Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry for about 38 years. During her childhood she was a U.S. gymnast and she’s been the director of several gymnastic teams and has owned some Gold’s Gyms. She is now the group exercise director at a number of fitness clubs where she also teaches and does personal training for adults and children.
What this workout entails
This series of videos addresses the quadriceps muscles. Quadriceps (or “quads”) constitute one of the body’s main muscle groups. They’re big muscles, so it takes a lot of energy to work them (which in turn burns a lot of calories!).
There are a number of different ways to exercise the quads, and it’s important to have variety in your workout. Why? Because, Weiss maintains, you want to “surprise” the muscles. If you do the same thing over and over, the exercise will stop having the same effect on the muscles. They’ll get used to it, and it will be less efficacious. On the other hand, if you vary the exercises, you’ll be working slightly different parts of the muscle groups in slightly different ways and the results will be far better.
Start with a pair of good aerobic shoes. Your working clothing shouldn’t be too bulky (you don’t want anything getting caught in the equipment); stretchy materials are best.
Doing this workout at a gym is the best option, because the gym already has all the machines, equipment, and accessories that you need. If you’re doing it at home, you’ll need to invest in some equipment and you won’t be able to do everything; so whenever possible, join a gym. The membership will pay off in better health, stronger muscles, and a fitter you.
Before you do any kind of exercise, make sure that you consult with your doctor. You may have an injury or condition that will make this an unsafe workout and you want to be sure that you’re in the right space to get started.
Since you’re working a main muscle group, you’re going to be using a lot of weight, so safety has to come first. Think about your core. Without core tightening and core strength, you can put your body in the wrong position and you can risk injuring yourself. So work first to strengthen your core by trying to touch your bellybutton to your spine. Do this in sets of five reps each, every day, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Don’t neglect your knees, as they’re particularly vulnerable here. Proper positioning is essential. When you’re doing a squat, your knees need to be behind your toes. Think about how far you can go and don’t go any farther and risk hurting your knees. It takes a long time to come back from a knee injury and there’s a lot of pain involved. Generally you can go down about 90 degrees, which is about the same position as if you were sitting in a chair. You’ll be using an exercise ball to help with this and keep your back and knees supported.