To properly train your legs, you need to do more than squats. Your legs (and your hips) are capable of a variety of different movements. Those include bending at the waist bending at the knee, and other ideas, too: Your legs are heavily involved in rotating your torso as well.
Pushing your legs through all those motions helps grow serious muscle and size on your hamstrings, glutes, and quads, and that's what you'll do in this unique flow from Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. "You're hitting everything in this series," says Samuel. "You'll squat, you'll lunge, and you'll change direction. And because you're constantly creating rotational energy and then diffusing it while landing in a squat hold, you'll light up your core a ton, too."
It's a devastating combination of moves that builds strength and muscle throughout your legs, and it'll make you a better athlete, too, says Samuel. "The one thing we often forget in our leg training is that we can (and should) change direction and change planes," says Samuel. "You rotate and move laterally here, too, and then you have to return to the sagittal plane after all that movement."
You do it all from the demanding front rack position, too, which will light up your abs by default. "That's by design," says Samuel. "I want you working the whole time when you're doing this series. You'll need a pair of kettlebells to pull this move off. Don't have any? Consider this one from Yes4All.
- Start standing, holding a pair of kettlebells at your shoulders, core tight, elbows tucked, shoulder blades squeezed. Step back and look to the right, opening your hips that way and performing a Cossack squat to the right, bending into your right knee while keeping your left leg straight.
- Push up from your right knee and rotate towards the front, landing in a squat position. Hold the squat for one second.
- Press up from the squat, then step your right leg back into a reverse lunge. Press out of that back to standing.
- That's 1 cluster of reps. Do 3 to 4 clusters per set. Do 3 sets per leg.
You can use the lunge and squat-hold series in a variety of ways in your workout. Do it as a vicious finisher at the end of a leg workout, or as your leg move in a total-body session. Or, if you're in a pinch for time, says Samuel, you can use this as a quick full leg workout. "You're hitting every part of your leg," he says,"and you'll feel this tomorrow."
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