STRONG LEGS SUPPORT GOOD POSTURE AND REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY FROM DAILY MOVEMENTS SUCH AS SQUATTING AND LIFTING.
Try these exercises to build strength in your leg muscles and tone up your entire lower body.
Stand in front of a loaded barbell with your feet under your hips. Keep your back flat as you bend at the knees until you can grasp the bar. Push through your heels to lift the bar off the floor. Pull your shoulder blades back at the top of the movement. Bend your knees to lower the bar back to the ground. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.
Stand on one leg and bend the other knee at a 90-degree angle, keeping your foot behind you. Lower yourself into a squat by bending the straight leg until your elevated knee taps the ground. Raise your arms in front of you as you go down. Push through your heel to come back up.
Stand with your feet wide apart and your toes pointed forward. Hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell in front of your chest. Bend at the knees and push your glutes out behind you, going down as far as possible. Keep your weight in your heels as you slowly push back up.
If you’re not quite ready to hold a dumbbell or kettlebell yet, you can always just hold your arms out in front of you to do a bodyweight squat.
Stand on a block, step or stair with your heels hanging over the edge. Push yourself high up on your toes. Lower your heels as far as theyll go and repeat. Target the inside of your calves by turning your toes in during this movement, or turn your toes out to tone the inside of the calves. Do the same movement with one leg bent behind you for more of a challenge. Hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase the intensity of these exercises.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms down at the sides of your body. To perform a front lunge, step forward with one leg and bend your knee to a 90-degree angle while lowering the back knee toward the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. To perform a backward lunge, step back behind you with one leg and lower until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle. Step forward before repeating on the other leg.
For both types of lunges, make sure that your knee stays over your ankle and not your toes.
DUMBBELL STEP UPS
Stand in front of a chair, bench or step with a dumbbell in each hand. Bring your right foot up onto the platform and push through your heel as you step your left leg up next to it. Step back with your left leg and then your right leg to return to the floor. Repeat on the left and continue to alternate.
Working to strengthen your legs increases muscle mass and improves body composition. Youll not only wind up with strong muscles but also get attractive, shapely legs in the process.
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