The legs are used for standing, running, jumping, kicking and walking. Your legs carry you places. The leg mass is fifty percent of the body mass. The legs support the upper body, and no workout is complete without some form of leg exercise.
Say goodbye to chicken legs and make your leg muscles proportional to the rest of your body with these exercises. You need to train the thighs, hamstring and calf muscles for the full development of the legs.
You can start off with some light leg exercises for conditioning before you move on to move serious and targeted exercises.
- Spend about half an hour walking around. This will condition your legs as well as help you burn calories. You know that you need to burn calories to get rid of the excess fat that can hide your muscles.
- Do some leg lifts by lying flat on the floor and lifting both legs straight together and get them as you can, vertically if possible.
- Do scissors kicks by lying flat on your back, lifting both legs a few inches from the floor and doing alternate kicking motions at about 45-degree angle.
- Lunges work all the leg muscles. Standing with your feet about 12 inches apart, place your hands on your hips and make a giant step forward. Lower your body until your back leg forms a right angle. Using your leg muscles, lift your body up and repeat the lunge with the other leg. Do three sets of 30 repetitions for each leg.
- To strengthen your calves, heel raises are the best. Stand with your feet more than 12 inches apart. For balance, you can place your hands on your hips. Lift your body on tiptoes and hold it for at least 8 seconds. You might be wobbly at first so find something to hold on to until you can get used to it.
- To tone the inner and outer thighs, do plies like a ballet dancer. Standing with your feet wide apart, take a small step forward with your right foot and turn it outward so your heel is at a right angle with the toes of your left foot. Hold the back of a chair for support as you slowly bring your body down at least six inches before slowly going back up. Do 3 sets of 30 repetitions for each leg. For harder training using weights, you can start off with squats, leg press, and leg curls. Your trainer will determine the number of repetitions.
- Squats can be done with squats machine or free weights. A barbell should rest across the back of your shoulders. Stand with feet wide apart to focus on the inner thighs or a bit closer to focus on the outside of the thighs. Lower your body until your thighs are at right angles with the floor and then slowly rise up keeping your back straight.
- Leg press is aimed at the thighs. This also helps those with back problems because you can sit and rest your back on a flat surface while your legs push the weight forward like in a rowing machine.
- To build your hamstring muscles, you must do leg curls. This is done with a leg curl machine where you lie face down on the machine bench with your legs straight out and under the support pads of the bar. The T-shaped bar is attached to a number of small weights. Curl your legs as far as you can until you can feel your legs pulling the weights, and then slowly stretch your legs to lower the weights.
Although the leg muscles respond to training the fastest, the weight and strengthening exercises are a bit difficult to do. So you need to be determined and persevere to perform your exercise routine if you want to build your leg muscles and maintain it.