The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.
When Training legs there are four areas to concentrate on, the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
The quadriceps consist of four major muscles, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, and Rectus Femoris. These muscles work together to extend or straighten your knee and you use your quadriceps every time you take a step, skip, jump or kick.
The hamstring is composed of the biceps femoris, semitendendinosus, and semimembranosus. These are long muscles, which cross the back of the hip and knee joints. Your hamstings actually perform two movements, to flex or bring your knee backward to your butt and to extent your hip backwards. Your hamstrings help you to walk, run, jog and sprint.
Gluteus Maximum, is a large fleshy muscle at the back of the pelvic girdle that crosses the hip joint. A strong butt will help to stabilize your body. Your butt also provides a link between your lower and upper body so by improving and strengthening your butt it should make you a better and more powerful athlete.
When training calves there are two muscles you will be working. The gastrocnemius muscle, which has two heads that lie side by side and are responsible for the shape and definition of the back of the lower leg and the Soleus muscle which lies beneath the Gastrocnemius and produces the ‘wings’ to the shin. Your calf muscles help to raise you up on your toes. Your soleus works when walking and jogging and your gastrocnemius is more active when jumping and sprinting. Your calves will get a lot of work when training while skipping, jumping and running but if you want to improve their looks and size, you will have to perform toe raise exercises. Standing calf raises work your upper calf and seated calf raises work your lower calf.
It’s important to understand and to have a basic understanding of how your muscles work, so that you can know how to properly train them and to avoid injury. Knowing for example runner’s shin splints are caused by over training, sudden increase in distance, weak lower leg muscles, worn out running shoes and poor running technique you can then prevent this injury from occurring.
Some of the better leg exercises like; squats, leg extensions, leg press, lunges, leg curls and standing calve raises are explained in greater detail in the book ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’.
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !