Workout Tips: Leg Day

Photo by: Abbi Breer

Exercising is a wonderful way to keep your physical health in grand conditions, but it also keeps your mental health stable, helps with memory and relieves stress.  Stress is a major part of taking classes, therefore exercising is a relief!  Let me begin with my favorite day at the gym!  Leg day can be a serious pain in the rear, whether you have been working for years or have just began the journey of exercising.  I’m about to shine a little light on an easy leg day that any college student can do within a thirty to forty-five-minute time frame!

The first step is to know what you want to work that day.  You have four muscle groups in your leg: calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.  On a ‘basic’ leg day I focus on my quads and glutes, but you could also do quads and hamstrings or any combination you want.

Keep in mind, there are two different types of exercises: isolated and compound.  An isolated exercise is an exercise that only uses one joint, i.e. a bicep curl or the leg extension.  A compound exercise is an exercise that takes more than one joint to perform.  An example would be a squat because it uses the knee and the hip joints.  Leg days normally consist of compound exercises and I normally do three sets of 12-15 reps.

The next step of any workout is knowing what exercises you want to do for the muscle groups you chose, and there are tons. I will share my favorites!  In any workout I tend to switch between muscles groups. On leg day it’s a bit more difficult to do because most leg exercises are compound and hit many muscle groups, but that’s where isolated workouts come in handy.

The first exercise I go to is usually a compound exercise, so I will either choose to squat or deadlift.  When I do either of these, I focus on squeezing my bum to make sure I activate those glutes.  Be sure during these exercises that your form is precise.  This is crucial, or you will injure yourself.  The next exercise for this specific leg day would be leg extensions on the machine. I also enjoy doing glute bridges, good-mornings (focused on those glutes), deadlift (as said above) and many more.  On a normal day, I usually choose four exercises.

Remember for leg day, or any day: warm-up beforehand and to stretch to prevent injury!  As for a basic leg day this is all I have, there is so much more I could share with you, but I always tell people research!  Make sure you’ve got that form down!  Have fun!