If you’re new to the iron game or just coming back to it as part of a New Year’s resolution to get in shape, we want to make it as simple for you as we can. We could bring up your long-neglected legs with squats and conventional deadlifts, but, truth be told, they’re complicated exercises and we’d rather start you with something easier. Below is a workout you can do in the time it takes to learn most other moves, yet it builds legs just as effectively.
HOW IT WORKS
The Romanian deadlift is a simpler, safer movement than the conventional deadlift, but it still works your glutes and hamstrings hard. Walking lunges are elementary compared with full squats, and they work your quads.
MOVE ONE: Romanian Deadlift
Sets: 5 Reps: 5
Stand with feet shoulder width. Keeping your lowerbackflat,grasp the bar at shoulder width and pick it up so it’s in front of your thighs. Push your hips back and lower your torso until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings—your knees can bend a bit—and make sure to focus on your hamstrings to come up. Remember to keep your lower back flat and straight to prevent injury to the spinal disks.
* Exercise demonstration above.
MOVE TWO: Barbell Walking Lunge
Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10 (each leg)
Grasp the bar outside shoulder width and nudge it off the rack. Walk out to where you have space and step forward into a lunge, lowering your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Immediately step forward with the opposite leg.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Romanian Deadlift is not the same as the stiff-leg deadlift. Although they look similar, the stiff-leg dead puts more emphasis on the lower back than the romanian dead, which targets hamstrings more. Use both in your routine.