Having a well-built physique with toned legs and arms is a dream for many. A large number of gym goers need to pay more attention to the importance of doing leg workouts. It contributes to the major reason for having skinny legs. But you can add muscle definition and mass to your legs and show them off on beach days. All you need to do is stay disciplined in the gym and keep working on your legs and other muscle groups.
Below is a list of exercises that help you build and tone your leg muscles in the gym:
Lunges are one of the effective exercises that can help you build your lower body strength and tone your muscles. It is a single-leg exercise movement that completely relies on your body weight. Not only it engages your thighs, but it also works on your glutes, hamstring, and inner thigh muscles.
It helps you develop endurance and strength that no other exercise can achieve. You need to perform this movement correctly to gain its benefits. Make sure you can put your body weight on a single leg before performing the movement. You may also ask for a little help from your personal trainer.
The leg press is the most sought-after exercise movement to build muscles, not only in the modern era of fitness but also in old-school bodybuilding. It engages the front and as well as back muscles of the legs. Leg press exercises have multiple variations starting from beginners to experts. The leg press seat is upright, and the weight rack is right in front of you.
Your foot placement must be equal or wider than your shoulder width, with your toes pointing forwards. Unlock the weight, let it come down, and push it back to the initial position. Avoid locking in your knees, as it can put extra pressure on them. Moreover, performing this exercise on a horizontal leg press machine at the beginner level is better.
The squat is the only exercise that puts most of your muscles to work. The primary muscles targeted are the thighs, hamstring, and lower back. Secondary muscles are your core, shoulders, calves, and abs.
Most strength training includes squats and other variations of squats. Also, it is one of the most common movements we perform when we sit and stand. It is the most effective functional movement to improve the joints and muscle strength.
Once you master the squats technique, it will bring great strength and conditioning to your leg muscles and other supporting muscle groups.
Squat stance varies from person to person. Also, a person with high flexibility may be able to perform the squats in perfect form, in comparison to a person with rigid muscles and lower flexibility.
The squat position starts by moving your hips back, lowering your torso, and bending your knees. Ensure that you keep your back straight and lift your chest. Once you go down, use your heels to lift your body up in a straight position.
You can’t imagine your leg workout without leg extension exercises. It works surprisingly well for creating muscle definition and toning. The leg extension is normally performed at light weights with more reps. When performing this exercise, ensure you contract your front thigh muscles for mind-muscle connection.
Sit right on the leg extension machine with your knees bent. Place your ankles against the padded foam bar. Use your leg muscles to pull the weight and extend your legs to a straight position. Avoid increasing weight more than your strength to reduce injury chances.
Single-leg deadlift is a movement that engages your back, glutes, and leg. It is a variation of conventional deadlifts but involves only a single leg. You begin by standing straight, holding weights in your hands. Start leaning forwards and lift your one leg and move it backward. At the full movement, you need to extend your leg behind you.
Keeping leaning forward until your body forms a T shape. Don’t lock in your knee where you are putting the whole pressure. Make sure your arms are hanging down straight.
It makes a repetition of this exercise. Now slowly bring the extended leg back to the original position.
A plank leg lift is a variation of the classic plank exercise which you perform to strengthen your core. It is similar to that, but you take it to the next leg by lifting your legs alternatively.
Lifting a single leg can put more load on your abdomen and engage more muscles. It works well to work out your glutes, hamstring, and core.
All you need is a workout mat to execute this exercise. You start in the normal plank position and keep your legs, hips, and shoulders aligned. Keep your abdomen muscles engaged and lift one leg to the maximum where you can easily lift it. Pause for a few seconds to feel your muscles getting stressed out, and rest them back to their initial position. You can perform as many reps as you want. Normally, you can go with 3 sets of 10 reps each.
Box jumps are a challenging exercise that you must take on every now and then. It empowers your legs with explosive lower-body strength and endurance. It targets your quads, hamstrings, and calves. Box jumps exercises need a lot of energy which leads to higher energy burn. Many pro-level athletes utilize box jumping to increase their jumping or running capability.
Stability ball knee tucks may look fun at first, but it’s more challenging than it seems. It is one of the most challenging variations of the plank. You perform a plank and stabilize your legs over a fitness ball. Once you are in plank position, you tuck your knees towards your chest and move them as close as possible to complete the movement. Also, it requires you to move the ball as well.
Moreover, it is advised to perform the stable plank for 30 seconds and then perform the knee-tucking movement. It engages your core, abdomen, shoulders, and arm. Also, it requires only a ball and a yoga mat.
It is a simple and easy resistance exercise that you perform anywhere. Like other leg exercises, it targets your quads, hamstrings, and calve muscles. You can perform it on a stair or a step stool in the gym or your home. Keep your back straight and abdomen muscles tight as you step up and step down to the starting position. You need to perform it in the right form and step height. If you are a beginner, starting at a lower height is better.
The resistance band leg press works great as an alternative to the machine leg press. A resistance band and a mat are needed to perform this exercise. It is comparatively faster and more effective than the machine exercise. You can perform the exercise at your desired level of resistance. This exercise is performed while lying down on an exercise mat. It requires only a resistance band and a mat.
Lie down on a flat surface and lift your feet off the mat. Wrap the bands around your feet and hold both ends of the resistance band. Push your legs against the band until your legs are straight. You must feel the muscles working when you push the band and then relax your legs back to the starting position. Here you can perform as many reps as you can. It is better to go with 10 reps and 3 sets each.
If you are a beginner at working out and want to step up your leg exercises, you must consider the suitable exercises only. It is suggested to perform these exercises in the presence of your personal trainer. Also, try to go with light weights and intensity because it can result in a muscle or joint injury and make you suffer really badly.