Author Topic: Home leg workout  (Read 780 times)

Barbaebigode

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Home leg workout
« on: July 16, 2018, 01:38:19 PM »
Hello,

I've been doing home workouts for the past 5 years with visible results, but I plateaued for quite a while now, especially when it comes to leg gains and I think it's because I can't add more weights to leg workouts. I currently have about 62kg (136 lb) worth of weights and two screw dumbbells which I use for most of my workouts and since I live in a small house getting a barbell and rack to do a propper squat is out of the question.

My question is if there's a way of working out and progressing at home with limited equipment? I know it's possible to do one legged exercises or do more reps (I'm currently doing that), but are those things as effective? Also, I recently bought a bit more weight but there's only so much weight I can hold with my hands without my forearms burning out before my legs do. Perhaps I'm not doing the right exercises?

ps1: I tried googling about it but regular people just go to a gym or buy a squat rack.

ps2: I usually do dumbbell squats, bulgarian squats, lunges, etc. I also do deadlifts, but again, I feel that I don't have enough weights to progress.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 01:41:47 PM by Barbaebigode »

FIRE@50

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 01:53:56 PM »
I agree that a squat rack takes up a lot of space, but are you sure you can squeeze a barbell in somewhere? You can even get barbells that are a bit shorter than standard length. With that, you can do cleans and front squats. Tons of stuff on craigslist of course. Just try to get a decent brand. Believe it or not, some cheap ones will snap.

I've found this website to be pretty helpful.

https://www.garage-gyms.com/

If you really really don't have room for a barbell, I guess you could get creative with a weighted vest or weighted backpack. I think walking lunges are a great exercise as well.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 02:27:44 PM »
A barbell would make things easier.  When you're done with it, take the weights off the barbell and stand it up in the corner.  This takes effectively no space.  With a barbell, just clean the weight and do front instead of back squats.  No rack required, if you get in trouble you just dump the weight forward.  The front squat won't move as much weight as the back squat (you'll probably move only 70% the weight), but really works your abs and is less stressful on your lower back and knees.  Throw in deadlifts as well, and you'll develop a strong lower body.  Throw in regular cleans, overhead presses, and some bent over rows and you'll be hitting almost all the muscles in your body.


If you're hellbound on doing things the difficult way, you can try to substitute dumbbell exercises for barbell:
- Goblet squats
- Lunges with a dumbbell in each hand
- Side lunge
- Dumbbell straight leg deadlift
- Bulgarian split squats
- Pistol squats
My experience has been that it's harder to go up weight increments, and you tend to tire out other muscles before the legs are really exhausted doing these.  Not that they're useless exercises, they'll help.  They're just not as efficient as barbell exercises.

Barbaebigode

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2018, 07:45:48 AM »
Thanks for the answers. I'll get a short bar and try the front squat and see how it goes.

austin944

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2018, 09:20:44 AM »
Also, I recently bought a bit more weight but there's only so much weight I can hold with my hands without my forearms burning out before my legs do. Perhaps I'm not doing the right exercises?

Do you mean that your grip is weakening before your legs, or is it really just your forearms tiring and the grip is fine?  Do you think weight lifting gloves would help if the problem was with a weakening grip?

GuitarStv

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 09:31:49 AM »
Also, I recently bought a bit more weight but there's only so much weight I can hold with my hands without my forearms burning out before my legs do. Perhaps I'm not doing the right exercises?

Do you mean that your grip is weakening before your legs, or is it really just your forearms tiring and the grip is fine?  Do you think weight lifting gloves would help if the problem was with a weakening grip?

Gloves will not help your grip (gloves generally make it harder to hold something).  Chalk might help a slight amount . . . but the problem being described is typical of people trying to do heavy leg exercises with dumbbells.  The limiting factor will be something other than your legs.

When you use a barbell for squats you are resting the weight on the shelf created by pulling your shoulders back (back squat) or the shelf created by lifting your elbows forward (front squat).  It removes the need for ridiculously strong forearms and finger strength entirely from the equation.  I can do a standard barbell deadlift of 400 lbs with chalk and a mixed grip.  I can't hold 200 lbs of dumbbell in each hand and then stand up, the weight will just slip out of my hands.  It's a matter of leverage and physiological mechanics.  The barbell with a mixed grip gives you the ability to hold heavier weight without it slipping from your hands.

FIRE@50

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 08:52:57 AM »
The hook grip is also becoming popular among competitive deadlifters. You might want to try that.

GuitarStv

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2018, 09:52:36 AM »
The hook grip is great for gripping a barbell, and should always be used when doing cleans.  I found that using it on heavy deadlifts caused bruising and numbness in my thumbs that caused issues when playing guitar.  With a dumbbell it will grip the weight OK, but that doesn't help all that much because of the tendency of the dumbbell to tilt one way or the other . . . so you end up really straining your wrist/forearms to try and keep the weight level regardless.

Platypuses

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Re: Home leg workout
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 11:02:23 AM »
Another option is resistance bands. If you really do not have the space for a barbell this is probably your best option. For several movements you can use both the dumbbells and the resistance bands. You will likely need to get some pretty thick bands for squat movements.