handles so your legs take the weight, then lower your legs towards your chest slowly. Drive them back up, but don’t lock out your knees.
A nice easy one, this. Find a wall and sit back against it so your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are bent at 90°. Wait, did we say easy? We meant horribly hard, because after the first 15 seconds or so holding this position becomes absolute murder on your thighs. It’s worth it, though, because you’ll build serious strength in your quads. If you’re a runner you’ll be pleased to learn the move can help prevent the all-too-common injury known as runner’s knee.
You don’t see many people skipping in a gym nowadays, which is a shame because as well as being a great cardio move it does wonders for your leg muscles, working the calves and building the quads and hamstrings. Grab a skipping rope and hold each arm out wide. Start with the rope at your heels and then move your wrists to swing it around and over your head. As it comes round, jump over it with both feet. Too easy? Try mastering these trickier techniques.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing out slightly. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and sit back until your thighs are parallel with the floor (or as close as you can get). Then explode straight up, pushing through your heels, into a jump. Land softly and go straight into the next rep. Aim to do either three sets of ten reps or three sets of 30 seconds.
Intermediate Leg Exercises
Hex bar deadlift
“Deadlifting is a great way to build strength in the posterior chain – your hamstrings, glutes and back – and lifting with the hex bar makes it far more accessible,” says Page.
“Standing inside the hex bar, hold both handles securely and lower your hips so they are as close to the height of your hands as possible. Slowly take the tension on the bar and then stand up, pushing through your glutes, to lift the bar. Keep your chest high with your head facing forward during the whole movement. When performed properly, the hex bar deadlift is a particularly good option for anyone with a sore back from years of orthodox deadlifting.”
Walking lunge with dumbbells
“The ability to lunge with good form has great carryover benefits to many other sporting movements as well as strengthening your hamstrings, quads, glutes and hips,” says Page. “With a dumbbell in each hand, lunge forwards and bend your front knee until your back knee is just above the ground, then drive back up. Bring the back leg through to initiate the next lunge and walk forwards to continue the movement. Focus on keeping your torso upright.”
Single-leg Romanian deadlift
“This move incorporates balance, proprioception (your sense of where your body parts are positioned) and glute control as well as hamstring training,” says Page, “making it a great way to make the most of your training time.
“Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in your left hand, lift your left leg straight behind you and lean forwards over your right leg by pushing your hips backwards, feeling the stretch down your right hamstring. Practise facing the mirror to keep your head up and your back straight, and make sure you are moving in straight lines and not rotating over your standing leg.”
There’s a limit to the weight you can carry in this move, but that doesn’t mean your legs will have it easy – they’re going to spend more time under tension than in a typical sets and reps move. Walk holding heavy dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides with your core braced and chest up.
Shifting a prowler sled is a tough but low-impact move, which makes it a fine option for runners who go to the gym to cross-train. Grasp the handles of the sled as low down as possible – if you hold on too high you may apply force downwards rather than forwards – with either bent or straight arms. Then push off the balls of your feet to drive the sled forwards. Getting going is the hardest part; it gets somewhat easier after that. If you’re looking to develop power, choose a light weight and move fast, aiming for four one-minute rounds. For strength, load up the sled and do sets of short distances, resting after each effort.
Single-leg glute bridge
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend one leg, keeping your thigh in the same position. Push through your heel and raise your hips until your knees, hips and shoulders are in line. This also hits your core muscles hard because they need to work overtime to keep your balance.
Work one leg at a time, aiming for three sets of ten reps on each leg. If you want to add to the challenge, rest a weight on your lower abdomen and pelvis.
While some leg exercises increase your strength, this plyometric exercise will improve your power and can be a real pulse-raiser too. Find your gym’s plyo box – pick a height that you’re sure you can land comfortably on – and stand facing it square on. Looking at the box, pick a spot that you want to land on, squat down to half depth to help generate power then explode up, swinging your arms forwards as you do to ensure that your jump takes you onto the box. Land softly, bending your knees to absorb the shock, then stand. For your knees’ sake, step down from the box rather than jumping.
Advanced Leg Exercises
“If you can master the king of lower-body exercises, you’ll see the effect on your lower-body and core strength, shoulder stability, and mobility from your shoulders to your ankles,” says Page. “Holding a bar over the crown of your head, with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, squat down as low as possible and use your glutes to drive back up to the starting position. Start with light loads until you master the technique – and prepare for a challenge!”
TRX Bulgarian split squat
“This move both challenges single-leg stability and hits the posterior chain really hard,” says Page. “The position should resemble a lunge and targets similar muscle groups – the difference is that it recruits more muscle fibres.
“Face away from the rig with one of your feet in the handle of a TRX (or any suspension trainer), keeping your head up. Squat down on your standing leg. Ensure you are pushing back with the suspended leg and keeping your torso upright during the movement to minimise strain on the knee and maximise glute activation.
“At first, no weight will be needed and only light weights should be added as you progress.”
“The slower of the two Olympic lifts, the clean is a fantastic way to build power and explosiveness,” says Page, ”and the hang clean is a great version of the move to start with because it doesn’t require substantial mobility to perfect.
“Starting with the bar held at mid-thigh height, lower yourself into a powerful jumping position. Then forcibly extend your ankles, knees and hips to drive the bar up towards your shoulders. Drop under the bar, pivoting your arms around to catch it across the front of your shoulders. You should definitely ask one of the trainers in the gym for some tips before attempting this for the first time.”
5 MOVES FOR STRONGER LEGS.
As the saying goes, nothing beats a great pair of legs—but how about making them strong and well-defined, too? From glutes and quads to hamstrings and calves, your legs are powered by a complex array of muscles that need consistent yet varied attention to look and perform their best. The following leg workout was designed…
As the saying goes, nothing beats a great pair of legs—but how about making them strong and well-defined, too? From glutes and quads to hamstrings and calves, your legs are powered by a complex array of muscles that need consistent yet varied attention to look and perform their best. The following leg workout was designed to shred all those leg muscles through a mix of dynamic and static exercises as well as constant tension. “Great” doesn’t even begin to describe how your legs will look after using this routine!
Works: Quads, hamstrings, glutes
Start with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at side. Take a giant step back with left leg, crossing it diagonally behind right leg, while extending right arm out to side and swinging left across hips (A). Hop about 2 feet to the left and repeat on opposite side (B).
This is 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
Stiff-Legged Dead Lift
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent; hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, palms facing front of thighs (A). With head up and shoulders back, inhale and push hips back (keep weight on heels), lowering torso as you slide weights down thighs (B). Slowly raise to starting position (A).
This is 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
Two-Thirds Jump Squat
Works: Quads, hamstrings
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides. Lower into a squat, but go only two thirds of the way down (A), then jump straight up with arms reaching toward ceiling (B). When you land, return to squat (A).
This is 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.
Single-Leg Prone Curl
Do this with a light powerband MAX; the goal is to pump blood into your hamstrings, not exhaust them completely. Lie on the ground in a prone position with the band placed around your ankles. Drive your heel back towards your glute. Squeeze the hamstring and slowly lower back to start position
This is 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps per leg.
Works: Glutes, hamstrings
Lie face up with arms at sides, palms face down, knees bent and feet flat on floor (A). Contract abs and glutes; raise hips to form a straight line from shoulders to knees (B). Hold for 25 seconds.
This is 1 rep. Do 3 reps.
5 MOVES FOR STRONGER LEGS. was originally published at http://www.trainhardteam.com/5-moves-for-stronger-legs1/
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Larry Wheels 95kg/209lb Strict Curl Challenged By Former NFL Star James Harrison
So Larry Wheels recently shared a video where he strict curled 90kg/198lbs which was about 50lbs short of the all-time strict curl record of 113kg/249lbs set by arm wrestler Denis Cyplenkov in 2016. What’s super impressive about this is that he never attempted it before and after a week or so of training, he increased…
So Larry Wheels recently shared a video where he strict curled 90kg/198lbs which was about 50lbs short of the all-time strict curl record of 113kg/249lbs set by arm wrestler Denis Cyplenkov in 2016. What’s super impressive about this is that he never attempted it before and after a week or so of training, he increased his strict curl to 95kg/209lbs to close the gap even more. On top of that, he tore his bicep not too long ago and… well, yeah, he’s Larry Wheels so there’s no real surprise there.
Related: Larry Wheels Training Session and 140lb Dumbbell Hammer Curls
But this all started, of course, when fitness YouTuber Nick Miller (Nick’s Strength and Power) made a video about the strict curl and Cyplenkov. Miller explained that he set several strict curl records himself with a best of 165lbs at the same bodyweight which is very impressive.
So Larry Wheels wanted to see how much he could strict curl of which he also created a challenge where for others to post their best strict curl.
He wrote the following on the first post with the basic standards for the strict curl that others should follow if the lift is to count… “90kg/198lb strict curl challenge! Tag me in your best strict curl and get reposted! Head, back and butt must be touching wall during the movement!”
Here’s a clip of the 198lb curl…
That was insane for his first time ever doing this lift. Not to mention, it appeared that he definitely could have added a few more pounds on top of that.
But then just yesterday he posted another clip where he surpassed his previous attempt which was visibly more challenging as expected. On the other hand, it’s clear he has lots of potential in this lift.
Clip of 209lb curl…
So Larry definitely had his fair share of responses to the challenge but one that stood out, in particular, was former NFL linebacker, James Harrison. If you’re familiar with him then you’d know he’s a beast and you don’t get the nickname “Silverback” for nothing.
Harrison posted his own video of a strict curl with two 45lb plates on each side (180 lbs) plus whatever the bar weighed which varies with curl bars. So, it could have been anywhere from 190lbs to likely 205lbs of which the latter seems more likely. This is just 4 pounds shy of what Wheels’ did which is very impressive.
Check out the video below with the caption… “I interrupt leg day in honor of @larrywheels strict curl Challenge. I feel like I got a shot at the record“… it appears he’s coming for the record too!
Although Denis Cyplenkov’s strict curl record likely isn’t in any danger at the moment, it may be some time in the near future. Although, when the weights start to get heavier after a certain point with certain lifts, we start to see where gaps are as narrow between two individuals as previously thought.
But, Larry Wheels’ strict curl is now just roughly 40 lbs from the all-time record after one week of training. We expect him to only go up from here and following his progress will be very interesting. But with James Harrison right on his heels, we might have to keep up with both of them.
Not to mention, Nick Miller also mentioned that he’s going to be training the strict curl in an effort to get into the 180s at a 185 lb bodyweight. He obviously won’t get near the record but for that bodyweight, he’d be in an elite class of his own.
We expect this to get a lot more attention now that the strict curl has become even more popular especially with Larry Wheels now training to break the world record. We don’t know when or if it’ll happen but as always, we’ll be sure to keep you updated along the way.
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Larry Wheels 95kg/209lb Strict Curl Challenged By Former NFL Star James Harrison was originally published at https://fitnessvolt.com/larry-wheels-strict-curl-challenged-james-harrison/