Friday, May 16, 2008

Improve Athletic Performance With Leg Circuits

I was working out the other day when a familiar question was asked to me: "How much do you max on the bench press?" My answer was puzzling to him: "I don't max out on the bench press anymore." Let me explain.

From my experience of playing football at the Division I level in college as a defensive back, a big-time bench press max had little to do with successfully playing the game.

And on the occasions that bench press strength came into play, such as taking on a tight end, leverage and body positioning was more important than bench press strength.

My bench press max in those days was 400 pounds. A 300 pound max would have been enough to succeed. Power (how fast your muscles can produce force), dynamic balance and speed endurance are more important athletic traits.

The same principle applies to squats. Don't focus too much on your squat max. Leg circuits are a tried and true method to improve your athleticism, burn more leg fat, increase strength/endurance and improve heart health.

So, how do leg circuits work? The good news is that you only need 20 minutes! The better news is that you will have chiseled glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads and calves if you stay with it! You will also be more athletic and flexible in your movements. Athleticism wins games!

Since this workout is circuit-style, you also get the benefit of a great cardio workout. Do each exercise (10-12 repetitions) one after the other with little or no rest between exercises. Rest 2-3 minutes and do the circuit again. Here is a representative leg circuit program:

--Walking Lunges
--Bodyweight Squats
--1 Legged Glute Bridge
--Dumbbell Deadlift
--Reverse Lunges
--1 Legged Split Squats
--Front Step Ups
--Side Lunges
--Lateral Step Ups
--Transverse Lunges
--Leg Curls
--Calf Raises

Do less heavy weight leg work and add leg circuits to your overall athletic exercise program!

Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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