Alright leg day – we all do hate you at the best of times, but we love you for when our legs don’t fit into the superskinny jeans anymore and look totally on-point at the beach! So I’ve got a few versions of tackling leg day, it normally just involves a few routine changes but nothing drastic!
1 – Leg Extensions
3 sets normally, but for a warm up I recommend 4. I keep it light and start by doing 10 reps on 18kg, 8 reps on 20.3kg followed by another 8 on 20.3kg.
If you struggle to go for the normal increment weights set on the machines, then use the additional disc weights that fix onto the bar just above the first weight. They’re great bridgers and help you to build up to the next fixed bar weight.
They’re simple to do and are great to help warm up your legs and get the blood flowing through them to prevent sore muscles. Simply lock your legs under the pad and and hold the hand bars either side of the seat. Lift your legs and the pad and hold for 1 second, then slowly lower the pad back down.
2 – Lying Hamstring Curls / Prone Leg Curl
Probably one of the best workers for your hamstrings – and really simple to do! I’m back in a build up phase, and do 10 reps on 18kg, 8 reps on 23kg and another 8 on 27kg. Again, increment weights can be used as bridgers.
Lie face down on the seat, elbows on the pads and hands gripping the bars. Lock your legs underneath the pad and bring them closer towards you, hold for 1 second and back again. Remember to breathe! You should really feel the tension in your legs and remember to keep the movement slow and focused – cause as much tension in your hamstrings (that’s comfortable as possible).
3 – Squats / Free Weight Squats
Now recently I’ve cut back from using the barbell and just focusing on keeping my form right by doing free weight squats – 10kg dumbbell in hand and squat! Keep your back straight, head up, feet shoulder width apart and core/legs tight.
Since I’ve been keeping this one light today, I’ve stuck with a 10kg dumbbell for 3 sets of 10 reps. It sounds light, it does burn out your legs the lower down you go and the longer you hold!
If you’re on the barbell, rack up the weights – I usually start with 35kg for 10 reps, 40kg for 8 reps followed by 45kg for 6 reps – and build from there!
4 – Leg Press (Normal or Seated)
Leg press is a MUST for leg day – otherwise there’s just no point. If it’s there, use it! It’s a great leg builder and will help to grow and tone your legs the most. There’s 2 versions, the seated version or the one that’s a lot more 45 degree angle looking and slightly heftier/beastier.
I unfortunately had to go for seated leg press today which meant my sets were 10 reps on 39kg, 8 reps on 45kg and 8 reps on 52kg. But that doesn’t stop me from hitting 50kg for 10 reps x2 on the normal leg press and 60kg for 8 reps.
Keep your legs higher at the top of the pad and try to hold the hand grips / not hold your legs and keep the tension on your legs only.
5 – Seated Calf Raises / Calf Press Machine
You don’t want to look like all of those guys/girls who have massive quads & skinny little calfs – no chicken legs allowed! So work your calfs too. Use the calf press / calf raise machine – there are 2 variations but both have the same principle. Rack the weight and push with your tip-toes to get your legs up!
My calf raises are getting better on the machine (there’s no free weight one available at Pure Gym) so my sets today were 10 reps on 59kg, 8 reps on 66kg and 7 reps on 73kg. If it’s a free weight one, I’ll happily start with a 25kg plate! It’s easy to build but work them right and you can feel the burn!
6 – Stiff Legged Deadlifts
Now this one I will admit is new to me even! So new I only did them today for the first time. So I kept the weights light and racked up to 20kg, as if I was training with just a normal olympic barbell but kept to 10 reps on each set.
These are great for your legs and really focus on just them, not your overall body. Trick is, pretending your doing a normal deadlift, but keep your legs dead straight and try not to move them/bob with your knees.
And that finished me off for legs! It was pretty much short and sweet but was enough to make my legs feel pumped, burnt out and successfully worked out for the day. Of course I went on to training abs – my whole ab routine is here too! I also Instagram-storied my whole workout today for everyone to actually see and maybe even try out too! Check it out: