Step away from the rack and build lower body strength fast…
If the dreaded legs day leaves you feeling stressed out and body swerving every opportunity to drop the bar then give it up at the rack… Here, celebrity PT and co-founder of No1 Fitness (no1fitness.co.uk) Ben Camara, who has trained the likes of Madonna and MNEK, shows you how to simply develop lower body strength with minimum effort in super quick time.
“For an active life, our legs are your foundation,” says Ben. “With this quick-paced routine, you’ll build the explosiveness and durability to conquer any mountain.
“Unless you’re suddenly looking to compete in powerlifting, or would like to just focus on one exercise, then scrap the obsession of trying to break down the barrier of squatting when you know you’re not going to. Building leg strength isn’t going to be hard just as long as you stick to two fundamental rules: 1) ensure you are focussing on a full range of motion in any rep you do, and 2) ensure you are progressing each week with introducing either more weight/ resistance or more sets.
“You see, working the legs is fundamental for anyone looking to train in the gym. Whether it be for fat loss, muscle gain or just general fitness, your power house muscles are found in your legs.
“Working the glutes, hamstrings and of course your quadriceps – with a variety of movements that work to contract, repair and build lean muscle mass, is where you want to start getting into. If it’s strength you’re really after then you’re going to need to add some weights!”
Warm up: Lunge Matrix
Rest: 60 seconds
Perform lunges with back knee hitting the floor, but each step you must change the angle. Imagine stepping on to the following hands of a clock. 12 o’clock, 5 past, quarter past, 25 past, half past, 25
too, quarter too and 5 too.
So that’s 8 points on each leg. Perform this on both legs.
After one set of 10 reps on each leg, move straight on to the next exercise in the phase. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold by your side. Pin shoulders back, keep chest up and look forward on the horizon. Start by lunging forwards and bending your back leg (knee) towards the floor, your back heel should come off the floor to enable your knee to get to at least an inch off the floor. Depth is crucial.
Rest between sets:
No rest move onto the next exercise.
Find a ledge, box, or steps that are at hip height. Place dumbbells in each hand. Step onto the step and keep this foot on the step until the set is finished. Move up so that both feet are now on the step and keep your chest up. Look forwards at all times and lower the same leg to the floor. Ensure dumbbells are by your side and do not rock the dumbbells back and fourth.
Rest between sets: 90 Seconds
With your feet flat beneath a barbell, squat down and grasp it with your hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up, pull your shoulders back and look straight ahead as you lift the bar. Focus on taking the weight back onto your heels and keep the bar as close as possible to your body at all times. Lift to thigh level, pause, then return under control to the start position.
Rest between sets:
None, move straight onto seated shoulder press.
Lunge down so that your back knee hits the floor and then jump and explode up changing your leg position in the air landing the opposite way around. Use your arms to get