Posts tagged strength training
Top Three Exercises for Leg Strength and Performance

Want to build stronger legs? Bring on external loading.

While bodyweight strength exercises are king for developing upper body strength across a functional, big range of motion, with the legs you can’t go past barbell compound lifts. There are several reasons for this, but one is that there is a lot of residual strength already in the legs. For a lot of us, we walk on them daily, they are already conditioned to hold our bodyweight. So, even if we were to do a lot of bodyweight strength movements with the legs, we still would get far better results with loaded exercises.

We also know that developing strong legs is key for functionality, performance and even longevity - being mobile and strong when we are older allows us to move freely for example. So, what are the best exercises for developing strong and functional legs?

While an individual definitely can have specific requirements, here are three of our favourite exercises for building leg strength. Furthermore, we are able to modify these main movements where needed to suit most individuals.

 

Squats

A key movement pattern. There are many options for leg strength, but there are reasons why the squat is often called the king of lifts. It is simple, brutally effective and has phenomenal carry over to other areas of strength and movement.

There are a ton of different variations with the squat, but the back squat is simple, effective and all-inclusive. Glute, quads, calves, core and even back, this is truly a full-body exercise that deserves a place in your program.

jamessquat.JPG

 

Deadlifts

The famous hip-hinge pattern.

Pick the weight up off the floor and put it back down. Simple, powerful. The deadlift pattern comes in alongside the squat - in fact, many would even say it is preferable. The lift recruits almost every single muscle in the body when done right. It requires great tension, timing, sequencing and intent. These lifts will help you develop a strong posterior chain (think glutes, hamstrings, back) as well as help to boost full body strength. We’ve often seen a correlation between strong a strong deadlift and other pulling strengths such as the pullup.

There are many variations with the deadlift, but even in it’s simplest form, the conventional deadlift has a huge return on investment.

jamesdeadlift.JPG

 

Split Squat

The Split Squat is what’s called a “uni-lateral” movement. It is a lunge pattern.

Long story short, these help to correct imbalances, strengthen the body, improve mobility (when done right) and build strength through a full range of motion.

The split squat looks similar to the lunge from the un-trained eye, but has a subtle difference - you stay in the split position until you finish the entire set on that side. These can be done with just body-weight, or with external loading (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, sand-bags.. anything!). 

We can again modify the movement with changing not just loading, but body position or the height of either foot. With this one, keep the front foot flat on the ground.

jamessplit.JPG

 

A Few Tips

These lower body lifts will take you a LONG way in your search for strength.

They’ll assist in movement, body composition, mobility, jumping, sprinting and more. However, they need to be done correctly. This doesn’t mean that they look the same for everybody, but simply means we want to make sure we are getting what we want out of the lift, that it is executed well, and that the body is prepared for the movement.

One common phrases you’ll hear us say is “range of motion.”  In simple terms, this means we are looking to develop a nice, deep squat pattern, or a deep split-squat for example.

This would mean that we create a great range of motion of the hip, knee and ankle joint.

Take it slow - explore these patterns fully. Try un-weighted first, then slowly progress. Of course, as usual we need to make sure we are hitting the mobility and prep-work for the entire body to make sure we are set up for success with these lifts (and all strength training!)

 

What’s your favourite lower body lift? LET US KNOW!

 

Why You Need Strength and Mobility Training for Optimum Health

It's time to look after YOU. You used to exercise and you want to get back into it, but there is so much conflicting information out there it's overwhelming!

 You’ve heard that you should be lifting weights, but you don’t want to bulk up.

You’re sick of feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

Work and your family life already has you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. 

You feel like your high intensity training is contributing to STRESS in your body and also you simply don’t have time to add MORE running, MORE boxing or MORE interval training. 

I have been there before - all you crave is to know what works for YOU,

to get healthy again,

without getting distracted.

It’s time to feel strong, lean and powerful.

OK, here's  why I believe EVERY WOMAN needs to lift weights in a safe, supportive and empowering environment. 

1. Achieve better hormonal balance 

Many women avoid the weights room is due to the common misconception that “weights make you bulky”,

BUT, this is in fact extremely hard to achieve naturally, as women have 10-30 time less testosterone than men – a hormonal precursor for muscle growth

For women, human growth hormone (HGH) is a slimming and muscle building hormone that's key for recovery, repair and maintaining a lean and healthy body.

There are three ways to reliably restore HGH in the body; sleep, adequate protein intake and resistance training. For post-menopausal women, strength training has been shown to improve total body composition through a significant increase in lean tissue and reductions in body fat.  

 

2. Manage stress by reducing inflammation  

You’re dealing with stress and inflammation

You're feeling bloated and stuck. Run down

Many women believe that cardio or high intensity interval training (HIIT) will help them lose weight faster

BUT,

Strength training can be one of the best ways to improve fitness and resilience without causing too much additional stress to the system

In combination with a low or anti-inflammatory diet and stress management techniques,  strength training will contribute to changes in body shape and improved mobility and movement.  

SO,

Dial down the intensity and increase your strength work. Here at Workshop, we can still achieve a lot of training volume (and real results) with accessory movements, strength circuits and bodyweight strength and mobility.  

 

3. Reduce injury risk and move your body in the real world 

Injuries suck

They stop you from playing with your kids or bush walking on the weekend

Inflammation and stress can also lead to an increased risk of injury and will often show up as chronic niggles or pain.  

A quality strength-training program can help to prevent injury and strengthen tissues for active pursuits.

Whether you’re training for competitive triathlon

your first 5 km fun run, or... you want to strengthen your back so you can lift your kids easily

It’s essential to include strength training as part of your regular routine.  

 


Workshop is s gym in Kew, Melbourne that offers high quality, small group strength classes suited to both men and women looking to improve overall health, manage stress and GET RESULTS.  

We provide both group and individual support in the areas of nutrition, lifestyle coaching, mobility training and more to provide you with a holistic approach to your health, so you can enjoy a life of movement and vitality. 

Call us now on 0413 949 535 to book a free call with one of our head coaches to discuss your training, nutrition and health goals.