Turbocharge your legs
BY RACHEL CROCKER, FITNESS EDITOR | PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL BUCETA | MODEL ELAINE GOODLAD
DITCH THE DUMBBELLS! SHOCK YOUR SYSTEM WITH WEIGHT PLATES.
Upon hearing the word “plate,” those who don’t spend much time in the gym might picture the dinner, vanity or tectonic variety. But for iron-loving men and women, the plate of which they
most often speak is the weighted kind. And while you may be used to hoisting weight plates attached to the ends of a bar, don’t write them off as simply an accessory. Their versatility can help breathe new life into a repetitive (and boring) lower- body program.
DIVERSIFY YOUR WORKOUT
While working out with machines and dumbbells is absolutely fine – in fact, we recommend both – there are often times at the gym when it’s darn near impossible to secure a pair of 20s without having to fight someone for them. And if you have to get in and out in a jiffy (a lunchtime jaunt to the gym, for example) that can mean all the difference between an efficient workout or stressing out!
OVERHEAD WEIGHT-PLATE SPLIT SQUAT
TARGET MUSCLES: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, deltoids, gastrocnemius
SET UP: Stand in a wide stance with one foot in front of the other. Hold a weight plate with both hands and lift it above your head.
ACTION: Engage your core as you bend both knees to lower towards the floor. Stop when your front leg forms a 90-degree angle [B], then extend your legs to return to the start. Complete your reps on one side, then switch leg positions and repeat.
WEIGHTED WALKING LUNGE
TARGET MUSCLES: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius
SET UP: Grab a small weight plate in each hand, and stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
ACTION: Step one foot forward and bend your knees to lunge. To engage your glutes even further, lean forward from your hips while keeping a straight back. Extend your legs and step
your rear foot in front of the other. Immediately lower into another lunge, ensuring that your knee does not jut past your toes, and repeat.
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