As mentioned previously legs are a key part of my workout programme. On leg day my trainer and I use a combination of supersets and individual exercises. A superset refers to performing two or more exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. This really pushes the muscles to work hard and burns more fat.
There are many different combinations of supersets. For example, the superset described below focuses on the same muscle group and involves a compound and an isolation exercise.
1. Sumo Deadlift
The sumo deadlift is a wide-stance deadlift where your hands are on the inside of your thighs.
It is a hybrid between the trap bar deadlift and the conventional deadlift. Your hips start closer to the bar (especially if you think about pushing your knees out to get to the bar, versus pushing your hips back), and you’re also much more upright.
Starting from this wide-stance squat position, push yourself up (and the bar) through your legs using (i.e. squeezing) the hamstrings and glutes to lift the bar
The sumo deadlift works a large set of muscles including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, parts of the lower back, and even the adductors (inner thighs).
2. Lying hamstring curl
This isolation exercise involves flexing the hamstring muscles and lifting the lower legs towards the glutes. The muscles are naturally stronger during the eccentric phase of a contraction. The eccentric phase refers to the phase in which the muscle is being lengthened and the weight is being lowered down.
An advanced trainee can adapt the principal of variable resistance by alternating foot position. This can be achieved by selecting a slightly heavier weight and performing the curling movement with the toes pointed up towards the knees and the lowering movement with the toes pointed down and away.
Pointing the toes towards the knees will draw additional recruitment from the calves which helps make the movement easier.
Rotating the feet slightly outwards will draw more recruitment from the lateral portion of the hamstring. (Biceps Femoris)
Rotating the feet slightly inwards will draw more recruitment from the medial portion of the hamstring. (Semimembranosus & Semitendinosus)