Five Leg Exercises for a Great Lower Body Workout
Leg exercises are often neglected when the time comes to plan a routine. However, giving the lower body a full workout is essential in many ways. The most important being, of course, mobility.
Due to the wide variety of muscles that make up the legs, there are countless exercises for a good workout. Besides the aesthetic benefits, having strong legs is an important part of preventing injuries. In this article, we will show you five great leg exercises.
In addition to improving your mobility and agility, leg exercises also offer benefits in terms of athletic performance, endurance, strength, and avoiding lower body injuries.
The legs feature some big and long muscles. This is because they have to support the body’s weight, as well as additional heavy loads. They also allow for the mobility of your entire body structure. However, there are other, smaller muscles responsible for rotation and stabilizing joints.
Five leg exercises
With these five leg exercises, you will be able to workout this area of the body at the gym, in your home, or outdoors. It is always better to increase the difficulty level gradually, be it in terms of reps or weight. Of course, if you have any sort of condition that prevents you from exercising normally, consult your doctor before you begin.
Classic squats and squat jumps
This typical exercise starts by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, move your glutes down and backwards, while keeping your feet firmly in place and your back straight.
Next comes the essential part of the exercise: stick out your chest, look forward, and contract the abdomen. Meanwhile, your hands can meet at chest height.
A variation on this effective training method is to add a jump at the end of each repetition. This way, when we stretch out, we jump lightly off the ground. Upon landing, we squat back down immediately, thus taking advantage of the jolt of the jump.
2. Sumo squats
This might seem very similar to the previous exercise, but it actually focuses on the abductor muscles. Basically, the difference lies in the positioning of the feet. In this case, we point our toes out diagonally. This way, when we squat, we are mostly working the inner thighs.
With both sumo squats and traditional squats, we can add weight to the exercise with a bar or plate on our shoulders, or over our heads (with plates).
This is a very effective exercise for working out your glutes, the tendons in the back of your knees, and the quads. We will also need to engage the calves and the abs in order to achieve the necessary stability.
It is easy to do: position yourself with your feet lined up hip-width apart. Next: bring one foot forward as though you were taking a step. As you do this, lower the back leg so that your knee touches the ground. Both knees should end up flexed 90 degrees. Finally, return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
You can also add weight to this exercise. You could do it with a dumbbell in each hand, or with a bar on your shoulders.
4. Elevated heels
This is a perfect exercise for working out the calves. It is very simple to do, but you are going to need a little weight (dumbbells or a bar). In the gym, you can find a specific machine to add weight on your shoulders while you elevate your heels.
You need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintaining a firm and upright posture, lift your heels, using the front of your feet as support. You can go up and down, or remain with your heels elevated for 15, 20, or 30 seconds. It is up to you.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best leg exercises you can do. Simply stand with a dumbbell in each hand, or hold a bar with or without weight.
The workout comes from lowering the weight, first flexing your hips and then your knees. Upon returning to your initial position, start extending your knees and finally stand fully upright.
Remember, your back must always remain straight, and you should never lift the weight with your hips. Use your legs only.
With these leg exercises, you will be able to strengthen your lower body and improve your performance across the board. Do not forget that these are complex muscles meant for working, so you should be consistent and patient to see results.