While this is a fashion blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of fitness if you have followed me for very long. I also talk about the foundation of your outfit being critical to the look of the overall outfit. Let’s go a little deeper and focus on the true foundation- the body you are dressing and the legs that support and carry that body.
Leg workouts are super important, yet they often get overlooked. People don’t like training their legs as it’s hard to see and feel the results. Plus, leg workouts tend to be pretty challenging, which a lot of people don’t enjoy.
Leg day is a big component of the Faster Way to Fat Loss program. I follow this program for my workouts and diet regimen. I look forward to Saturdays and my leg day workouts.
Strong legs are the foundations of a strong body. As you get older, if your legs are strong, you can make life much easier. You’ll be able to stand for long periods, walk around without pain, and reduce your chances of falling over. So, training your legs while you’re a bit younger is crucial!
Even if you don’t conside yourself “younger” it’s not too late to improve your fitness, strength and balance. (The Faster Way is designed with all ages in mind and often has special tips for older women.)
With that in mind, here are some simple fitness hacks that will improve every leg workout you do from now on. You’ll find the workouts more effective and easier to do.
Spend at least five minutes warming up
Too many people will start a leg workout without warming up. As such, you go into the session cold, which is usually why the workouts seem so challenging. It’s good to be challenged, but it’s bad when it’s too challenging as you lose motivation and don’t try your hardest.
Warming up will get the blood flowing through your muscles and loosen up your joints. It stops you from feeling stiff when you squat or lunge, making the movements easier to complete.
A five-minute dynamic warmup (this means you’re moving around rather than being static) is the key to a great leg workout. You’ll feel primed and ready from the first set, letting you lift heavier weights or push out more reps – both of which will result in better results!
Improve your grip strength
Ironically, one reason you struggle to see the benefits of leg workouts is because of your grip strength. That might seem strange considering you’re working your lower body…
In fact, how does grip strength play a role at all?!
Well, it’s all to do with exercises such as lunges, dumbbell squats, deadlifts, etc. Throughout your leg workout, you’ll do a few movements that require you to hold weights in your hands. This is where grip strength comes into play!
Obviously, legs are bigger muscles than forearms, so they can withstand heavier loads. Unfortunately, you can only hold weights that your arms/wrists/hands can handle. What tends to happen is your grip strength is too weak, forcing you to end the set because you can’t hold the weights anymore.
Meanwhile, your legs have barely been challenged. The feeling in your forearms is horrible as the muscles feel so hard and cramped, which also discourages you from training legs as you hate the sensation.
Thankfully, you can find little devices that help you work on your hand grip strength. This will go a long way to let you hold heavier weights during leg workouts. In turn, your legs work harder and the results are better. I have one of these little devices and use it periodically.
Use wrist wraps
Working on grip strength is very important for your overall fitness goals. However, there are cases when you can have the strongest grip ever, but it’s still not enough. Plus, you want to be able to see great results on leg days while you’re building up grip strength.
As such, wrist wraps are very useful in this scenario. They wrap around the bar of the weight you’re holding and take the strain away from your forearms. Effectively, you can lift extremely heavy weights without taxing your forearms, shifting all of the focus to your legs. Again, it makes the workout much more enjoyable and you feel the results right away.
Both this tip and the one above are especially useful for anyone that does home workouts. Here, you probably only have access to dumbbells or weights you hold in your hands. Finding ways to stop your weak grip from letting your legs down is very important!
Try using machines
This final tip is handy if you struggle with some of the traditional leg exercises. Perhaps you lack the mobility to get into a squat? Instead of trying to do these exercises and using poor form – which can cause injuries – switch to machines instead.
A leg press machine will work wonders for your legs, as will leg raise machines, and so on. They can be more comfortable, letting you focus on the muscles. Once you remove some of the exercises you hate and replace them with machine-based ones, the prospect of a leg workout becomes less daunting and more inviting.
Remember, you need to train your legs to maintain a healthy body and live life to the fullest. Leg days can be annoying, but that’s mainly because you have barriers stopping them from feeling effective. The advice above will help you tackle each leg workout with more gusto!
While we can’t change many things about our bodies, we can take care of them and keep them fit. Feeling good overall and feeling good about how you look will boost your confidence. Confidence is a critical element to pulling off any outfit!