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Strengthening the hamstrings will help in exercises for other sections of the body and ultimately enable lifting more weight.
The Leg Curl is a great isolation exercise for the Hamstrings that also helps to tighten and lift the glutes. The first thing you should do for the Leg Curl is stretch the legs targeting the hamstrings to get ready for movement. Fitness Drive recommends starting without weights at first to obtain the proper form (Pick weights that you can comfortably manage). To start use either the seated or the laying leg curl machine. The motion is the same for either one. The concept is to take the weights from a straight leg position to a bent knee by forcing the heels towards the glutes. To gain the most for your effort, Leg Curls should be done with smooth controlled movements. To perform the Leg Curl keep support bar just below your calves and keep the ankles stiff in order to maintain controlled contractions. Start the motion from a straight knee position and Begin forcing the support bar to your glutes while exhaling and maintaining a straight back (Do Not use effort from your lower back to perform the curl). Finish by returning to the starting position while inhaling but keeping tension in the legs (This is 1 rep). Use the routine below to build this exercise into your workout.
Make sure to use controlled movements.
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Remember that smooth controlled movements is key especially if you are elevating the exercise to include higher weights.
Depending on your goal, 3 different techniques you could follow are listed below. Pick the one that will work the best for you and watch the results start to develop.
The Fitness Drive Fat Burn technique only takes 6 minutes to execute. It consists of fast motions with short rest periods to maintain a high caloric burn rate. This is a timed exercise and should be done using something that would help tell how much time has gone by (i.e. stopwatch, phone, clock…). This will force you to keep pushing yourself even when you are exhausted.
- Fat Burn: (Time = 6 minutes)
3-4 sets of as many as you can in 1 minute with only 30 second rest periods
(5 times per week)
The Fitness Drive Muscle Build technique only takes 8 minutes to execute. It consists of slow reps to stretch and define the muscles with a longer rest periods. This is a weight training technique that forces the muscles to lift your weight for a longer period of time.
- Muscle Build: (Time = 8 minutes)
3-4 sets of 10-12 reps slowly with 1 minute rest periods
(4 times per week which is every other day)
The Fitness Drive Extreme Build/Burn technique only takes 11 minutes to execute. It consists of fast and slow bursts with a mixture of short and long rest periods. It is a technique that incorporates muscle confusion to elevate the heart rate to bring the body into the fat burning zone while utilizing weight training techniques to push muscles to work even harder.
- **Extreme Build/Burn: (Time = 11 minutes)
Total 6 sets
-1 set of as many as you can do in 1 minute
-Rest period 30-60 seconds
-3 sets of 10-12 reps slowly with 1 minute rest periods
-1 set of as many as you can do in 1 minute with only a 30 second rest period
-1 set of as many as you can do until failure
(3-4 times per week)
*Make sure to follow a strict diet and exercise regiment to expedite the results and further propel your goals.
Regardless of how defined you want to be you need to make sure you set a goal, establish a routine and keep following it. Results do not happen overnight and it is hard to see what progress you are making if you are a mirror-junky (staring at yourself in the mirror every chance you get). Do yourself a favor and take a before picture of yourself, save it and do not look at it again until the time is right. Each week take another picture of yourself. The time to analyze is on a month-to-month basis. Compare your before picture against the 4th week then again on the 8th, 12th, 16th, and 24th week picture. This way you can see the transition your body made and determine each month if the routine you are following is making an impact. *Discipline is the key!
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