If you are like most people, you probably think you are doing all the exercises that you should be. However, there are probably a few Legs & Abs exercises that you are neglecting that can provide some major benefits. In this blog post, we will outline four exercises that you may not be doing, but should definitely add to your routine. Keep reading to learn more!
#1 Elevated Squats
Many people do basic squats, where the feet are fully grounded, but not that many people do elevated squats. Elevated squats are one of the most effective lower-body exercises for the Quadriceps because they place a different emphasis as opposed to basic squats- elevated squats (front of the legs), basic squats (back of the legs). This is because the heels are lifted, rather than grounded. Additionally, elevated squats can help you keep your spine safe and boost up your glutes if they are lacking. How to do it: Lift your heels while performing squats, balancing on the balls of the feet, and better yet, you can use a yoga block to support heels.
#2 Romanian Deadlifts
There are 2 types of deadlifts, Romanian and Rear or RDL. The difference is Romanian deadlifts start with the weight on the floor, while the RDL starts with the weight at hip height, making one eccentric and the other concentric. Romanian deadlifts are one of the best exercises for the hamstrings and glutes. This type of deadlift is a compound exercise that involves both the lower and upper body, making it an extremely effective way to train the entire body. But really, as we just said, where this exercise shines, is its ability to target the glutes and hamstrings! Usually, deadlifts are done on the days when you train back, but with this variation, you can include it on your lower body training days!
#3 Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging leg raises are one of the most effective exercises for the abs. This is because they work the entire abdominal area, including the lower abs, which are often difficult to target. To do a leg raise, you can in fact start with a knee raise! Hang on a pull-up bar and lift your knees up to your chest, contracting the abs. Once you get used to this movement and controlling the swinging of your body, move on to a leg raise, where you flex your ankle, keep the legs straight at the knee and bring them up. Here's a cue: Try touching the ceiling with your toes! Don't have a pull-up bar? Try using 2 higher arm chairs or barstools for support and try the knee raise. Bonus: This setup works great for Triceps dips as well.
#4 Stomach Vacuums
Speaking of effective ab movements, we can’t skip the stomach vacuums! The stomach vacuum exercise is a bodybuilding move that originates from the golden era of the sport. It was first made popular by bodybuilder and fitness icon Frank Zane, and has been used by top-level athletes and bodybuilders for decades. The exercise is simple but extremely effective, and can help you achieve a tight, toned midsection. And doing it is quite simple:
1. Put your hands on your knees
2. Exhale fully, while flexing your abs
3. Keep the abs flexed
4. Tuck your abdominal wall under your ribcage
5. Hold briefly!
If you’re looking to change up your leg and abdominal routine, give some of these exercises a try. You may find that you enjoy them more than the standard exercises you usually do, and they could help you achieve better results. And if you don’t like any of these suggestions, there are plenty of other exercises out there that can help strengthen your legs and abs. Stay tuned on our website.