Because my time and energy is limited I utilise exercises that give me the most bang for my buck! Just five of the benefits of squats and dead-lifts are:
They are perhaps the two most functional movements of the human body. How often do we sit down, stand up and pick something up off the ground in a day? They are also complex patterns of movement, involving muscle coordination and symmetry across multiple joints.
They involve EVERY muscle in the body.
You can use heavyweights. This isn’t possible on exercises like the leg extension machine. So you learn to generate large amounts of force.
They provide an optimal hormone response, including the production of growth hormone and testosterone.
They increase bone strength and joint stability, as well as improving posture.
The leg and booty workout
Squats and dead-lifts super-set
Squats: 5 sets of 6 – 8 reps (get right down).
Dead-lifts: 5 sets of 6 – 8 reps. Go as heavy as you can with good form!
If you only did this portion of the workout, you would still get a great workout. But if you have some energy left, add in the following.
Walking lunges with kettlebells or a barbell: 4 sets of around 30 steps.
Keep all your muscles tight throughout the whole movement and go more slowly than you would like to. Many people just bounce quickly through their lunges, using momentum, which isn’t making the most of your time or reaping the rewards.
Bent leg reverse hyper-extensions and goblet squats super-set
Bent leg reverse hyper-extensions off a bench: 4 sets of 10 – 15 reps.
Goblet squats: 4 sets of 10 – 15 reps.
With goblet squats I find I get the best glute engagement when I stand with each foot on a step (like they use in Body Step classes), with toes pointing outwards, holding a weight or kettlebell with straight arms between my legs and getting my butt down as low as possible.