Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) FM 21-20 / TC 3-22.20 Training Info

Army Fitness Handbook – 11 – Resistance Exercises – Legs

Resistance Exercises – Legs

Quadriceps

Front Barbell Squat
Preparation

From a rack with barbell upper chest height, position bar on front of the shoulders. Cross arms and place hands on top of barbell with upper arms parallel to floor. Dismount bar from rack. Can also be performed on the Smith machine.

Execution

Descend until thighs are just past parallel. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.

Comments

Keep head forward, back straight and feet flat on the floor; equal distribution of weight through fore foot and heel.

Barbell Squat

Preparation

From a rack with barbell upper chest height, position bar on the back of the shoulders and grasp barbell to sides. Dismount bar from rack. Can also be performed on a squat machine, Smith machine, or with dumbbells.

Execution

Descend until thighs are just past parallel to floor. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.

Comments

Keep head forward, back straight and feet flat on the floor; equal distribution of weight throughout forefoot and heel.

Jump Squat

Preparation

Assume the squat position on a flat surface. You need squat no further than parallel to the ground.

Execution

Jump vertically as high as you can and land in the start position. Repeat.

Hack Squat

Preparation

Position barbell just behind legs. With feet flat on floor, squat down and grasp barbell from behind with an overhand grip. Can also be performed on a hack squat machine or Smith machine.

Execution

Lift bar by extending hips and knees to full extension. Descend until thighs are close to parallel to floor. Repeat.

Comments

Throughout lift keep hips low, shoulders high, arms and back straight.

Lunge

Preparation

From a rack with barbell upper chest height, position bar on the back of the shoulders and grasp barbell to sides. Dismount bar from rack. Can also be performed with dumbbells.

Execution

Lunge forward with first leg. Land on heal then forefoot. Lower body by flexing knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Return to original standing position by forcibly extending the hip and knee of the forward leg. Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite leg.

Comments

Keep torso upright during lunge.

Rear Lunge

Preparation

From a rack with barbell upper chest height, position bar on the back of the shoulders and grasp barbell to sides. Dismount bar from rack. Can also be performed with dumbbells.

Execution

Extend one leg back on forefoot. Lower body on other leg by flexing knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Return to original standing position by extending the hip and knee of the forward leg. Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite leg.

Comments

Keep torso upright during lunge; flexible hip flexors are important. A long lunge emphasizes the Gluteus Maximus; a short lunge emphasizes Quadriceps.

Step-up

Preparation

Stand facing the side of a bench. Position bar on the back of the shoulders or grasp barbell to sides.

Execution

Place foot of first leg on bench. Stand on bench by extending the hip and knee of the first leg and place the foot of second leg on bench. Step down with second leg by flexing the hip and knee of first leg. Return to original standing position by placing foot of first leg to floor. Repeat first step with opposite leg alternating first steps between legs.

Comments

Keep torso upright during exercise. Stepping a distance from the bench emphasizes the Gluteus Maximus; stepping close to the bench emphasizes Quadriceps.

45 Degree Leg Press

Preparation

Sit on machine with back on padded support. Place feet on platform. Extend hips and knees. Release dock lever and grasp handles to sides.

Execution

Lower platform by flexing hips and knees until hips are completely flexed. Return by extending knees and hips. Repeat.

Comments

Adjust safety brace and back support to accommodate near full range of motion without forcing hips to bend at waist.

Leg Extension

Preparation

Sit on apparatus with back against padded back support. Place front of lower leg under padded lever. Position knee articulation at same axis as lever fulcrum. Grasp handles to sides for support.

Execution

Move lever forward by extending knees until leg are straight. Return lever to original position by bending knees. Repeat.

Comments

Stabilizers are used during heavy resistances to prevent body rising off of seat.

Seated Leg Press

Preparation

Sit on machine with back on padded support. Place feet on platform. Grasp handles to sides.

Execution

Push platform away by extending knees and hips. Return until hips are completely flexed. Repeat.

Comments

Adjust seat and back support to accommodate near full range of motion without forcing hips to bend at waist.

Hamstrings 

Good-morning

Preparation

Position barbell on back of shoulders and grasp bar to sides.

Execution

Bend hips to lower torso forward until parallel to the floor. Raise torso until hips are extended. Repeat.

Comments

Throughout lift keep back and knees straight

Straight-leg Deadlift

Preparation

Stand with a shoulder width or narrower stance. Grasp barbell with a shoulder width mixed grip or slightly wider; or hold dumbbells at side.

Execution

With knees straight, lower bar by bending hips until hamstrings are tight, or just before lower back bends. Lift the bar by extending hips until straight. Pull shoulders back at top of lift if rounded. Repeat.

Comments

Throughout lift keep arms, knees, and back straight.

Lying Leg Curl Machine

Preparation

Facing bench, stand between bench and lever pads. Lie prone on bench with knees just beyond edge of bench and lower legs under lever pads. Grasp handles.

Execution

Raise lever pads to back of thighs by flexing knees. Lower lever pads until knees are straight. Repeat.

Comments

Keep torso on bench to reduce hyperextension of the lower back. Most machines are angled at the users hip to position the hamstring in a more favorable mechanical position.

Seated Leg Curl Machine

Preparation

Sit on apparatus with back against padded back support. Place back of lower leg on top of padded lever. Secure lap pad against thigh just above knees. Grasp handles on lap support.

Execution

Pull lever to back of thighs by flexing knees. Return lever until knees are straight. Repeat.

Standing Leg Curl Machine

Preparation

Stand in machine with one or both legs against pads dependent upon design. Stand foot of resting leg on elevated platform. Position exercising leg: lower leg against lever pad and knee just below thigh pad. Bend over by bending hips and grasp handles for support if available.

Execution

Pull lever up to back of thigh by flexing knee. Return lever until knee is straight. Repeat. Continue with opposite leg.

Comments

If hips are not significantly bent, hip flexors act as antagonist stabilizers.

Thigh Adduction – Cable

Preparation

Stand in front of low pulley facing to one side. Attach cable cuff to near ankle. Step out away from the stack with a wide stance and grasp ballet bar. Stand on far foot and allow near leg to be Pulled toward low pulley.

Execution

Move near leg just in front of far leg by abduction the hip. Return and repeat. Turn around and continue with opposite leg.

Seated Thigh Adduction Machine

Preparation

Sit in machine with heels on bars. Pull in on lever to position legs apart. Release lever into position and grasp bars to sides.

Execution

Move legs toward one another by adduction of the hip. Return and repeat.

 

Calves

Standing Calf Raise

Preparation

Set barbell on power rack upper chest height with calf block under barbell. Position back of shoulders under barbell with both hands to sides. Position toes and balls of feet on calf block with arches and heels extending off. Lean barbell against rack and raise from supports by extending knees and hips. Support barbell against verticals with both hands to sides. Can be done on the leg press machine, with dumbbells, standing one-legged, donkey machine, seated calf machine, and standing calf machine.

Execution

Raise heels by extending ankles as high as possible. Lower heels by bending ankles until calves are stretched. Repeat.

Comments

Keep knees straight throughout exercise or bend knees slightly only during stretch.


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