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5 innovative and effective exercises to train your legs in the gym

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5 innovative and effective exercises to train your legs in the gym

Leg workouts are evolving, reflecting changes in goals and trends. Our expert suggests the most current and effective ones

Leg training is essential not only for a balanced and harmonious figure, but also for general health and physical well-being. Many rely on classic squats and leg presses, but there are effective alternatives. Here are five unconventional exercises proposed by Giampaolo Fusco, personal trainer, creator of the Fusco Method, Body Transformation expert, supported by science and enriched by curiosities to make your routine more interesting. “Today the approach to leg training is personalized. The balance between strength, flexibility, and recovery is important. Periodization, cross-training, and recovery techniques such as dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and myofascial therapy are fundamental elements of the programs. The attention to nutrition and biomechanics have made the training more efficient and safe”.

Bulgarian Split Squats: This unilateral exercise not only improves leg strength and tone but also balance and coordination. According to scientific studies, unilateral training can improve muscle symmetry and reduce the risk of injury. To perform this exercise, stand behind a bench or raised stand, place your back foot on the bench, and step forward with your other foot. Lower your body until the knee of your back leg almost touches the ground, keeping your spine straight and your weight on your front foot. Then go back up. Repeat and change legs.

Nordic Hamstring Curl: A hamstring killer, this exercise is known for its effectiveness in preventing lower extremity injuries, strengthening the hamstrings significantly. To perform this exercise, kneel down and let a partner or a fixed piece of equipment keep your feet on the ground. Keeping your body straight from hip to head, slowly lower yourself forward with your hands ready to support you. Control the descent and ascent by using your arms if necessary.

Lateral Step-Ups with Kettlebell: By introducing an element of instability and resistance, this exercise not only targets the quadriceps but also the adductors and abductors, offering a complete leg workout. To perform this exercise, hold a kettlebell to one side with your arm extended. Place your foot, corresponding to your kettlebell arm, on a step or elevated platform. Push through your heel to lift yourself onto the platform, keeping the kettlebell at your side. Go down and repeat, then switch sides.

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Pistol Squats: Perfect for those looking for a challenge, testing strength, balance, mobility. Although it is an advanced exercise, its practice can lead to notable improvements in terms of motor control and functional strength. To perform this exercise, stand on one leg, with the other leg extended in front of you. Extend your arms in front for balance. Lower yourself into a one-legged squat, keeping the other leg parallel to the floor. Go down as far as you can, then rise back to the starting position. Repeat and change legs.

Hip Thrust with elastic band: The addition of an elastic band intensifies the activation of the glutes and stabilizing muscles. This exercise not only sculpts the buttocks but also improves posture. Numerous studies show that active gluteal involvement can relieve some types of back pain. To perform this exercise, sit on the floor, back against a bench, place a resistance band just above your knees. Place your feet on the ground hip-width apart and push through your heels, lifting your hips upward until you create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lower yourself and repeat.

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