Embrace leg exercises with this solid combo

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

I am a huge advocate for exercising the legs on a regular and meaningful basis.

That's right, I'm a legs guy!

What I mean by the above is that I embrace leg exercises (for some, the much dreaded “legs day”). I also encourage everyone to do the same and to appreciate the benefits of exercising legs solidly.

Strong legs look great, if aesthetics are your thing, they give the body the stability it needs, and they allow us to move effectively from stationary to fast action if the need arises.

Strong legs equate to a strong body and mind. So, exercise your legs regularly, appreciate the challenge of doing so and feel the benefits as a reward.

Below are a set of exercises which will help you achieve these goals and which can be delivered by most reasonably fit people as a legs combo.


Step-up with dumbbell

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

This is a great legs exercise for strength, aesthetics and balance and can be delivered by most reasonably fit people. All you need to deliver this exercise is a set of dumbbells and either a bench or a box to step onto, as follows.

Step by step:

  1. Stand holding dumbbells at your side with palms facing towards your body.

  2. Place your right foot onto the bench or box and push up through your heel to lift yourself and place your left foot on the bench or box.

  3. Step back down with your left foot, concentrating on flexing your hip and the knee of your right leg.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Aim to deliver 8 to 10 steps per side.

Hip abductor machine

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

The hip abduction machine exercise is used to strengthen the abductors. Our abductors play a critical role in core stability, and having strong abductors can result in better outcomes from squats and deadlifts.

From an aesthetic perspective, performing hip abduction exercises also assists in the development of a full pair of glutes and hips (always a good thing!).

Step by step:

  1. Sit in an upright position on the machine with your back against the pad and your spine in a neutral position.

  2. Exhale and push the legs apart as you open the pads.

  3. Once your hips are fully externally rotated, slowly return to your starting position.

  4. Deliver 12-15 repetitions of this exercise broken into something like 3 sets of 4 or 5 repetitions.

Deadlift kettle weight

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

The greatest effect of the deadlift kettle weight exercise is on the lower back, middle back, trapezius, forearms, gluteus maximus and hamstrings.

Do not neglect your warm-up before beginning this kettlebell exercise and maintain a focus on technique and pacing through its delivery.

Step by step:

  1. The kettlebell should be placed between your feet.

  2. Get into a squat position by bending your knees, and then take the kettlebell in both hands.

  3. Your spine should remain in a neutral position.

  4. Tighten your glutes and get your core into action as you raise your body with your arms extended.

  5. Attain power by pushing through your feet, allowing the kettlebell to rise naturally, as opposed to being lifted by your arms as you move to a standing position.

  6. Bend your knees as you lower the kettlebell back to the ground, keeping your arms extended through the full motion.

  7. Again, deliver 12-15 repetitions of this exercise broken into something like 3 sets of 4 or 5 repetitions.

Narrow squat

Personal Trainer Julien Bertherat.

This is one of my favourite exercises for building strong legs, partly because it is precise, particularly if delivered using a Smith machine (which is how I advise people to undertake the exercise).

Step by step:

  1. Set the bar on a rack point that is a good match to your height.

  2. Once the bar has been loaded, step under the bar and place it on the back of your shoulders (slightly below your neck).

  3. Ensure your legs remain less than shoulder-width apart (your feet should ideally be between three and six inches apart).

  4. Grasp the bar with both arms and lift it off the rack point.

  5. Push with your legs and straighten your torso to do this part of the exercise.

  6. Start to lower the bar by bending your knees. Continue to move down until the angle between your upper leg and calves is less than 90 degrees.

  7. Inhale as you perform this movement.

  8. Start to raise the bar, exhaling as you do so.

  9. Push the floor with the heel of your feet and straighten your legs again; move back to the starting position.

  10. Again, deliver 12-15 repetitions of this exercise broken into something like 3 sets of 4 or 5 repetitions.

So, there you have it, a legs combo to deliver strong, shapely legs.

As always, if you have any questions about the above, get in touch.


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