Time for another edition of Workout Wednesday! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already?! I’m pretty shocked at how fast these last few months have flown by. With the overabundance of food that’s ever-present this time of year, you’ll want to put those calories to work. I say go for some heavy strength training!
Thanksgiving is usually a pretty short break for most people in the U.S., so I’m going to assume you’ll get your butt back to the gym not long after all the turkey, stuffing, and pie. In that case, why don’t we focus all that extra energy on your wheels?
I generally train legs twice a week – one day for the front of them, one day for the back. On front-of-the-leg day, I almost always center my workout around some variation of the squat. Back-of-the-leg day centers around deadlifts. There are plenty of ways to get your leg training in, that’s just what works for my schedule. (Many bodybuilders like splitting up leg days this way too – see #9 here.) I like to do this as my Sunday morning workout when I don’t feel rushed at the gym.
Since this is my blog, I’m going to share a little front-of-the-leg day routine. I always start squat days with about 15-25 minutes of mobility work and warm up, which I have included as well. Some of those recommended warmup moves come from all my lovely time spent with physical therapists working on my knee, some come from Kelly Starrett, who is a mobility master, physical therapist, and CrossFit trainer. If you haven’t checked out his YouTube channel before, now is the time! Videos are included below the workout.
- The warmup will have you feeling flexy and ready to squat.
- You’ll feel the burn in your quads by the end of this workout!
- This workout takes a while to get through, especially with the long warmup and mobility work at the beginning. Don’t skip it though!
- If you have knee pain, all the squatting in this workout may be a no-go for you, or you may just have to modify the workout.
- I named this one “Till’ I Collapse” for a reason 😉
Time needed: approx. 1 1/2 hours
- For the warmup: stationary bike or treadmill, lacrosse ball, foam roller
- Squat rack
- Bench or box (for split squats)
- Leg extension machine
- Your choice of calf raise equipment
The Warm Up:
- 10 minutes on the stationary bike or brisk walk on the treadmill
- Use a lacrosse ball to roll out your hips/psoas – this sequence is great, but there are lots of others to pick from! I typically add some shoulder work here too if I know I’ll be overhead squatting.
- Foam roll sequence
- Kelly Starrett hip mobility sequence – the quality of this video is not great but these moves are really helpful at getting your hips loosened up and ready to squat.
- Barbell back squat – 4 sets of 6-8, plus 1-2 warmup sets
- Front squat – 3 sets of 6-8, plus 1 warmup set
- (Optional) Overhead squat – 3 sets of 6-8, plus warmup set(s) if needed
- Bulgarian split squat – 4 sets of 8-10, plus warmup set(s) if needed
- Leg extensions – 4 sets of 10-12
- Calf raises – 4 sets of 12-15
Here are those warm-up/mobility videos for easy access: