🔥 HIT TOP LEGS EXERCISES
✅ Standing Calf Raise
✅ HOW TO: Use a standing calf raise machine, or stand on a block or step with a dumbbell in one hand while holding on to something for support with the other.
- Lower your heels toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves. Drive the balls of your feet into the foot plate and contract your calves, raising your heels as high as possible. Control the descent on each rep.
✅ LEG PRESS
Main Areas Targeted: Quadriceps (emphasized with feet lower on platform and closer together), glutes and hamstrings (emphasized with feet higher and wider on platform)
✅ How-To: Sit squarely in the leg press machine and place your feet shoulder-width apart on the sled. Keeping your chest up and lower back pressed into the pad, carefully unlatch the sled from the safeties.
- Bend your knees to lower the platform, stopping before your glutes lift off the pad. From there, powerfully extend your knees to press the weight up (but don’t lock them out at the top).
✅ Hack Squat
Main Areas Targeted: Quads and glutes primarily, hamstrings secondarily
✅ How-To: Step inside a hack squat machine, placing your shoulders and back against the pads. Set your feet at mid-platform just inside shoulder width, keeping your feet flat throughout the exercise.
- With your chest up and core tight, unhook the safeties and slowly lower yourself, stopping when your thighs are just past parallel to the platform. From here, powerfully press upward to the start position, keeping your knees bent slightly at the top to protect them from hyperextension.
- “When performing any squat movement, my cues are always to avoid any excessive internal or external rotation at the knees — think the ‘knock-knee’ position or knees and toes pointing out — along with keeping your knees about shoulder-width apart throughout the movement,” Flores instructs.
- “The weight should be felt in your heels, not your toes.”
✅ Seated Calf Raise
✅ HOW TO: Use a seated calf raise machine, or sit on a bench and rest the balls of your feet on a block or step (and hold dumbbells on your thighs for resistance). Perform a calf raise as described at left, but with hips and knees bent 90 degrees.