- Having a perfect lower body is a dream for most fitness fanatics and for those who postpone starting exercise next month or a year later.
- However, wrong exercises can give you a disproportionate body that is heavy on the top and slimmer at the waist down.
- Without proper training you could suffer from “chicken legs” or “Johny Bravo” syndrome.
Having a perfect lower body is a dream for most fitness fanatics and for those who postpone starting exercise next month or a year later.
However, wrong exercises can give you a disproportionate body that is heavy on the top and slimmer at the waist down.
Without proper training you could suffer from “chicken legs” or “Johny Bravo” syndrome.
Fitness instructor Robinson Joel, popularly known as Robby-Piyo, of the AV Fitness Center located in Kilimani, Nairobi, explains that three main factors contribute to gym-goers having an unbalanced body.
The lower body forms the largest muscles in the thighs, hips and legs. This makes it difficult to see quick results as seen during upper body exercise. So, a lot of people don’t put in that much effort. The second factor is that people don’t work for their body type.
“Not all lower body exercises will work for your body type,” says Robinson.
The other factor is poor nutrition, but quick results are expected. He recommends that to tone and shape the lower body, eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates in equal measure in addition to some fat.
“You cannot eat as usual while exercising in an unusual way. Load up a lot of calories after exercise, including macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. A good meal will involve something like roast potatoes with chicken breast and rice. Chicken breast has a lot of protein, “says the coach.
Robinson explains that to have a well-defined lower body, you need to combine explosive movements such as box jumps, staggered cone jumps, and tire jumps with strength training.
Claim that with these exercises, you are targeting a group of four muscles found in the lower body including the hamstrings, core leg muscles, back of the thigh; the quadriceps, commonly known as teardrop muscles as, when well formed, are shaped like a tear, on the front of the thigh; the buttocks of the butt and the muscles of the legs attached to the tibia and fibula.
Then there are the hip flexor muscles which are responsible for giving more stability during agile movements and for strengthening the legs during fast movements.
“A good lower body workout routine will incorporate all four muscle groups. It is recommended that during a day of training for the legs in the gym, you never combine it with any other workout, but focus solely on the four muscles, “he advises.
For well-toned legs, find a suitable workout routine that loads your calf muscles heavily to help them grow. To achieve this, it incorporates strength training and explosive movements, which will lead to splitting of the leg muscles.
“When you explode and jump it’s like carrying twice the weight of your body. This is why sprinters have the best calf muscles you could ever want. This is because their sprint training routine involves a lot of explosive movements, “he says.
Some of the strength training exercises, coach Robinson says, include the following:
This is a compound exercise for building legs and strengthening the abdominal area. For proper technique, make sure your knees are in line with or behind your toes but not in front. The back should be straight and with a flat foot with the legs slightly wider than shoulder width. If you want to build leg muscles then you have to go heavy on the squats. Add weights when squatting and doing more reps.
If the goal is just to chisel and tone the lower body, then do high-intensity reps between 15 and 20 with weights three-quarters of an individual’s body weight.
“There is no day for legs without squats. If you have a weak lower back, use a belt. The belt helps balance the front and rear abdominal pressure, ensuring that the spine is in a correct position during the squat. “
Leg ironing machine
This workout is a good squat substitute for those who have trouble squatting. “The heavier you get, the harder it is to squat properly. A leg press machine is a good substitute for avoiding hurting your back while squatting, ”he says.
Sitting in a predetermined position, load the manageable weight and then push as you tilt your feet differently, pointing in or out. You can also isolate each leg at a time and see which one is stronger than the other to make the weaker one accelerate.
Robinson explains that there are several ways to do this exercise. First, it is the pose pattern in which you climb slowly and then collapse or the one in which you climb and hold it for a couple of seconds before lowering them.
“Go heavy if you want to build or grow muscle, but light with higher reps if you want to tone your muscles.”
Hammer curling machine
This focuses more on the hamstrings and is helpful in isolating the powerhouse muscles.
Robinson says this exercise targets the lower calves and isolates them for better structure and not chicken thighs, although many people don’t like doing it.
There are other machine-oriented exercises including a kickback machine that affects the glutes, adductors and abductors that heavily isolate the hip flexor muscles and are very popular with female fitness enthusiasts.
The trainer recommends kettlebell sumo squats, goblet squats, step-up lunges, dumbbell step-ups, and dumbbell lunges as some of the best off-machine exercises for a good lower body.