3 Steps To Perfect Legs and A Strong Heart

by Marnie Bii | October 23rd, 2014 | Assorted Workouts, Cardio

legs exercise (400x400)If you want to make the most out of your daily workout routine, you must focus on the muscles that provide your body with the most strength and support: your legs. Your legs provide a solid foundation while performing both high and low impact exercises. While training your legs, you will give your heart a boost in performance as well. Here is a good training routine to use for building muscles in your legs while hitting the heart rate targets needed for cardio activities.

Calf Raises

Since calf raises start out slow and steady, they’re a good way to warm up your body before turning up the intensity. This exercise will target the muscles in your lower legs to keep joint strength out of the picture. Start with seated calf raises using just your body weight alone.

Push your heels up off the ground while keeping the balls of your feet firmly on the floor. Add resistance by balancing a three to five pound weight on your knee. Slowly increase the weight until you are able to lift thirty pounds without issue. Move onto standing calf raises to involve your core muscles and arms in the workout.

5K Training

Although you could jog or sprint to train your leg muscles and get your heart pumping, a structured 5K training program will force you to get serious about your workouts. With this type of program, you work on maintaining a reasonable heart rate that builds your stamina for sustained workouts. Furthermore, you learn how to control your pace to avoid wearing out your leg muscles prematurely.

If you’re not accustomed to running long distances, start this regimen slowly by using a training app on your phone. You’ll go from running a block at a time to going the full 3.1 mile distance within a couple months.

Pistol Squats

End your leg-training workout by performing several sets of pistol squats. This type of squat targets one leg at a time while engaging your ability to balance. You’ll need to utilize your core muscles to position your weight over the active leg.

If you cannot balance well yet, you can use a stabilizing bar or bench for support at first. Start with five sets of five squats, and then ramp up the difficulty by adding more reps. Make sure you take a ten to thirty second break between reps to give your body time to recover.

Pushing Your Limits

Practice mindfulness while performing your training routines throughout the week. You want to gauge how you are feeling before, during and after you complete each routine. If your body feels wrecked, you can dial down the intensity to prevent injury and improve your ability to sustain the workout. If you barely feel fatigued afterward, consider upping the intensity to drive your heart rate higher and build muscles faster. Always make sure your heart rate stays in the target range for your build, age and physical condition.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.