The goal of the month is Leg Strength. POW! Gym is hoping to see everyone increase strength in his or her legs. The most basic metric for measuring this increase in strength is increasing the load lifted during the front squat, back squat and dead lift. Most of the Strength and Conditioning classes this month will give the opportunity to perform one of these exercises with enough time to load to a challenging weight.
Once you have the proper form and technique for these two movements you should ask the your POW! Trainers to assist you in determining an appropriate weight and number of repetitions. In order to strengthen the legs, it is important that you increase the amount of weight you lift. The goal is to build your overall strength to be able to handle squatting or dead lifting a weight that you find challenging for 3-6 reps for several 2-3 sets.
Our west loop gym offers a wide variety of classes. Aside from our strength and conditioning classes, boxing, kickboxing and muay thai require strong legs. Although you will increase strength in your legs from kickboxing and throwing punches, specifically strengthening your legs with these key leg exercises will help your reach your goals quicker. Safely increasing the weight will also increase your power. As you start getting stronger, you will also notice that your punches and kicks will be more explosive.
There are so many exercises that will strengthen your legs. Here are a 5 favorite leg strengthening exercises you will perform at POW! Gym, the first gym in Chicago’s West Loop.
EXERCISE 1: SQUATS – Front or back squats are a great exercise. Always use a spotter if you are new to the exercise. We added a band to our knees to help maintain stability.
EXERCISE 2: STEP-UPS – Below we are featuring two great versions. Coach Brennan is featured a great progressions from a basic step up. He begins the lateral step-up by lifting the leg before stepping up. Notice he is also holding a weighted barbell. This requires a tremendous amount of core stabilization and makes for amazing total body progression from the classic front step-up. Coach Brennan places the free hand behind his head to help maintain stability and balance.
EXERCISE 2: STEP-UPS – This is a basic step-up. This month we will feature this exercise focusing on using a lower box but increasing the weight used.
EXERCISE 3: WEIGHTED BRIDGES – There are several versions of this exercise. It is important that you do not suffer from back pain when adding weight this exercise. You can easily use a dumbbell or sand bell to comfortably add weight, it is not necessary to use a barbell. Notice that Coach Brennan is using the band around the calves to assist with activating the glutes and keeping his bridge stable.
EXERCISE 4: DEADLIFT – Deadlifts are a great exercise. The key technical elements include maintaining a strong core, avoiding an arch in the lower back and keeping great posture in the upper back.
EXERCISE 5: SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS – This exercise requires balance and core strength. When hinging make sure you tighten the glutes and flex your foot.