Posts Tagged ‘legs’

Top 6 Calf Training Mistakes

Sunday, July 31st, 2022
Calf Training Mistakes

The calves are a serious problem area for most bodybuilders. You can win or lose a contest depending on whether or not you have put some time into building thick slabs of beef on the back of your legs. Women tend to have calf issues as well; many are sporting the dreaded “cankles”. Both sexes often suffer from skinny little twiggy leg syndrome, sometimes known as “bird legs”. What do these folks have in common? They are probably all making the same calf training mistakes day to day, week to week. So how can we fix it?

To build marvelous calves, you have to put time into training them frequently and from a variety of angles. First and foremost, you can’t make the following 6 calf training mistakes and also hope to build world-class wheels. Train your legs right and you will prosper. Make too many mistakes and they will continue to lag.

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Weightlifting Injury Prevention: Protect Your Back!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021
Shaun Stay Fit

This is a guest post from Shaun Sinclair, founder, and author of Stay Fit Bug. Shaun is a former 100/200-meter runner and professional athlete.

Look after your BACK!
Because once that goes you are FINISHED!

It really is that simple.

The spine and the muscles surrounding it are the backbones to our physical existence ‘Pun intended’.

However, it is a part of our body that is prone to injury. Now, prevention isn’t a difficult thing to do. But one thing I am certain of is that trying to cure the issue of back pain is an entirely different matter (Yes… not always easy).

  • Good form
  • Good exercise execution
  • Embracing good posture

All of those things are highly important when it comes to protecting your back. Heck, embracing good posture isn’t even something you need to worry about in the gym only. In fact, that has a lot more to do with your activities outside of the weight room.

  • How you sit at your desk in the office.
  • In your bed and how you sleep (sleeping on the floor is still one of the best things you can do).
  • How you position your body when using a computer at home, which of course, is where most of us spend most of our time in today’s world on Facebook and the like.

These lifestyle habits are highly important in regard to back injury prevention. Now let’s see how you can change your lifestyle to proactively protect yourself from back injuries.

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The Top 5 Best Leg Exercises for Your Quads

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
arnold squats

Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be bigger, stronger, and leaner. The number one way to make that happen? Train your legs with complex free-weight exercises such as these best leg exercises.

Your legs are the largest group of muscles in your body. They are the foundation of your strength and power. Never will you be able to bench press 315 if you can’t squat 315 first. By training your legs hard, you will be setting yourself up to gain the most progress compared to every other muscle group.

Arnold loved squatting, and look what happened to him. If you want to be Mr. Olympia, a famous Hollywood actor, and the governor of California, you need to squat! This article will give you great direction on training the quad, while our best hamstring exercises will give you some great ideas for supersetting or dividing leg day into a push and pull split.

By training your legs, you will:

  • Lift the most weight of all muscle groups.
  • Burn the most calories of all muscle groups.
  • Form the foundation of your body’s strength chain.
  • Stimulate the highest growth hormone release through training.
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6 Best Home Leg Exercises for Strength and Mass

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Generally speaking, while working out the primary concern of bodybuilding is to develop a toned upper body, to the extent that aspiring bodybuilders sometimes forget to pay much attention to their legs. And if they do train legs, it is pretty much the bare minimum and a half-willed effort – leg press and leg curls, for example.

Legs

Many beginners focus so much on a toned set of abs or bowling ball shoulders, that they skip out on leg day and forget to include their squats and deads throughout the week. This greatly affects the symmetry of the body. So to obtain that perfect physique you dream about, you will need to include leg workouts too. (more…)

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Returning to the Gym After an Injury

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

If you have been injured lately and you feel like you are ready to return to the gym, you may be concerned about aggravating the injury, and rightly so. You should follow your doctor’s instructions, and you should return to active training only if they have given you the green light.

Returning to the Gym after an Injury

Even when your doctor says it is safe to return to training, you should still be cautious and careful not to re-injure yourself. More likely than not, your gym has different classes for different purposes. You can use less demanding forms of exercise until you are ready to resume full training. (more…)

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The Top 5 Best Hamstring Exercises

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Arnold Deadlifts

Serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes want to be able to lift thousands of pounds off the ground with minimal effort. It makes us feel good to be able to pick up anything we want. Especially when most guys in the world struggle to pick up even 100 lbs off the floor.

The number one way to make all these things happen? Train your hamstrings, lower back, and glutes (your bum) with complex free weight exercises.

Men and women alike should use these training tips. No amount of deadlifts are going to make a woman huge and bulky unless they TRY REALLY HARD to get huge and bulky on purpose. At the same time, no amount of body weight squats or lunges are going to get you big, strong, or conditioned. Train heavy and train hard, no matter who you are. And if you are a woman who is overly concerned about getting “too big” and just doesn’t want to lift weights, check out this mostly non-load bearing leg exercises for women to get an idea of some other exercises to work into a routine.

As I mentioned in my top 5 quad exercises post, your legs are the largest group of muscles in your body. By training your legs hard, you will be setting yourself up to gain the most progress compared to every other muscle group.

Strong hamstrings will allow you to:

  • Pick up anything heavy off the floor or ground.
  • Burn as many calories during training as you would when training quads.
  • Form the foundation of your body’s posterior strength chain.
  • Strengthen your lower back to protect from injury.

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Three Best Practices for Lower-Body Muscle Gain

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Men often have a tendency to overdevelop their upper bodies at the expense of their lower bodies. There are also a few common misunderstandings about weight loss versus fat loss out there in relation to diet and nutrition. Don’t sabotage all your progress — especially if you’re trying to lose weight but gain muscle.

leg press

Gaining muscle is a delicate balance between consuming enough calories (from healthy foods) and routinely working out. In fact, it is difficult to do both at the same time without sabotaging muscle gain. (more…)

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How to Avoid The Top Five Most Common Running Injuries

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Runners: Stay Healthy, Avoid Injury

Being healthy is not a goal; it is a way of living. Health is crucial for any person and to maintain the health, most of us look towards different kinds of physical exercises. Some of us go to the gym every day, and some perform yoga, but the most common exercise that most people opt for is running.

Man sprinting

Running is an excellent exercise to maintain your health as it gives you more cardio. Running might seem very simple, and it may look that it has no harm, but it is not that way. If you are a runner and you are running on a regular basis you need to be careful about it and you need to take some precautions as well.

It is not like that running is dangerous and it can destroy your knees because there is no such proof of that running regularly can make your knees weak. But it is still important that a runner must be careful because there are several injuries that can happen in result from running. So a runner must be aware of the injuries that can occur while running.

In this article, we will mention five most common running injuries that a runner needs to know about. Here below are the five most common running injuries: (more…)

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Tips For Protecting Your Knees While Working Out!

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Keeping Your Knees Healthy, Happy and Functional

Girl squatsAre you experiencing unpleasant pain in the knee while training legs? In this article, we are going to tell you how to protect your knees from any unpleasant injuries as they are very common.

As you may already know, legs are one of the most important parts of the body, and it must be regularly trained, even though that it can be quite unpleasant from time to time. It’s not fun, and it’s painful to train legs, and that’s why many people neglect them.

For maximum effects, legs must be trained heavily until exhaustion. A serious injury in the area of the knees can stop your muscle growth and prevent you from training properly.

Here are some tips shared by experts in the industry:
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Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Don’t Waste Time Training Legs the Wrong Way!

Leg Training Mistakes
Your legs are the foundation of your physique. With their bulging tear drops, incision-like cuts, and shredded striations, prize leg development can win you a contest. Lagging leg development can also lose you a contest. Additionally, having strong legs makes it that much easier to develop a strong upper body. Here are 6 mistakes most athletes make when training their legs. These tips apply both to active bodybuilders and newbies, so pay attention!

The Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

  1. Not Training Legs At All

    A lot of people completely avoid leg training. Why? Personally, I find it hard to understand. But there’s obviously a reason why they do; theories are they already have some preconceived notion that their legs are developed beyond what they are in actuality, or they see leg training as “hard”.

    It’s true that leg training can be painful, and you generally are sore afterwards, but many bodybuilders grow to love that soreness, as with other muscles. Avoiding leg training is a critical mistake, and you can’t build a house without a foundation.

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How to Deadlift

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

How to Deadlift

How to DeadliftDeadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and they require functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, deadlifts will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.

Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation of causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.

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How to Squat

Monday, July 20th, 2015

How to Perform Squats

SquattingThere are many different lifts that a weightlifter can do to increase their strength, speed, and power. All kind of weightlifting is great for your body, but I prefer to not waste time in the gym lifting with tunnel vision, going from machine to machine and seeing little results from my hard work.

Instead, I would rather do 3-4 exercises with maximal intensity to wipe out my whole body in order to reap a maximal anabolic effect. The most well known and most dreaded of these exercises is the squat.

Rules to remember when squatting:

  • Keep the lower back straight and mostly flat; do not round your back!
  • Keep knees pointing out slightly, do not let them creep inwards as you push yourself up.
  • The bar should rest on upper trap muscles and the rear heads of the shoulders.
  • Push from your glutes (butt), not your knees; your hips should raise first and everything else should raise with them.
  • Fill your stomach with air before descending and keep it tight with your chest out while pushing up.
  • Push up with your eyes focused 30-45 degrees above normal eye level.
  • Try to keep your knees behind your toes to avoid injury.

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5 Squatting Mistakes

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.

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Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Legs

Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Here is a brilliant leg training article from the team at JackedPack. If you don’t know, JackedPack is a membership subscription service that sends you a monthly box of the samples of the best in sports nutrition supplements.

You can subscribe for 50% off your first month by using the coupon code SWOLE at checkout.

One of the best feelings in the world is when someone says to you, “Oh my gosh, are those Giant Sequoias or are those your legs?” We hope that all JackedPack members and non-members alike are able to experience the satisfaction and benefits of leg strength and size, and that’s why we’ve dedicated this post to giving our lower extremities the attention they deserve. We want everybody to be squatting school buses and deadlifting beached wales back into the ocean. We have included a stellar legs day workout that incorporates some awesome exercises that are sure to have people singing Sir Mix-A-Lot every time you walk in a room.

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Prone to Box Jumps

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Here is a great plyometric exercise that you probably never do. It can be used in HIIT training or any other kind of conditioning workout. You can even use it at the end of a leg workout to really kill those wheels.

How to use this single exercise for a 20-25 minute HIIT workout:

  • Lie on your belly, on the floor, jump up to a standing position, then immediately jump up onto a box. Very simple.
  • Do 5 sets of 5 reps with 30-45 seconds rest between sets. Execute the reps as fast as possible with good form.
  • Take 3 minutes to rest and do some ab work – maybe some fold-ups or something.
  • Do another 5 sets of 5 reps.
  • Finish up with 3 more minutes of abs.

Stretch for 3-5 minutes.

HIIT workout complete!

Watch the Prone to Box Jumps video below.

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How to Get Skinny Legs for Women

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Editor’s Note: I nearly didn’t publish this guest post, due to the fact that I don’t believe any Project Swole readers want ‘skinny legs’. I am a firm believer in diet and heavy resistance training to lose fat and create hard, dense lower body muscle. But hey, if any of you female Swole readers want toothpick legs, here is some good advice.

Skinny Legs

As you go about your workout program, one goal that you might have set for yourself is to get skinny legs. For many people, especially women, losing weight in the thigh region does tend to be placed on high priority as this is that one place where females naturally tend to store higher amounts of body fat.

If you want to get skinny legs, there are a number of important things that you should be focused on doing with your workout routine. Implementing the correct strategies will ensure that you’re doing everything possible to reach your end goal.

Let’s look at the main points to consider to help you learn how to get skinny legs.

Avoid Resistance Based Cardio Exercise

The very first thing that you’ll want to make sure you’re doing in order to get skinny legs is avoiding any cardio exercise variations that are going to place a high level of resistance on the muscles. This would include activities such as biking at a high level or uphill walking.

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How to do Box Jumps

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Woman Box Jumps

How to do Box Jumps

Box jumps are a great exercise for your legs, and can be performed on just about any variable flat surface. They hit your posterior chain – calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings – pretty hard.

Box jumps can be used for cardio workouts, neural activation training (NAT), high intensity resistance training (HIRT), and high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits. They are often used in CrossFit WODs (Workout of the Day), and are a staple exercise in plyometric training. Plyometrics have a wide range of athletic and real sporting applications; they are used, for example, to increase jumping ability, leg strength, hip drive, and explosiveness.

Box jumps are a simple movement. They require you only to jump from one flat surface up onto another flat surface, then either step or jump back down, depending on the purpose of the exercise.

What if You Can’t Perform Box Jumps?

To excel at box jumps, you have to develop strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination and balance. Without a basic foundation in these core exercise stills, you should not attempt a box jump, and whatever you do, don’t follow the box jump tips at eHow unless you never want to know how to do proper box jumps.

Be sure you are comfortable with bodyweight squats. If you can’t do bodyweight squats then you’ve got a real problem and should not be attempting box jumps.
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How to Treat Shin Splints

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kalee wrote:

I have shin splints right now so I can’t run or bike or anything but lift weights while sitting and do core exercises… unless you can think of anything that I could do for cardio that wouldn’t require me to use my legs. What exercises [should I use] until my shin splints heal? Thanks!

Response:

If you haven’t managed to avoid shin splints, then it is obvious that you haven’t read and understood my article about How to Avoid Shins Splints, but first, if you haven’t already, you should take a couple minutes to understand What Are Shin Splints. Once you’ve become well versed on shin splints, you can now read about how heal or treat shin splints. Let’s get this problem under control so you can get back to training.

Shin Splints
How to Treat Shin Splints

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How to Avoid Shin Splints

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Woman Sprinting
You can’t sprint with shin splints

Isn’t it obvious that we wouldn’t have to know how to recover from shin splints if we could avoid them in the first place? In order to understand how to avoid shin splints, we must first understand What Are Shin Splints. Then we can better understand how to proactively avoid them. We need to learn more about who gets shin splints, how to properly warm up and stretch the lower leg, and finally we need a method of strengthening those muscles. Assuming we can’t avoid shin splints, we will need to understand How to Treat Shin Splints.

Now, let’s examine the best ways to avoid shin splints by first understanding who is in danger of developing them.

Who Gets Shin Splints?

Athletes, weekend warriors, and even military recruits often experience shin splints, especially at the beginning of the season. Sometimes treatment can be as simple as changing to softer running surface or adding extra arch support to shoes to redistribute the stress. Active rest is often recommended by doctors as a primary treatment. This means that a runner should take up non-impact exercises such as swimming or biking, which gives the injured areas time to heal, but also maintains the cardiovascular benefits of exercise.

It is also believed that people with misalignment often develop problems such as shin splints. Misalignment to the knee, pelvis, ankle, neck, and spine, can result in abnormal posture and abnormal ROM at different joints, which causes excessive wear and tear on bones, joints, and muscles.

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What Are Shin Splints?

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
What Are Shin Splints
What Are Shin Splints?

What is a Shin Splint?

“Shin splints” is a term used to describe the pain felt between the knee and the ankle after athletic activity, and are considered a cumulative stress disorder rather than an acute injury. This painful condition occurs when muscles and tendons in the lower legs pull on the tibia bone along the shin.

There are several reasons why athletes develop shin splints, but ultimately we can say they develop when the constant stress placed on the joints, bones, and muscles of the lower leg overwhelms the body’s natural ability to recover from trauma.

The most common cause is inflammation of the periostium, the sheath that surrounds the tibia. Traction forces on the periostium from the muscles of the lower leg cause shin pain and inflammation.

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