Written by 5:45 pm Blog, Fitness, Resistance Training

Today’s Workout: Don’t Skip Leg Day!

Over the years, I’ve been guilty of skipping leg day. Partly, it’s the stereotypical guy thing of wanting to focus on my upper body and sacrificing leg day if I couldn’t fit in all my workouts, but also after having surgery on my knee several years ago following a long period of knee pain.

I’m finally making a conscious effort to incorporate more leg training into my routine, mainly for a more balanced physique and to improve my overall strength and mobility for swimming and other sports. So, to today’s workout, then. I had Marion with me, which is handy for leg day as it means I’m forced to take a decent rest between sets while we alternate on the equipment.

We started with the decline leg press, one of my favourite lower body exercises. I find it much more comfortable having my back supported in a fixed position and lowering the weight towards me. I do two sets back-to-back, first with my feet close together and low on the footplate to focus more on the quads, then with my feet as high and wide as possible to get more hamstring and glute activation.

We began with a light weight (2x20kg plates) for the first two sets and then jumped to 80kg and 120kg for sets two and three. I managed 20 reps (10 with each foot position) for all but the final set, when I did 16 in total. My hamstrings were a bit stiff after yesterday’s deadlifts, but they soon warmed up again.

Next up were barbell squats–from my favourite leg exercise to my least favourite (with the possible exception of lunges, eww). I’ve always struggled to move a decent amount of weight when squatting, partly due to the back problems I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Coupled with my already weak and feeble legs, it’s not an exercise I look forward to. We started with 5kgs on each end of the bar, for a total of 30kg. Even this felt like a decent challenge, but I kept it slow and got a full range of motion with my hips slightly below the knees at the bottom.

Not me, obviously, but pretty much the weight I was doing on my squats!

I worked my way up to a whopping 50kg but didn’t dare go any higher as my back felt the strain! Marion managed an impressive six reps on 60kg, though, which is pretty decent for someone who only weighs 57 kilos! I tried super-setting the squats with some walking lunges, but my right hip flexor was a bit sore for some reason, so I had to stop after the first set and stretch between the squats instead.

Our penultimate leg exercise was the newly added plate-loaded hip thrust machine. By this point, my legs were feeling the burn, so we did the first set with no weight. Getting ten reps with a decent hold/squeeze at the top still felt pretty taxing. We managed two more sets, with 5kg and 10kg, respectively.

With the end in sight, we finished up with some seated calf raises. I really like these and often train calves pretty heavy–I think they’re the strongest part of my legs for some reason! I started with a 25kg plate, which felt comfortable, then managed two more sets with an extra 15kg. Getting 10 reps was hard work but satisfying.

We ended the workout with a plank hold exercise for the core. I managed 2 minutes, which had been quite tough when I last did it a few weeks ago, but I felt quite comfortable today. Finally, a few stretches for the legs and back to ensure I could still swim later and, more importantly, walk back to the car!!

(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)
Last modified: 02/05/2024