Most ladies can determine one drawback space that appears to lag behind different areas of their our bodies regardless of a devoted method to their coaching applications. Generally it’s the results of neglecting areas which might be more durable to coach than others. In different circumstances, it’s as a result of they rationalize that an space is already getting sufficient work, so it doesn’t want additional work. The thighs are particularly infamous for becoming into these classes. They’re usually laborious to agency up, but many ladies count on that the time invested in cardio or pounding miles on the treadmill ought to handle the thighs. In any case, the thighs appear to get drained after these workout routines, don’t they? Sadly, the thigh musculature is probably not adequately formed and firmed by cardio alone. Cardio is definitely wanted, however it has a distinct operate, which is to “burn” physique fats shops and enhance the operate of the guts and lungs. The train that the thighs obtain in cardio is often not intensive or direct sufficient to offer the tone, form and firmness most ladies want. Thus, a extra direct method is required, and this may be achieved by including just a few units of resistance train that immediately activate the thighs. There are a number of workout routines that can accomplish the duty of shaping and firming the entrance (anterior) a part of the thighs. Leg extensions are among the many finest workout routines that immediately recruit the muscle fibers alongside the within, exterior and center parts of the thigh from the hip to the knee.
Thigh Muscle groups: A Nearer Look
The anterior (entrance) of the thigh is made up of 4 main muscle groups that collectively are referred to as the quadriceps femoris muscle (“quadriceps” or “quads” for brief). The muscle groups within the quadriceps embody the rectus femoris and the three vastus muscle groups. The fibers of the rectus femoris muscle (rectus=straight) run vertically down from the hip, alongside the entrance of the thigh, to hitch the quadriceps tendon above the kneecap (patella). The rectus femoris extends the leg on the knee joint. Nevertheless, as a result of the rectus femoris begins on the hip, it’s slackened and subsequently, functionally weaker, when the hip is flexed in workout routines like seated leg extensions. Because of this, seated leg extensions will emphasize the vastus muscle groups extra so than the rectus femoris muscle within the quadriceps group.
The vastus medialis muscle covers the medial (internal) a part of the thigh simply above the knee. Shaping this muscle tightens the world of the thigh that’s on the medial facet of the thigh simply above the patella (kneecap). The vastus intermedius is positioned in the midst of the quadriceps muscle group. It lies between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscle, however it’s deep to the rectus femoris muscle, so you may’t see it. The vastus lateralis muscle resides on the lateral (outer) a part of the thigh. It provides the lateral a part of the thigh the sweep and form from the knee to the hip. The three vastus muscle groups are anchored to the femur bone of the thigh slightly below the thigh joint, and all connect to the higher border of the patella by the quadriceps tendon. The vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis are connected to the lateral, center and most medial components of this tendon, respectively. The patella is connected to the tibia bone of the decrease leg by the patellar ligament. Because the muscle groups of the quadriceps contract, they shorten and pull on the tibia by the use of the quadriceps tendon and patellar ligament, so the leg turns into prolonged on the knee joint. The three vastus muscle groups aren’t affected by hip angle, so they’re totally lively all through the whole vary of movement of the seated leg extension train.
1. At all times heat up your knees totally earlier than doing leg extensions. That is particularly vital if knee extensions don’t observe one other thigh train. A couple of minutes of stretching and a few stationary biking are good time investments that can defend and heat the fragile knee joint.
2. Modify the seat of a knee extension machine so the pivot level of the lifting arm is immediately adjoining to the middle of the facet of your knee joint. Subsequent, place the ankle curler of a knee extension machine in order that it’s above your toes on the decrease a part of your legs (above the ankle joint). Set the extension unit to allow a knee flexion of 90 levels. Better flexion than this (particularly at the start of the train) does improve the stretch on the quadriceps and improves the vary of movement. Nevertheless, it additionally drastically will increase the chance of knee joint harm and subsequently needs to be prevented.
3. Elevate the burden slowly (three to 4 seconds) from the beginning place fairly than ballistically. This can assist the tendons accommodate to the load, which is especially vital throughout the begin of the very first repletion of every set. The next lifts ought to all the time be sluggish (a rely of “two” for the up motion) and managed and never “jerked” upward or dropped downward. Fast actions might lead to tendon, ligament and/or knee cartilage harm you’ll need to keep away from.
4. Proceed extending your legs upward and straightening the knee joint. Cease on the prime place of the extension the place the knee is simply barely in need of being completely straight (i.e., don’t “lock” the knees out straight on the prime of the carry). Moreover, watch out that you don’t “jam” the knee joint into a totally locked out place, as a result of this might trigger knee cartilage harm. Maintain the highest place for a rely of two earlier than decreasing the burden.
5. Decrease the burden slowly (over a rely of three) as you come your legs again to the beginning place. The downward motion needs to be slower than the upward section since you’re resisting the pull of gravity. Due to this fact, to acquire the good thing about this eccentric (lengthening) section of the carry, you have to be accountable for the burden because it’s being lowered (and never the opposite means round).
6. Cease the downward motion when your knee angle is flexed to 90 levels. Don’t relaxation on the backside, however instantly proceed the following upward carry to the highest.
7. Take a brief break after finishing your first set (12-15 repetitions). If you are able to do 15 repetitions simply, then add extra weight to the machine in your subsequent set. If the resistance is chosen appropriately, it needs to be tough to get all 15 extensions accomplished. Begin with two units if in case you have not performed the train earlier than. You might need to add a 3rd set after just a few weeks of coaching.
It’s value reiterating that the extension section of the train should not be performed as rapidly as doable. Some individuals appear to assume in the event that they kick the leg bar upward, the thigh muscle groups will reply simply as quickly as the burden is lifted. This isn’t the case. Along with the tendency to extend the potential for tendon and joint harm, the quick motion reduces the stresses on the muscle groups as a result of the machine’s momentum will assist carry the burden upward. Quick actions could also be simpler and get the train over a bit ahead of doing it slowly, however the thighs won’t obtain the identical firming and firmness as should you do the train slowly. The sluggish actions assure that the muscle fibers are contracted and stimulated all through every repetition whereas minimizing any potential to harm the smooth tissues across the knee joint. It’s also vital to make sure that your food plan has satisfactory nutritional vitamins, particularly iron, as a result of this mineral has been proven to scale back muscle fatigability in exercising ladies.
Along with possessing beautiful quadriceps, your thighs will likely be stronger and firmer because of leg extensions. This can offer you a brand new spring in your step when doing easy issues like climbing stairs or extra intense issues like snowboarding. Moreover, you’ll find that there will likely be a spillover to your cardio, such that the stepper and stationary biking will change into a bit simpler to do.
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