Wright – Fire up your hip and leg strength
Grand Lake, CO Colorado
First in a three-part series
Functionally, training your hips and legs runs hand in hand. In general, gross movement of the legs originates from the hip joint regardless of whether it causes movement anterior, lateral, posterior or medial.
And, while traditional lunges and squats can be very effective for building strength in the hips and legs, the circuit featured provides variations on the squats/lunges training theme firing up your hip and leg strength. We will cover this material over three weeks, so stay tuned as we “build” the complete circuit for you. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Hip and Leg Muscular Strength Training Circuit
• Prior to beginning this circuit, set up your equipment so that you may move efficiently and effectively from one station to the next.
• Perform this circuit one/two times through, two to three times per week, on non-consecutive days, two-four sets of 12 repetitions of each exercise. This will be accomplished via an interval format within the circuit.
• You will complete one set of 12 reps, followed by a 15-second recovery and then complete the second set of the same exercise. Recover for 15 seconds, and move to the second exercise station in the circuit following the same sequence.
• The goal is to experience momentary muscle failure during each set by the 10th-12th repetition.
• In the case of the Smith Machine, prior to attempting the exercise at the Smith, master it freestanding.
• Master your skill and technique prior to adding additional external resistance. The key is quality over quantity; stability prior to mobility, slow controlled repetitions.
Trailing Leg Lunges – at Smith Machine – Lunges are a downward, not forward motion.
• Choose a bench/platform height of 6-18 inches depending upon your height, lever length, training experience and current lower body strength level (i.e. the shorter you are or your levers are, the lower bench/platform, etc.). Begin by positioning the bench/platform in close enough proximity to the bar on the Smith Machine so that when you place the bar on your shoulders, your trailing leg will be able to reach the bench/platform and the front knee will track over the front heel.
• Place the toes of the trailing leg on the bench/platform, stagger the front leg forward so that the legs appear on two different “railroad tracks”; the majority of the weight in the front heel throughout the exercise and the heel of the trailing leg elevated continuously.
• Unrack the bar on the Smith Machine so that it sits on your shoulders with the torso erect; head, neck, shoulders and spine one straight line from the head to the tailbone.
• Lower the body down toward the floor, to approximately 90 degrees of flexion at the knee joints; however, as you master this exercise, your trailing leg may lower closer to the floor. Always avoid stressing your knee joints and trailing leg hip flexors.
• Then, drive through your front heel, extending the knee joints fully without locking.
• Keep your shoulders rotated back/down, your rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and pelvic floor muscles pulled up and in, engaging the core throughout.
Next week, the lunge-knee/pull exercise performed on the TRX Suspension System.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net , her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.
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