In a previous article, I listed some reasons not to join a gym, such as: if you don’t use it, you’ve wasted your money; many gyms use harmful types and amounts of disinfectants; and, you can do the same workouts in your home.
This article is a continuation of that, only more specific.
In this one, I’d like to spell out a Leg Day workout you can do at home.
First of all, I highly recommend doing some cardio at the beginning of any exercise routine, followed by some stretching. Running in place for about 5 minutes is all that is necessary, though many people prefer up to 30 minutes of cardio. That’s fine too. Do what you prefer. The whole point of the run (which could be traded with any cardio exercise you enjoy, biking for instance) is to get the blood moving. Once the blood is moving and the muscles are warmed up, then stretching is much more effective.
After your initial warm-up and stretch, then you can do some strenuous exercise with less likelihood of causing yourself injury. That said: Here Lies The Ever-Loving Disclaimer. Because everyone is different, it’s always wise to consult a physician (get a checkup) before trying any exercise routine.
The following are some exercises I like to do at least twice a week, if not more.
Total Lunges: I prefer not to go for a walk when doing lunges, but instead do one leg at a time with many repetitions. Here’s how: left leg stays in one place, in a bent-knee partial squat; then step forward and backward with the right leg. The right leg lunges forward and back for ten repetitions. When your right leg lunges forward, it should only be a little farther than a normal step for you, then lunge up and back to land the same way behind as forward, so that you’re doing forward and reverse lunges. The stationary leg should remain bent at the knee through the Total Lunge. Trade legs and repeat the process once more with the other leg.
Squat Jumps: Squat low and rocket upward as high as you can for ten repetitions. Swimmers call these “Streamline Jumps” if they put their hands straight up overhead. You can put your hands wherever you want. Another way to do squat jumps is to get a pullup bar, squat jump to the pullup bar, do a pullup, drop down and repeat the squat jump. This adds some upper body work to your leg exercise, but do what you prefer. Still another way to add variety to this is, when you’re in the air, lift your legs up with you as high as you can.
Lateral Lunges: These actually do exercise a different muscle group than Total Lunges. The method is to start with feet shoulder-width apart, keep your left leg stationary while stepping to the side, then squat partially on that side. Lunge from that position and hop to repeat the process on the other side. Do twenty of these.
Single-leg Squats: Lift one leg, either in front of you, or behind, and perform a squat on the other leg. Do ten of these, then switch legs to do ten more with the other leg. This particular exercise helps with balance and strength.
Return to Total Lunges and repeat the whole workout as many times as it takes until you can’t walk. (Kidding, of course. I usually go through the whole routine three times.)
The great thing about this routine is that you can do it anywhere. You don’t need a gym. You don’t even need a large space, though for Squat Jumps you may need a tall ceiling if you’re doing them inside a building.