11
March
2013

The Best Ways to Strengthen Your Legs

The Best Ways to Strengthen Your Legs

The legs are often overlooked in workout plans, as we focus on optimizing our upper bodies as the most visible indication of fitness. While some group training regimens such as pilates and aerobics classes do provide excellent leg toning exercises, the fact remains that many of us treat leg workouts as an afterthought. However, including leg exercises as a major part of your exercise plan has immense benefits for athletics performance, self-image, and long-term overall well being. In this article, we give you tips on how to plan your leg workout, with sample exercises.

Setting goals

As when starting any workout program, the first step is to set your personal fitness goals and determine how you want your body to look. This generally means prioritizing one of two options: new muscle growth and development, or muscle toning and definition.

Bigger, stronger legs

If your main interest is in developing larger, stronger leg muscles, whether for the sake of body-building or in order to increase your athletic performance, then tailor your diet and workout plan for that purpose. Make sure you have a calorie surplus in order to facilitate new muscle growth, and do heavy weight, low-rep exercises for muscle overload. You should be able to do 6-10 sets of 5-8 reps for each, leaving your muscles completely exhausted. Leave at least 1-2 days of rest between workouts.

Sleeker, more toned legs

If looking to perfect your legs by eliminating excess fat and tightening existing muscle, your focus should be on more aerobic exercises that provide high-rep sets of low-weight or only body-weight loads. This type of exercise can often double as a cardio (fat-burning) workout.

Categories: Exercise

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For bigger, stronger legs

Squat

Hold weighted workout bar across your deltoids (upper back). Place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and back straight, squat down, allowing your knees and toes to point slightly outwards. At the lowest point of the squat, your butt should be slightly below the height of your knees.

Dead-lift

Place feet hip-width apart, knees and toes slightly pointed out. Place weighted workout bar directly in front of your shins. Bend knees and reach down to grab bar. Keeping your chest up and back straight, straighten knees then upper body to standing position.

Calf-raise

Stand on your toes on the edge of a platform (a stair or workout bench). Weight your body with a dip belt or shoulder weights. Step up on the tips of your toes, using only your calf muscles.

For sleeker, more toned legs

Step-ups

Place a bench about knee-height or a little higher directly in front of you. Place one foot on the bench and step up to full standing height using just the one leg, then return. Repeat 10-15 reps for each leg, 3-5 sets.

Wall-sit

Stand with your back against a wall. Slowly bend your knees until they form a 90 degree angle, keeping yourself up by putting pressure against the wall with your back. Hold position for 30-60 seconds, and repeat 3 more times.

Lunges

Stand with arms at your side, feet hip-width apart. Step right foot about three feet forward, keeping left foot where it is. Descend to where your right knee forms a 90 degree angle, keeping your left foot anchored and left leg extended straight. Step your left foot up to your right foot and repeat, this time placing your left foot forward. Do 5-8 sets of 20-25 reps on each leg.

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11
March
2013

The Best Ways to Strengthen Your Legs

The Best Ways to Strengthen Your Legs

The legs are often overlooked in workout plans, as we focus on optimizing our upper bodies as the most visible indication of fitness. While some group training regimens such as pilates and aerobics classes do provide excellent leg toning exercises, the fact remains that many of us treat leg workouts as an afterthought. However, including leg exercises as a major part of your exercise plan has immense benefits for athletics performance, self-image, and long-term overall well being. In this article, we give you tips on how to plan your leg workout, with sample exercises.

Setting goals

As when starting any workout program, the first step is to set your personal fitness goals and determine how you want your body to look. This generally means prioritizing one of two options: new muscle growth and development, or muscle toning and definition.

Bigger, stronger legs

If your main interest is in developing larger, stronger leg muscles, whether for the sake of body-building or in order to increase your athletic performance, then tailor your diet and workout plan for that purpose. Make sure you have a calorie surplus in order to facilitate new muscle growth, and do heavy weight, low-rep exercises for muscle overload. You should be able to do 6-10 sets of 5-8 reps for each, leaving your muscles completely exhausted. Leave at least 1-2 days of rest between workouts.

Sleeker, more toned legs

If looking to perfect your legs by eliminating excess fat and tightening existing muscle, your focus should be on more aerobic exercises that provide high-rep sets of low-weight or only body-weight loads. This type of exercise can often double as a cardio (fat-burning) workout.

Categories: Exercise

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)

For bigger, stronger legs

Squat

Hold weighted workout bar across your deltoids (upper back). Place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and back straight, squat down, allowing your knees and toes to point slightly outwards. At the lowest point of the squat, your butt should be slightly below the height of your knees.

Dead-lift

Place feet hip-width apart, knees and toes slightly pointed out. Place weighted workout bar directly in front of your shins. Bend knees and reach down to grab bar. Keeping your chest up and back straight, straighten knees then upper body to standing position.

Calf-raise

Stand on your toes on the edge of a platform (a stair or workout bench). Weight your body with a dip belt or shoulder weights. Step up on the tips of your toes, using only your calf muscles.

For sleeker, more toned legs

Step-ups

Place a bench about knee-height or a little higher directly in front of you. Place one foot on the bench and step up to full standing height using just the one leg, then return. Repeat 10-15 reps for each leg, 3-5 sets.

Wall-sit

Stand with your back against a wall. Slowly bend your knees until they form a 90 degree angle, keeping yourself up by putting pressure against the wall with your back. Hold position for 30-60 seconds, and repeat 3 more times.

Lunges

Stand with arms at your side, feet hip-width apart. Step right foot about three feet forward, keeping left foot where it is. Descend to where your right knee forms a 90 degree angle, keeping your left foot anchored and left leg extended straight. Step your left foot up to your right foot and repeat, this time placing your left foot forward. Do 5-8 sets of 20-25 reps on each leg.

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