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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Leg Up on the Competition

Second workout with the trainer and I am so sore I can barely type this out, but as the trainer says, there is no gain from not finishing the set.

Last time I worked out with him we did a lot of measurements and weigh-ins that took away from the actual working out, so we really only had enough time to stretch. I thought today would be the same, so I actually got to the gym early and started doing my normal workout routine. Some chest, some arms, some legs and some cardio.

Well let me tell you, I won’t be doing any “pre-workout” prior to my next session, as today almost killed me.

What we did, though, is essential to every recreational athlete, namely we worked on the legs.

Legs are essential in almost every sport. In baseball/softball they let you drive through the strike zone and put more power on the ball. In basketball and volleyball strengthened legs allow you to jump higher and quicker, leading to rebound, spikes and blocks. In football powerful legs allow you to take down your opponent or, if on offense, to not be dragged down as easily. Regardless of your sport, a solid leg drive will make you better.

So what did we do?

1. Squats – Today we did front squats. These differ from the squats you are used to seeing since the barbell is in front of the body instead of behind the neck. The important part about this exercise is to make sure to keep your elbows up. Slouching elbows will make this drill less effective. We did 4 sets of 10, adding weight each time. Squats help your hamstrings, quads, gluteus maximums and calves.

2. Leg presses – Next were leg presses. Some call this a poor man’s squat, but its easy has its advantages. Because of its nature, this exercise wasn’t as difficult for me, and I seemed to have a lot more power in my legs than I thought after doing the squats. Like the squats, leg presses help to tone the hamstrings, quads, gluteus maximums and calves.

3. Calf raises – Still seated on the leg press machine, I moved my feet down so that only my toes and the ball of my feet were on the machine. I then proceeded to point my toes in order to work out the calves. This type of exercise is designed for more repetition and we did between 25 and 50 raises each set.

Since I only had a 30 minute session, we ended the leg portion of the workout right there, but if you are going to do a full leg workout, I would also recommend that you add in the following:
1. Leg curls
2. Leg extensions
3. Lunges

Keep Sporting!
- Who’s In First

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