4 Great Workouts for Strong Legs
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, or build muscle having strong legs is important to support you throughout your workouts and daily activities.
With proper leg training, you can go miles without getting fatigued easily or getting injured. These are some of the best workouts for leg strengthening. All of these exercises can be done anywhere, with or without any special equipment.
Deadlifts With Dumbbells
Deadlifts are popular exercises that target the glutes, lower back, and the hamstring muscles.
1. Begin in a standing position, holding a dumbbell (you can also use a barbell with weight or without) in each hand.
2. With your knees slightly bent, position your legs a shoulder-width apart.
3. Your arms should be hanging straight down, shoulder-width apart.
4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your chest high.
5. Inhaling slowly, tighten your torso while bending from the hips and pushing your rear-end back. While doing this, make sure that your chin is tucked and your shoulder blades are retracted.
6. Bend and slide your dumbbells down as far as you can (not going further than your mid-shin though), until you feel your hamstring muscles stretch.
7. Take a short pause, and while exhaling, squeeze your glutes as you rise back to the starting position.
Tips: Deadlifts should not be rushed. Make sure to maintain proper form and keep your back arched throughout the exercise.
If there’s any exercise that is a staple in any leg workout, it’s the lunge.
1. To begin, stand with your legs a shoulder-width apart, while resting your hands on your hips.
2. Keep your upper body straight, with your chin up, shoulders relaxed, and torso tight.
3. Take a step forward with one leg, while lowering your hips until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Don’t push your front knee too far, just keep it above the ankle, and make sure the other knee doesn’t hit the floor.
4. Exhaling, push back up to the starting position, keeping all the weight in your heels.
Tips: To avoid looking down, pick a focal point in front of you and focus on it. This exercise can be stressful on the joints, and it can take time to get into the proper shape to be able to perform it. Begin by practicing good form, and take it slow and build up to do multiple reps and sets.
Another great exercise is the walking lunge, a great bodyweight exercise to strengthen the legs and also burn fat. In the walking lunge you simply do the lunges in a walking fashion shifting from one leg to the other.
Single Leg Touchdowns
Another great exercise that can yield impressive results and works the leg muscles effectively.
1. Stand by balancing yourself on one leg, feet pointing forward.
2. Keep your spine in a neutral position, making sure your back is neither rounded nor overly arched. Tighten your torso.
3. Slowly bend your hips and knee to a squatting position, as if you are going to sit in a chair.
4. Reach down, and using your opposite hand, touch the balanced foot.
5. Hold this position for a few seconds
6. Keep your torso tight as you slowly return to the starting position.
7. Repeat 8 to 12 times before switching to the other leg.
Tips: It is important to perform this exercise slowly in order to maintain your balance and keep the tension constant on your leg muscles. If you find the exercise extremely challenging, try reaching mid-shin instead of all the way down.
One-Leg Wall Squats
This type of squat specifically targets the quads, and also helps to strengthen the glutes, calves, abs, and hamstrings.
1. Start by standing with your back flat against the wall.
2. Place your arms on your hips or on your sides, with your palms against the wall.
3. With feet hip-width apart, bend your knees slowly at 90 degrees to a squatting position.
4. Lift one foot off the floor and extend your leg out in front of you.
5. While still pressed against the wall, lower your torso, going down until your other thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure your extended leg doesn’t touch the ground.
6. Pause for a few seconds and squeeze your glutes.
7. Straighten your supporting leg and push yourself against the wall back to the starting position.
Perform this exercise for 10 reps, and switch to the other leg.
Tips: Make sure your back is straight and kept pressed against the wall throughout the exercise. Keep your head up, with eyes staring directly in front of you. As you push yourself up, make sure your pelvis doesn’t come forward. For more variety and added resistance, you can also use a stability ball while doing this exercise.