Looking after yourself comes in many forms, and today we’ll be talking about strengthening and toning your legs.
Did you know that you burn the most calories when you are exercising your legs? This is due to the legs being the home of the biggest muscle groups and you need more energy to move them than other parts of the body. This is why you need to know what the best leg exercises are and what they are going to help with.
The Beginner Squat
Squats are the best leg exercises out there as they move your hams, quads, glutes and calves. You will also be engaging your smaller stabilizer muscles which will help you tone your legs. The beginner squat is ideal for people just starting their leg exercises. To complete these squats you will need two chairs that you use for balance.
You need to stand between the chairs with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will then squat down while keeping the back straight, the chest up, the abs tight and your knees over your ankles. You should hold the squat position for 10 seconds before repeating.
Glute Kickbacks On A Swiss Ball
Another great exercise for your legs is a glute kickback on a Swiss Ball. The glute muscle group is made up of 3 muscles and they are the gluteus maximus, the gluteus minimus, and the gluteus medius. When you complete a kickback you are going to be working all of these muscles which surround your buttocks.
To complete the kickback you will need a Swiss ball and a non-stick mat. You should lie over the ball on your hands and knees. You will then slowly press the heel of one foot to the ceiling while keeping the knee bent. You should hold this for 10 seconds then switch sides and repeat.
The Swiss Ball Squat
Squats can be challenging for people with knee and ankle weakness. These people should look at using a Swiss ball to help as the ball reduces the pressure on the joints. If you do not own a Swiss ball you could complete these squats against a wall without a ball.
You will need to place the ball along your lower back and against a wall. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and approximately a foot from the wall and cross your arms in front of your shoulders. You should then squat down for 10 seconds with the ball moving to your upper back before repeating.
The quadriceps are a group of 4 muscles which run along the top of the leg. The flexing of these muscles happens when you bend your knee or your hip. To complete a quadriceps flex you will need good balance or a sturdy object to maintain your balance.
To start you need to grasp your study object at hip-level and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will then need to bend your knees and allow your body to lean back slightly while your heels come off the ground. You should hold this for 10 seconds and the slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
A Plie is a classic movement used by ballerinas, but this squat will require the use of a dumbbell which is something dancers do not use. This movement will target the inner thigh muscles which are often fairly difficult to isolate.
To start this squat you need to hold the dumbbell with both hands and place your feet shoulder-width apart. You will then turn your toes out to the side and align them with your knees. You should then squat down for 10 seconds while keeping your posture upright. When you return to the starting position you need to push through your heels.
Lunges will utilize almost all of the major muscle groups on your legs. To avoid injury when completing lunges you need to ensure that your front knee is always in line with your ankles. You should also avoid crossing over your toes and never bend further than 90-degrees.
To complete a lunge you need to stand with your back straight, abs tight and chest up. You will then place your one foot to the front and enter the lunge position until the front knee is at a 90-degree angle. You should hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the starting position.