Simple Exercises to Keep your Legs in Shape
Lower body workouts engage major muscle groups throughout our bodies, improving our athleticism and strengthening specific areas for everyday life. Building more muscular lower bodies helps prevent further injuries, strengthens our joints and bones, boosts our cognitive function and engages toning and sculpting in areas like our legs.
To get optimal results in leg training, it’s essential to be consistent, especially when working at a lower intensity. The longer you neglect your leg workouts, the more of a decline in tone and performance ability you’ll see.
Workouts targeted to this area of your body also help balance and mobility, which are particularly important in maintaining our overall health, especially if you struggle with weak muscles in this spot and sore knees.
Tip: Include balance and mobility improving exercises – like stretching, glute bridges, leg swings and knee hugs – in your pre-workout routine.
Strength vs. power training
It’s crucial to know the difference between strength versus power training, particularly when it comes to leg workouts. Strength is known as the ability to overcome resistance, whereas power adds the variable of time into that. Both types of training have benefits, and which one you want to focus on depends on your eventual goals.
Did you know cardio is one of the best activities for toning your legs when paired with specific muscle development exercises? Slow cardio – like walking – helps burn stored glycogen and fats, improving muscle tone and changing your legs’ shape.
Meanwhile, Clinical Pilates may be a great option if you’re looking for further support for these workouts. It offers a more personalised approach that considers your body’s limits and any injuries that may be troubling you. If you find regular activities difficult or painful, one of our Clinical Pilates classes may be of interest to you.
Here are seven exercises that you can add to your routine to help you along your way. Don’t forget to warm up first and try to reach at least 30 reps of each exercise as you work your way through. Also, make sure you do both sides.
Lunges with jump changing legs
Lunge forward on one leg, keeping your back straight and the back knee lower than the other. Switch legs in as high a jump you can, taking your arms upwards.
Bend your knees a little and take your arms backwards before jumping upwards and getting your knees as high as you can.
Leg raise on the side (outer thigh)
Lie on one side and prop yourself on your hand, slowly raise and lower your top leg.
Leg raise on the side (inner thigh)
Lie on one side with your top leg bent and your top foot on the ground, raise and lower your bottom leg while engaging your inner thighs.
Keep your back straight and your arms by your side and take one back into a reverse lunge.
Sidelong bows with a dumbbell
Hold the dumbbell in one hand and step out with the opposite leg, bowing down with a straight back and your torso in line with the straight leg taking the weight to the foot you stepped out with.
Leg raise from prone position
Prop yourself on your hands and one knee with the other leg straight behind you, slowly raise that leg to its peak height and then lower it back down.