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Strength Training, Toning
Getting a good leg workout for size and strength at the gym can be difficult, getting the same kind of workout at home can be just about impossible. When you are at the gym there are a number of machines that target the main muscles in the leg and make it easy to increase the weight you lift, resulting in strength & size gains. However, when at home, your access to those thousand dollar leg machines is nonexistent so you have to rely on bodyweight exercises alone, which can only get you so far until your strength gains plateau.
That is where the exercises in this routine come in. Using dumbbells to add extra weight will get you past your plateau and on your way to building more strength and muscle mass. These exercises are designed to target the largest muscles in the lower body to not only help increase your addition of size but also to burn the most calories possible.
It is important to note that when doing a strength training routine you never want to workout the same muscles if they are sore from a previous training session, as it will slow your progress to increased strength and size. Also, as you do this routine you should select a weight that is very difficult to do a full three sets with. You should be struggling to be able to finish the last couple repetitions of the third set with perfect form; if you aren't then you need to increase weight on at least the first set the next time you do this routine.
The combination of movements in the workout mimics the motions of those expensive weight machines found in your local gym.
Squats: These regular squats are actually the original inspiration for the leg press machine the only difference is that a regular weighted squat actually requires more muscles groups to activate causing you to burn more calories with the same amount of weight.
Ball Leg Curls: This exercise is a great substitute for the prone leg curl machine but requires more balance and control than any imaginable gym machine, causing you to build more comprehensive and functional strength. If you don’t have a physio ball then you can replace this exercise with hamstring drops.
Dead Lift: There is no piece of equipment that can target the glutes and hamstrings as effectively as this motion. Start with your knees bent then as you get stronger try to straighten your legs until you have them almost completely locked out. Doing this exercise with a straight leg will target the butt and hamstring muscles even more; just be careful to keep your back perfectly flat as it will want to round on you even more with your legs straight.
Outside Leg Raise: Though a bit awkward at first, this exercise does a perfect job of replacing the outside thigh setups at gyms, also know as the Hip Abduction Machine. Slowly increase the weight as you can and be sure to keep your hips perpendicular to the floor.
Inside Thigh Raise: Probably the most difficult to target muscles, the inside thigh raise with a dumbbell takes the place of the inside thigh gym equipment also known as the Hip Adduction Machine. Though this dumbbell version of the exercise has a smaller range of motion than its gym counterpart, it (unlike the machine) also calls upon the small muscles that control hip rotation to make this a more functional exercise.
Calf Raise: This exercise is by far more superior than any machine that targets the same muscles. It is more functional as it requires more balance and control throughout the ankle. Move slowly and stand on the edge of a step to make this exercise more difficult and effective.
The calories burned during this routine can vary greatly due to the fact that the more weight you lift the more calories you will burn. You can expect to burn anywhere from 4 calories per minute when using light weights all the way up to 12 calories per minute for those using very heavy weights.