What You Can Learn From How This Coach Trains His Legs

  • Jul 17, 2023
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What You Can Learn From How This Coach Trains His Legs

Your legs have some big muscles in them which is why most gym leg workouts are designed around moves that let you train with heavy loads: exercises using barbells like the back squat or deadlift, or weights machines such as the leg press, hamstring curl and leg extension machines.

You might think that dumbbells have no place in challenging leg workouts, then, but you’d be wrong. Coach Anthony Carlo posted one of his dumbbell leg sessions on Instagram and explained that “every session isn’t about maxing out.” To complement heavy leg days, Carlo includes a session on single-leg stability in his week, then another on plyometrics and movement. 

goblet squat to raise his heels and increase the involvement of his quads in the move and he keeps the weight plate in play for the reverse lunges, adding a deficit to increase the range of motion. Carlo uses a staggered stance for the single-leg Romanian deadlift, rather than leaning forward and letting his rear leg lift, which allows him to use a heavier dumbbell. The workout is rounded out with a single-leg hip thrust.

Complete three sets of 12 reps of each exercise (12 reps each side for the single-leg moves), choosing a weight that is challenging but manageable for that number of reps. If you make it to the final rep and you feel like you could easily carry on, your dumbbell is probably too light. However, always prioritize good form over lifting heavy and ensure your core is engaged and that there’s no pressure on your lower-back during this workout.

It’s important not to rush through the exercises. Partly because it will ensure you move with correct form, but slowing the speed of the movements also increases the difficulty. “Hold the midway position for a second or two, and move slow and controlled,” says Carlo.

As well as being a good choice of free-weight to train your legs unilaterally, dumbbells are very useful if you’re looking to develop power and muscular endurance. For instance, this dumbbell legs workout is a 500-rep lower-body blaze.

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