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Campers are starting to learn that my all time favorite body part to train and be trained is LEGS! Legs not only get you where you need to go, they are the largest body part, resulting in the largest burn and metabolic increase – who wouldn’t want that? People tend to not love legs like I do. Why not, well…for starters it hurts (so good), you feel it for several days (yay!), and the feeling isn’t just isolated to the legs (yes – I mean the butt)!
Leg exercises are tough, I won’t deny that, but the benefits are more than worth the exertion. Do I really need to sell you? Your legs are a major muscle group, so it’s no surprise that training them will get you big time results.
Training your legs will…
- Melt fat from your body. We all know that leg exercises are tough – that will never change. A good leg workout will fire up your metabolism to melt fat away since you’ll burn more calories while exercising your legs than any other body part. Due to the intense nature of a leg workout, your metabolism becomes elevated for more than 24 hours. That means that for an entire day your body continues to burn extra calories without any extra effort on your part.
- Build strength and function for everyday life. Most of us depend on our legs constantly throughout the day. Wouldn’t it make sense to strengthen our individual mode of transportation? Exercising your legs isn’t only about increased strength; you’ll also improve your coordination and balance. This means that you’ll be able to do and experience things that you otherwise would have missed. Get ready to enjoy the great summer that Milwaukee brings by exploring great walking/jogging trails, bike paths, swimming in Lake Michigan, and even climbing Concordia University stairs.
- Uncover natural muscle shape. Let’s be honest, toned legs are attractive. Legs do not need to bulge with muscle to look great, consistent training will help give a nice toned look. In addition, strength training your lower body will strengthen your lower back and reduce your risk of injury!
These are a few of my favorite things…
Below are some of my favorite leg exercises, each has variations and modifications, use weights to up the intensity and make sure to squeeze the whole time. These are exercises that we do all the time at boot camp, they should look familiar.
- The Lunge: Start with your feet together, take a large step forward and bend your knees down into a lunge position. Exhale as you press yourself back up to a standing position, or continue through with your step into another lunge. Add weights to up your intensity or for a deep stretch raise your arms straight above your head as you lunge down.
- The Squat: Start with your feet shoulder width apart, inhale as you bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Be sure to keep your knees from going past your toes. Exhale as you push back up to a standing position. Add weights to up your intensity or point your feet out to the side and widen your stance to hit your inner thighs.
- The Dead Lift: Start with your feet shoulder width apart, press your chest and butt out, have a slight bend in your knees, hang the dumbbells in front of your body. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back flat. Inhale as you lean forward (back straight) until the dumbbells reach mid-shin. Exhale as you stand upright. Make sure to get a good squeeze throughout the entire exercise!
There are many leg exercises out there, these are just a few easy options to keep you going when you aren’t “boot campin” it!