While leg day is a dreaded day for most men, it is probably the most important day for athletes. That’s because having a strong, functional and explosive lower body directly carries over to literally every sport out there.
Now, if you missed last week’s blog discussing Rob Gronkowski’s new training style, here is a link to that blog. We basically went over the benefits of band training and shared an upper body training routine that can get you started.
This week, we’ll be going over the most important and beneficial exercises you can do for your LOWER BODY, using just a couple of strength bands.
1. Hip Abductions
Perhaps one of the most important muscle groups in the body is the abductors and most importantly, the glutes. Sure, deadlifts and squats target the glutes but not their ability to externally rotate the hips.
This exercise will strengthen those muscles, helping you to keep your knees open when you squat and deadlift and consequently, helping you avoid injuries in the gym or in the field or court.
Bodyweight squats might be extremely easy for most of us but add a thick strength band and it becomes even harder than squatting with an actual loaded barbell.
The difference is that the bands will provide more and more resistance as you come out of the squat, focusing more so on the quads, rather than the glutes and hamstrings. This is a great way to overload your legs without risking a knee injury in the process.
3. Good Mornings
This is another excellent application of band training. Although the good morning is usually an exercise with inherit risk, bands are able to remove that risk and still provide you with all the benefits.
That’s because as you bend over, the resistance will be reduced making it safer for your lower back. As you come back to the top, the resistance gets higher and higher forcing you to use your glutes and hamstrings explosively to straighten your body.
4. Lateral Walks
Might look easy at first but give it a try. It’s actually quite challenging. That’s because we’re mainly accustomed to moving front to back or back to front, with lateral movements being a bit rare. However, the lateral plane of motion is extremely crucial for athletes as it will help you better stabilize through your ankles, knees and hips. Plus, it will completely fry your legs!
5. Hip Thrust / Pull Throughs
Very similar benefits to the Good Mornings, Band Pull Throughs are excellent for men and women because they directly carry over to deadlifts, squats and athletic performance.
6. Glute Bridge
An essential exercise for virtually everyone, Glute Bridges will build up your glutes and hamstrings while teaching you how to protect your lower back. If at any point of this exercise your lower back hurts, you should immediately stop and reset your posture.
Ideally, you want to keep your lower back neutral and not overly arched. Again, this movement pattern directly carries over to the squat and deadlift, helping you prevent possible injuries.
7. Hamstring Curls
The vast majority of people have overly developed quads and very weak hamstrings due to sitting all day. That’s why you need to isolate your hamstrings dynamically, which means by using bands.
Once again, the band will provide MAXIMUM tension and contraction at the top of the movement, forcing your hamstrings to flex hard while restoring balance to the knee joint.
FULL LOWER BODY GRONK-APPROVED, STRENGTH BAND WORKOUT:
- Hip Abductions
- Good Mornings
- Lateral Walks
- Hip Thrust / Pull Throughs
- Glute Bridge
- Hamstring Curls
Perform each exercise for 60 seconds (or until failure) and complete as many as 6 rounds for a full workout.
Don’t forget to check out the video above if you are unsure about the right form for each individual exercise and as always…Get Your Mind Right!