Strength Training – Lower Body

If you follow my training on Instagram, then you will know that ‘LEG DAY’ is my favourite day in the gym! I love training legs and feeling myself get stronger, plus I always get a good sweat on!! Since adding weights into my weekly training plan I have noticed such a difference to my running, plus I haven’t suffered any injuries or niggles!

A question I get asked a lot is how to fit these sessions in around your running schedule. Personally I like to follow the approach of keeping the hard days hard, and the easy days easy (and after speaking to Lynsey Sharp at the Adidas training event last week she does the same!) So I tend to do my leg session on a Thursday morning, as Thursday evening is usually a speed or interval session, followed by a rest day on Friday. I have been training like this for a while now, so I do think my body is used to this way of working out, and I rarely suffer from DOMs (delayed onset muscless soreness) but if you are new to strength training, just be sensible and don’t go straight into double training days, build up gradually and let your body get used to this new way of working out!

Similar to my Upper Body blog post, if you are unsure of any of the exercises, then please either drop me a message, or head to YouTube!

 

LEG PRESS/SQUAT – SUPERSET*

10 x REPS of each – no rest in between

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

I don’t do a strict number of sets for this routine. I start at a lower weight (40kg) and add 10kg on each time, and basically go until failure. Sometimes I get to 100kg, sometimes not! Once I get to the higher weight I also tend to drop the number of reps to between 5-8. 

  • Adjust the seat so that your legs are at a right angle to begin with, and make sure you keep your feet flat on the base.
  • Keep your back against the chair and hold on to the handles
  • Fully extend the legs, but don’t lock your knees
  • Keep it nice and controlled, use the 1-2-3 counting method

 

  • Bring your feet to approx shoulder width and keep your feet pointing forward
  • It’s important to make sure you keep your heels on the floor, if you feel like you want to raise your heels, then don’t squat down as low to start with.
  • Keep your back straight & look forward

 

SINGLE LEG PRESS

3 SETS

10 x REPS (each side)

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Start with a lower weight – 20kg should be fine to start with
  • Place your foot on the base at angle (as above) and kneel on the chair (I find this the easiest way rather than sitting on the chair as you’re less tempted to put your other foot down!) 
  • Remember that slow and controlled method
  • WARNING  – you will really feel this in your bum!!!
  • Switch sides & repeat!
  • If possible, add minimum of 5kg on per set. But only do this once you are comfortable with the move.

 

DUMBELL SPLIT SQUAT/LUNGES – SUPERSET*

3 SETS

10 x REPS (each side) – no rest between exercises

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Place your back foot on a higher surface/step/box, make sure that you are on your toes and try to keep it as straight as possible.
  • Select a suitable weight, again it doesn’t need to be heavy!
  • Slowly, and controlled lower yourself into the lunge position, keeping your back straight and looking forward the whole time.
  • Repeat on the other side

thumb_IMG_2413_1024.jpg

  • I tend to do these as ‘walking lunges’ but if you want to keep them stationary, thats fine too!
  • The aim to to get both of your legs into that right angle position, with your back knee almost touching the floor.
  • Again, keep your back nice & straight and look forward – a trick I get my Bootcampers to do is pretend you are trying to balance a glass of wine on the top of your head, you don’t want to spill it so don’t be tempted to lean over!! 

 

HIP BRIDGE WITH BARBELL 

3-5 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Personally, I find this the hardest exercise out of my whole routine. This works EVERYTHING. By the end of the sets your bum, legs & core will be screaming, and you will probably be sweating too!  

  • Place the bar over your hips, roughly where your hip bones are – if this is uncomfortable you can place a towel there for some extra padding! 
  • Make sure you have a good grip on the bar, and ensure your feet are planted flat on the floor.
  • Using the 1-2-3 method, slowly raise your hips & lower them back down
  • Try and keep your head & shoulders flat to the step/bench – to lower the intensity slightly you can do this on the floor.
  • Start with a lower weight until you feel comfortable with the exercise, but you will probably surprise yourself at how heavy you can go!

 

NINJA SQUAT- BOX JUMPS -BURPEE

3 SETS

10 x REPS

1-2 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Now I appreciate if you are new to the gym, or to this type of training this may look scary, but there are ways you can adapt it to make it slightly easier & build up to the full move.

If you are a beginner, then remove the ‘ninja squat’ and just start with building confidence jumping onto the box. You can also start with a lower box/step until you feel comfortable attempting to jump higher. 

This is a form of training called ‘Plyometric’ training, and is a great way to build power and strength (key for running!) so they have become a staple in my leg day routine. 

 

Similar to my other routine, I tend to do this in the morning before work, so it should take between 45-60 minutes to complete, and I always make sure I have time to stretch & do my resistance band exercises at the end of the session (I will do another post about these soon!) 

Enjoy!

Jordan xx

3 thoughts on “Strength Training – Lower Body

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