Stronger leg muscles mean a stronger, more balanced body. Once you have built up your leg strength, it is important that you maintain it so you don’t lose all of the progress made.
The Lower Body Leg Sculptor workout will hit every muscle group in the lower body and even a few in the upper body. You will gain strength from the first two movements performed and the next six movements will work on your conditioning, as well as muscular endurance.
Tips Before the Workout
First of all, make sure you complete a proper warmup before diving into this workout, which may consist of some cardio, stretching, or foam rolling. By warming up, you are getting your body ready for exercise and lowering the risk of injury.
When you get to the first machine, be sure to allow yourself about 3-4 warmup sets. These sets should be gradually increased to help you find the weight you will use for the work sets. For example, on the Leg Press, your warmup sets could be:
- 40lbs x6
This example set is considered challenging, so it would also be your first of 3 work sets.
To adjust this workout for your skill level, there are a few things to consider:
- Beginner: Use a weight that is moderately challenging but enables you to keep a perfect form with every rep.
- Intermediate: Use a weight that is challenging to complete all your sets.
- Advanced: Use a weight that is very challenging to complete the first set, rest around 3-4 minutes and complete it again at the same weight. This will help maximize strength adaptations.
Proper Forms To Remember For This Workout
No matter if you are using your own bodyweight or a machine, remember to maintain proper form when performing this workout:
- FUSE-0300 Leg Press: Start with your feet in the middle of the platform about shoulder width apart with your toes pointing outward about 30 degrees. Your knees should be bent a little past 90 degrees. To be sure you are starting at the right depth, adjust the back pad forward or backward. Once set up, keep even pressure from heel to toe – you should feel the weight mid-foot. Keep your knees pushed out and push into the platform until your legs reach almost full extension; do not lock or “hyperextend” your knees. Return back to the starting position slowly until the weight stack is just above resting position and press again.
- Composite Glute Press (Facing Forward): Put one leg on the near vertical facing platform and one leg on the flat platform. Place your hands on the handles at equal distances. As you begin to push your rearward leg back, drive your hands forward. As this happens, slightly bend your front leg on the flat platform. When you get your back leg fully extended hold that squeeze for a 2-count, then return back to the starting position. Try to keep even pressure from heel to toe on both feet. The bottom position will mimic that of a lunge.
- Composite Glute Press (Facing Sideways): Facing to your right or left, put one leg on the near vertical facing platform and one leg on the flat platform. Place your right or left hand on the handle. As you begin to push your leg on the vertical platform outward, try to keep even pressure through your foot and slightly push the handle with your hand as well. As you push outward, the leg that is on the flat platform should begin to squat down. Hold the bottom position for a 2-count and return to the starting position.
- Air Squat: Start with your feet about shoulder width apart with your toes pointing outward about 30 degrees. Keep even pressure from heel to toe; you should feel the weight mid-foot. Bend at your knees and hips at the same time, while pushing your knees out. Keep going down until you are below the height of a chair (lower than you want to go). When standing back up, try to push your hips to the ceiling, then stand up straight.
- FUSE-0100 Leg Extension: Once seated, set the lower leg pad up so that your legs are bent back a bit underneath the seat and the pad is just above your ankles. Use the seat back setting to be sure the backs of your knees are flush against the seat. Keep the top pad up and out of the way. Grip the handles when you extend slowly and extend your knees as much as you can and hold the top position for a 1-count (legs should be straight at the top). Then return the weight slowly without letting the weight stack come to rest and repeat.
- FUSE-0200 Seated Leg Curl: You will now move the lower leg pad up to near the seat level. Once seated, place your legs on top of the pad farthest from you with the pad just above the ankles. Then move the pad that’s closer to you down snug on top of your thighs. When you begin the movement, grasp the handles and curl your feet under your butt as far as you can, hold this bottom position for a 1-count. Then let your legs come back up, but not all the way back to that resting position. At the top you should have a slight bend in your knees, and repeat.
- Burpee: This movement is about efficiency and not as much about form. Many people will perform this movement safely with vast differences. With a Burpee. you will go from a standing position to a prone position (laying on your chest) back to a standing position. To do this efficiently, you will “flop” yourself to the floor using the least necessary control as to not hurt yourself or smash your face on the floor. Once your chest touches the floor, immediately push yourself up and jump your feet underneath you and stand back up with your feet leaving the floor at the standing position. That is one rep.
Always focus on your form with each movement and rep. Keeping correct form is very important on lower body movements, as the lack of a proper form could lead to knee or back injuries. Make each sets are somewhat challenging, but not to the point where your form begins to fail. Log the weights used and simply repeat this workout in a week or so to see how much better you have gotten.
The 50-rep Burpee challenge in this workout is a great measure of your conditioning and strength gains combined. Legs tend to get more sore from workouts, so make sure you stay active, eat enough food, and rest enough. All these factors will help you recover faster.