Leg day can stir up some very strong feelings……of pain. People either love leg day or they hate it. I LOVE leg day. It is when I feel my strongest. I have said more than once that squats and dead lifts are a girl’s best friends. Why? They build banging legs and booties! In general, I do not do a lot of isolation lifting (I prefer whole body movements that olympic lifting provides) but I make an exception for leg day. Since I have been injured with the tear in my elbow (Are you tired of hearing about it? I am tired of writing about it! GO AWAY ALREADY!), I have had to adjust my leg day routine. No more beloved dead lifts. My right arm basically had to be treated as if it wasn’t there and dead lifting requires quite a bit of stress on the arms. I can’t front squat because again, too much stress on the elbow. So in terms of the bar, I can only back squat. Let me tell you, I have done a lot of back squats these past few months. I cannot keep myself away from the rack so I continue to back squat again and again. I also use the Free Motion machines that our gym has so I have also done a ton of leg presses and extensions.
So. Many. Leg. Days. I actually did a bit too much on my lower body and my hip freaked out. Since then, I have had to be a good girl and not lift heavy. Stacy and I both like to power lift. We do not compete but we basically pile on as much weight as we can manage for a one rep max. I cannot power lift right now since- you guessed it- it is too much stress on my elbow. A heavy bar could shift and my first instinct would be to stable it with my arms. I am good at bailing out of a lift but it is too much risk to lift heavy until I am cleared to do so again.
I have been getting bored with my back squats so I changed my focus a little bit since I can’t add a lot of weight. I have been focusing on my form. My chiro freaked on me a while back saying my form was not great. I have been trying to fix my mistakes. I have also been trying to get really low since the weight is light. Recently, I decided to add pause squats to my routine. What are pause squats? They are exactly how they sound- you pause at the bottom of the squat. I like to look in the mirror and make sure my knees are out and my back is upright and not folding. I do not hang out there for a long time. If you wait too long to complete a lift, you can actually fail at completion (usually with heavier weight, however). After the pause, you explode into the standing position. I really like the pause squats and just today decided that I need to increase the weight a bit. I have gotten pretty comfortable with my light weight and fear I will be in for a shock once I am free to lift completely again.
Last week I did a nice little leg day and thought I would share it with you. I did not increase my weight since I am limited with the amount of weight I can lift. If I were lifting freely, I would definitely go heavier. Feel free to adjust the number of sets and rounds you do if you would like to increase your weight.
Set one, five rounds of
- 10 back squats
- 10 box jumps (pick your max height)
- 10 weighted lunges on each leg (keep the weights moderate as it ends up being a lot of lunges by the end of the work out)
Set two, five rounds of
- 10 back squats done with a narrow stance (feet directly below my shoulders)
- 10 box jumps
- 10 weighted lunges on each side
Try it out! Let me know if your legs were on fire during those last couple rounds of lunges. Do you love leg day like me? What is your favorite exercise to do?