Deadlift: Stand in front of the loaded barbell and place your feet a bit wider than your shoulder width apart. Grab the barbell at shoulder-width apart and get ready to lift. This is your starting position.
As you lift the weight, make sure you are pushing away from the floor with your legs rather than you lifting with your back and legs. This exercise is to be down with your legs so your back position will be straight, butt out and your head looking into the horizon. As you push up make sure to keep the barbell close to your body (you may slide the barbell up your legs, this is normal). Once you have pushed up with your legs and are at the top, extend your body straight and hold the weight there for a second.
Lower the barbell back down to the starting position. On the way down, again make sure to keep your back straight and your butt out and your head looking into the horizon.
Repeat the entire movement in a smooth motion, always making sure to push up with your legs and focus on the muscles being used, the Quads, Hams and Glutes. Your back does come into play as a secondary muscle as well. To increase the intensity of the exercise, slow down the movement or increase the weights.
Barbell Squats: To perform a barbell squat set yourself up in front of the squat rack and get in position under the bar by placing your feet at shoulder-width apart and the bar across your traps and shoulders. This is your starting position. Some people feel a discomfort from the weight of the bar and weights across their traps and shoulders. You can use your towel to rap it around the bar as a cushion.
Making sure to keep your back straight and butt sticking out a bit, squat down all the way until your legs are past a 90-degree angle. Your head should be up as if your looking into the horizon. Once at the bottom, push back up as strong as you can until you get back up and are in a vertical position again. Make sure when you push up you are using your legs to push, it is very easy to try and lift with your back and this is how injuries occur.
Repeat this exercise in a smooth and fluid motion. Doing a warm-up set with just the bar will get your joints and ligament ready for the real squat. Always keeping focus on the muscles being used, Quads, Hams, and Glutes are your primary muscles and your Calves and Lower Back are your secondary.
Leg Extensions: In order to isolate the Quadriceps and really work the muscle your best exercise for this it’s the leg extension machine. Sit down on the machine and adjust the bottom leg pad so that it’s resting up against your lower shins. Keep your back straight and back against the backrest, and your hands should be on the handles on the side of the machine. This is considered your starting position.
Using your legs lift the weight up until your legs are almost straight, making sure not to lock them out. You should always keep tension on your legs for a smooth fluid motion. Lower the weight back down all the way until the machine still has tension on it. You will want to again make sure not to go all the way down as to keep tension on the muscle.
Seated Calf Raises: The seated calf machine is a great machine to use to gain size to your calves. Sit down on the calf machine and place your feet (toes only) onto the foot platform. Your knees should be under the top brace pads and should fit nice and snug. Place your hands either on the handles on the top of the machine or holding on to your seat for support. This is your starting position.
Raise the weight up as high as you can by only using your toes to push it up away from the platform. Once at the top, hold for a second focusing on the calf muscle some people try to flex the muscle as they are performing the movement, then lower the weight back down to the starting position.
This exercise should be performed in a smooth and fluid motion. Increasing the weight will help you gain size, or decreasing the weight and increasing the reps will give you more definition in the calf muscles.
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