Monday, January 17, 2011

Two Great Exercises To Strengthen and Tone Your Legs And Butt

Spring is just around the corner, so now is the time to get ready to look your best.  If you want your legs and backside ready for the upcoming spring and summer wear, the leg press and step ups are two exercises you need in your fitness regime. 

Leg Press - Start
Leg Press - Finish
The Leg Press

The leg press is one of the best exercises for overall strength and development of your legs. First sit in the seat and position your feet about shoulder width and chest height on the platform. Adjust the seat height by pulling the handle and sliding forward until your thighs are parallel to the platform. This is your start position (be careful that your lower back is pressed firmly against the back you the seat). With your feet flat slowly press upward until your legs are fully extended but short of lockout. Slowly return to a position to where the weight almost touches the weight stack. The breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the start. Again, you will have to experiment to find a weight with which the last three repetitions are difficult to perform

Step ups, Start

Step ups

Step ups are great for developing and shaping your butt. With this exercise you will do ten repetitions on one leg followed by ten repetitions with the other. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position yourself in front of a bench. Place one foot flat on top of the bench positioning you body to make a right angle at your knee. Start with your chest held high and shoulders square step up through your heel and lightly tap the bench with your other foot before returning to your starting position. Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you step up and inhale as you step back down.

Step ups, Finish
 For best results, I recommend that you do 3 sets of 15 repetitions on the leg press, followed by 3 sets of 10 repetitions each leg on the step ups.  Use a resistance that the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete.  Do these two exercises once every forth day and you'll be happy with the way your legs look this spring.
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