Like it or not, leg day always comes back around. You’ve worked out your chest and back, and suddenly it has come full circle again. Even if you want it to be over as quickly as possible, you must make sure you have a well-rounded leg day routine. That way, your muscle gains can be balanced.
Of course, the central pillar of any lower body routine should be squats. The barbell squat is one of the most fundamental compound movements. But what about after that? Grab your bodybuilder clothing and try out these three exercises to complement your squats on leg day.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
This lift is essentially a weighted version of a glute bridge and is a great accessory to your squats. It mainly targets the glutes but also works out the hamstrings and quads. Barbell hip thrusts can help you improve your squats as well, so next time you’re in your weightlifting clothing at the gym, try adding it to your routine.
Place a bench behind you and sit with a bar above your hips. Lean back onto the bench with your shoulders and drive your hips up to raise the bar. Your knees should be at 90 degrees at the top. Pause, and go back down. That is one rep. Keep adding more reps and weight, and watch your glute strength (and squat numbers) improve over time.
This workout requires a specific glute-ham bench, but if your gym has it, you should add it to your routine. Glute-ham raises train your posterior chain, which encompasses the muscles along the backside of your body. Mainly, it targets your hamstrings and their two main functions: extending the hips and bending your knees.
Put your feet in and adjust the machine so your knee is resting just behind the pad. Start with your upper body pointing up, then lower yourself down using your hamstrings, glutes, and abs. Once you are parallel with the ground, return to the starting position. Do this every leg day to supplement your squats.
Squats are going to work out both sides of your lower body simultaneously, but lunges are here to help you improve your balance. Lunges work out many of the same muscles as squats, such as the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abs, but they still make for a great addition to your leg day routine. They are relatively simple too.
Stand with your feet shoulder length apart. Then, step forward with one foot in one long stride. Lower yourself into that stance until your forward leg is at a 90-degree angle. Then, push off with your forward leg, return to the starting position, and repeat it with the other leg. You can do these exercises as a bodyweight workout or add dumbbells or a loaded barbell. You’ll have leg day conquered in no time.
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Original Source: https://bit.ly/3QhAVyU