52 Weeks of Leg Strengthening

by Joe Lawrence | March 10th, 2014 | Lower Body, Strength Training

push up (400x400)Recently, I have been seeing a program circulating the Internet about a 52 week commitment to saving money. It gave a chart showing how much to put into your account each week. It is called the “52 Week Money Challenge” and by starting week one with $1 and increasing by $1 every week; on week 52 you put in $52 and the balance will equal $1,378. Impressive results for a small commitment. I thought to myself, why not apply this to fitness?

This money challenge is great for two unique reasons: one it starts with a very small commitment that everyone can do and because it increases in complexity very slowly allowing for habit changes, not a drastic overhaul.

I chose legs because most of us ignore them because no one likes leg day. With supplementing your current workout with the following exercises at the following increments, you can chisel your lower body and progressively start to love legs more as you continue to hit new targets.

The exercises are burpees, iron chair, lunges, and squats. These four work all of your lower body muscles by strengthening muscle, tone, and endurance. A quick description of the exercises:

Burpees: Start in push up position. Do a push up; in the up position drive your knees to your chest in a jumping motion. Then stand up and reach to the ceiling. Then squat down placing your hands on the floor and kick your legs back into a push up position. To add some challenge and jump up instead of simply standing up.

Iron Chair: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lower towards the ground like you are doing a squat. Stop when upper thighs are parallel to the ground. Place arms and hands straight out to the front for balance and hold for whatever specified time you choose. To make it a bit easier, put your back against a wall or door frame.

Lunges and squats are straightforward with what you are used to.

The program:

Start off small. Do 5 burpees; 20 seconds iron chair; 5 lunges each leg; 5 squats. Do this for two sets. Then each week add one rep to each exercise and 10 seconds to the iron chair. By week 52 you are doing 57 burpees and squats; a nine minute iron chair; 114 total lunges for each set! Rather impressive.

If this sounds too easy, do it twice for two sets twice a week. You can even add more to the beginning reps. The key is to not make it too much of a burden in the beginning or you will look for every possible excuse to stop.

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