Here is yesterdays leg & shoulder workout.
Exercise in order of performance;
- Stair Master 10 min warm up level 9
- Exercise Ball wall squats
- Barbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Goblet Squat
- Cable Lateral Raises
- Leg Extensions
- Lying Hamstring Curl
- Dumbbell Front Shoulder Raise
- Lateral Raise dumbbell
Exercise Ball Wall Squats – 3 sets = 20 reps / 25 reps / 30 reps – no weight
I find these to be a very good warm up exercise as well as being really intense if the movement is focused. I tend to put my legs quite far forward, so some of my weight is being taken by the ball itself. You’ll see people adopt the same position when they use the Smith machine to squat, as in having their feet far more forward than in a regular squat to put a greater emphasis on the front of the legs.
I then make sure my torso is really straight so that whilst some of my weight is being taken by the ball, my body is not actually pressing / leaning back into it. Then slowly come down to just below 90 degrees and come back up stopping well short of the knees being extended and never back up into straight leg position. Try and keep the muscles moving throughout the whole exercise, stopping neither at the bottom or top. I find that by rep 12, the leg muscles are really working and reps above 15 are gloriously painful – in a good way.
Barbell Shoulder Press – warm up set with bar x 15 reps / 10k x 10 reps / 15k x 8 reps / Drop set of 15kg x 8 reps and then no weight to failure
The video above is well worth a watch. On this (and all exercises) I like to use a weight which allows control and strict form; as well as perform the movement so that it really targets the shoulders. A weight that is too heavy can lead to leaning back whilst the bar is being pressed up, when focus should be on keeping your head straight and then forward into the area the bar has just travelled through. As well as wanting to avoid injury, if I’m leaning back then a lot more upper chest comes into play. I see a lot of men (because it tends always to be men) performing what could be called standing incline bench press, thinking that their nailing heavy shoulder presses.
Goblet Squats – 3 sets – 24kg x 15 / 30kg x 15 / 30kg x 15
Great video and gorgeous hair. What I like most about Goblet squats is the movement allows you to keep a really straight back. I’ve had lower back problems for about 8 years now. I’m okay as long as heavy weight is not compressing my spine – i.e. barbell squats! That is a pisser because without a shadow of doubt, barbell squats are the king of all leg exercises. Goblet squats are a good alternative and again, keeping the focus on the movement throughout is the difference between them being a bit tough, or really intense.
Cable Lateral Raises – 3 sets – 6.25kg x 12 / 6.25kg x 11 / 6.25kg x 9
I love this video. With hardly any weight (notice lack of handle) this chap is keeping the strictest form whilst clearly working the side of the shoulders to the max. I simply cannot perform this exercise with anything but light weight. Again, you will see this exercise being performed with a lot of hip thrusting, simply because too much weight is being used.
Leg Extensions – 3 sets – 45kg x 12 / 55kg x 12 reps / 65kg x 10 with drop set 25kg to failure
There is a fair bit of debate about this exercise in terms of it’s effectiveness (compared to other leg exercises) and it’s safety in regards to knee injuries. My view is that with the right set up and (surprise, surprise) a weight that you control perfectly – it IS an effective leg exercise and IS safe. I’ve only ever used it in a high rep / low weight way and have been performing it for 25 years – with no knee pain at all.
On this exercise and most exercises, I love making the last set a drop set. 99% of you know this but for the reader that doesn’t;
`Drop sets are essentially a technique where you perform an exercise and then drop (reduce) the weight and continue for more reps until you reach failure. Called the “multi-poundage system”, this method was discovered in 1947 by Henry Atkins, who was the editor of Body Culture magazine.’
Hamstring Curl (lying) with Dumbbell Front Shoulder Raise (one after the other then rest)
Thanks Kim and Chad – good videos. For the dumbbell front raise, on this occasion I just grabbed one dumbbell and held it with both hands either side. Worked just fine! 🙂 This combination of exercises, hamstring curl and then straight into dumbbell raise, got the heart rate flying. They are right there on the ol’ fit bit at 141bpm.
Lateral Raises Dumbbell – 3 sets – 7kg x 12 reps / 7kg x 9 reps / 7kg x 7 with 4kg drop set to failure
Thanks Sean, really good video. I used this exercise just to finish the shoulders off. Light weight, strict form and super intense at the end with the drop set. It is also magic to be in a gym with tiny 4kg dumbbells, straining with all your might as if they were ten times as heavy.
All in all, twas a good workout. I can go heavier with the Goblet squats next time, and might add some small weight to the wall ball squats. The main aspects of high tempo and intensity was maintained throughout.