Leg Workouts | Build Bigger Legs With These Exercises

Leg Day - main
Leg Day - main

Smash leg day at Xercise4Less Gyms

Don’t dread leg day any longer with these leg workouts from Xercise4Less Gyms.  Attack the fear of leg day with these easy to follow exercises that will help you build muscle during your fitness session.

Working your legs is an essential part of any gym routine, and it is important to focus on the quads, hamstrings and glutes in order to maximise your core as well as build muscle in your lower body. Follow the exercises below to make the most of your leg day sessions.

Before you start your workout, it is advisory to complete a full warm-up to get your legs going before adding the serious weight. Exercises such as dynamic stretches are ideal, or, light deadlift sets. Gradually increase the weight of your warm-up set, reducing the reps.

Deadlifts for effective muscle increase

At Xercise4Less Gyms we love to include deadlifts in your workouts whether you’re a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user. Why?

Deadlifts primarily target your glutes, but this strength training exercise also works your hamstrings, quads, your lower back and core, and even your arms and shoulders. The deadlift is the workout that really hits every bit of your body. And the benefits are huge.

leg day - deadlift

Ramp up leg day with the leg press

Put pressure on your lower body and benefit from this Standard Leg Press exercise. Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the leg press machine pad. Make sure your toes aren’t pointing straight forwards. Straighten your legs and release the leg press handles. Keep your entire back, particularly the lower portion, firmly set against the seat.  Keeping your feet set, lower your legs towards your chest then press up again without fully locking your legs out at the knee.

Do 15-25 standard leg press reps and repeat in 3 sets.

Resistance training - leg press

Go heavy with the seated leg extension

Work out with one of our leg extension machines at the Xercise4Less gym leg station for a leg-building boost.

Choose a moderate weight and sit on the leg extension workout machine with your legs under the pad, your feet pointed forward and your hands holding the side bars. This is your starting position. Adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg just above your feet. Ensure too that your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg to prevent undue stress at the knee joint.

Using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of your body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit on the leg extension machine.

Do three sets of eight to 12 leg extension machine repetitions.

leg extension-workout guide

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Five Ways To Build Your Biceps

bicep workout - main
bicep workout - main

Take your time, building biceps can be a waiting game

Working your biceps can often seem like a mundane process, or like you are feeling as though you aren’t really getting anywhere. This is probably because you are just repeating the same exercises, and not giving you the best results for increasing your biceps through fitness. Here at Xercise4Less Gyms, we are happy to help you on your way to building your biceps and strength with five simple workouts.

1.The barbell curl

Probably the most used bicep exercise. A simple but effective weight training regime, the barbell curl directly targets the bicep to add both size and strength to the whole muscle, with typically more loading than other bicep workouts. This is a foundational bicep exercise, ideal for building an initial level of mass to enable you to lay the platform for more elaborate exercises.

To correctly complete a barbell curl, follow the steps below for maximum efficiency.

  • Hold the barbell with an underhand grip, slightly more than shoulder width apart
  • Raise your chest and expose the bicep by pulling your shoulders back with your elbows located under the shoulders and just in front of the ribs
  • Curl the barbell up using the biceps, keeping your posture straight, keeping your elbows to the side of your body

2. The chin-up

Perhaps an exercise not typically associated with biceps, but equally as effective as any for building up muscle and strength. The chin-up can be used to boost your upper body and general size. It is important to get your technique correct for this exercise, as you are placing a lot of effort and energy into it. You do not want your efforts to be wasted.

  • Hang from the bar with your wrists facing towards you
  • From a dead hang, make the back stable and keep your chest up
  • Slightly lean back and pull your chin over the back of the bar to complete
Bicep workouts - hammer curl

3. The hammer curl

The hammer curl, performed using dumbbells, allows you to significantly increase arm size and strength. It also enhances your grip strength and wrist stability to help reinforce potentially susceptible areas whilst training your arms in the process.

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells, place them to your side with your palms facing the body
  • Make sure your chest remains tall, your shoulders set back and elbows under the shoulder
  • Lift the dumbbell up, ensuring you do not rotate the wrist to prevent strain or damage
  • Flex your elbows to force the biceps to contract, then lower under control and repeat this

4. Incline dumbbell curl

A variation of the traditional bicep curl, the incline dumbbell curl works solely on your biceps without the necessity to include your shoulders. This exercise really hones in on your bicep, with you sitting on a bench with your torso in a reclined position, meaning your bicep is more exposed and improving your range of motion.

  • Set an incline bench at a 45-70 degree angle
  • Hold the dumbbells by your side, pulling your shoulders back and your chest up
  • Position your elbows to the floor, then curl the weights up to enable contraction
  • Slow lower the load and repeat the exercise
Bicep workouts - woman curl

5. Cable curl

Whilst free weights are primarily the most used for building your biceps, you can also use resistance machines to work on this muscle group. The cable curl encourages strength, muscle growth and optimum range of motion. Your time under tension time can also be increased through this exercise, enabling hypertrophy and muscular demand. Mix up your angles to prevent your muscles from becoming too used to one exercise and placing exertion on all areas of your bicep.

  • Set the cables at your chosen height, ideally from a low position
  • Pull the handles, rope or bar attachment to complete the curl
  • Repeat to build your muscle gradually, giving yourself a full bicep workout

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Bodybuilding: The Mental And Physical Benefits

Bodybuilding - main
Bodybuilding - woman lifting

An introduction to bodybuilding

There is often a negative stigma surrounding body building, and those who dedicate their lives to improving their fitness through perceived extreme exercise. However, this is not necessarily the case. Bodybuilding is a great way to keep yourself balanced, giving your body proportion, shaping and helping general fitness. Not only does body building improve your physical condition, it can also lead to mental health benefits, giving you a clearer state of mind thanks to weight training and aerobic exercise. Having a well-balanced, proportioned body can contribute to heightened health, lessening the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels. Bodybuilding captures all your fitness goals by giving you the physical improvements, boosting your state of mind and also ensuring you remain on the ball with your diet to supplement all your hard work in the gym.

Improve your physical condition

First and foremost, the main benefit of bodybuilding is to enhance your physical condition through exceptional fitness and dedication. This has a healthy impact on your bones and joints, giving you the necessary balance across your body in order to remain strong and flexible. As you begin to embark on your bodybuilding journey, you will notice a dramatic increase in muscle, strength and endurance – but this is a slow process and you will have to remain patient. Results simply do not happen overnight and training all areas of your body is essential to maintaining a balanced physique.

At your local Xercise4Less gym we have a wide range of fitness equipment for you to build the body you want. This spans from cardio through to resistance and TRX, ensuring you have all the tools you could possibly need to get the most from your workout. Our dedicated training zones are extremely spacious, so you will not have to wait to get on your favourite piece of equipment.

If you’re looking to add strength and muscle mass, the weight and resistance area provides the ideal environment for you to achieve those goals. Additionally, you will also need to get your cardio sessions in and we have the variety of equipment to make your training both fun and functional.

When participating in physical exercise, your body releases Endorphin. This works to influence your mood, helping you to sleep better, reduce fatigue and relieve any psychological tension or stress.

Bodybuilding - triceps

Boost your mental health through balanced fitness

Having a balanced physical condition will help you to become more aligned with yourself and give you a mental boost to clear your head and make sure you keep your focus and determination to meet all your fitness requirements. Bodybuilding is certainly not an easy process, and you must maintain the desire to succeed and set yourself small, attainable targets to remain on track.

Weight training and aerobic exercise can boost our mind and cognitive wellbeing. Going to the gym can relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Seeing real results can improve your mood and give you a sense of satisfaction to further progress and develop through fitness. Bodybuilding can enhance your self-esteem and confidence by giving you a more positive outlook on your own image. This will happen through the result of changes in your body such as weight loss, feeling your body becoming leaner, stronger and more flexible.

Furthermore, bodybuilding does not just happen in the gym. You can take your experiences from fitness into your daily activities. For example, it can help you to make better decisions and cope with negative emotions more rationally, enabling you to see positives or find solutions.

Bodybuilding - pull ups

How nutrition can give you a helping hand

While the majority of the hard yards are put in during your fitness sessions in the gym, it is impossible to ignore the importance of your nutrition – not just when bodybuilding – but in everyday life. Healthy nutrition and rest are vitally important when bodybuilding as the foods you eat can play havoc with your thinking and your memory. The fuel you intake can influence how your brain and mind function.

It is advisable to eat foods which are rich in antioxidants as they can benefit your focus and memory. As you can imagine, foods such as fruit and veg are ideal for bodybuilding, supplying you with glucose to keep your energy levels up. Lean meat, poultry, potatoes, cheese and fish are also good sources of nutrition to help your bodybuilding journey. In terms of what you should drink, water is as good as anything as it is crucial for a healthy body and mind. Avoid drinking alcohol if possible. Staying hydrated provides so many health benefits and this is equally as important as what you eat.

Conclusion

All elements of fitness are important to bodybuilding but having a healthy body and healthy mind will serve you well for the rest of your days. Weight training and aerobic exercise deliver both strength and energy, giving you the best possible chance of boosting your self-esteem and giving you the motivation to further your fitness. With a balanced level of fitness, you will be fully in control of your life, mind and body.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Assisted Pull-Up Machine Workout Guide

assisted pull up - main
assisted pull up - main

The benefits of the assisted pull-up machine

Develop your upper body strength with the assisted pull-up machine at Xercise4Less gyms. This strength training machine uses counter weight to help you fully complete a successful pull-up. The assisted pull-up machine strengthens and tightens your back and core area as well as the under-arm and back area. These areas are notoriously difficult to tone, and you will have to remain patient, building up slowly.

Once you are familiar with the equipment and have built up your confidence to progress, you can add weight to the machine to increase the difficulty and resistance.

How to use the pull-up machine effectively

Firstly, grasp the machine with your palms facing each other in a neutral position, with your knees situated on the kneepad. Pull your shoulders back and down, locking them into position. Then, hold this position and bring the other knee onto the pad as you lift up into the start position.

It is important to keep your shoulders drawn inward, slowly lowering your body until your arms result in a fully extended position. Ensure you momentarily pause at the top before lowering yourself. This will help you to maintain a more efficient form, lessening the potential risk of injury or discomfort.

The perfect amount of pull-ups

There is no set amount of pull-ups you need to achieve in order to have a better workout than yesterday, but around 10 pull-ups is a good number to aim for. This will not happen overnight, and you may need to lessen your expectations at the beginning and work your way up towards a perfect 10. It is vital that you become accustomed to your own bodyweight, and this can be achieved by holding a dead hang for as long as possible. After this point, you will be able to gauge each and every pull-up by determining how long or how easily you can hold your weight before pulling yourself up and completing a rep. For optimum results, use a full range of motion to work your muscles and fibres more rigorously than normal. Keep this extended movement as slow as possible in order to reduce joint stress.

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.