Fitness Charm’s: 3 Exercises to strengthen your legs
Gym Leggings plays an extremely important part for Fitness Charm, so it was only fitting we decided to show you 3 exercises that support strengthen your legs. If you’re a runner, cross-fit trainer, yoga enthusiast or simply just working out to get fit then performing these exercises are a must.
Whereby activities such as running, and yoga are great to keep us in shape they don’t focus on strengthening. The strengthening of our legs requires targeted focus, and this is where strength training comes to the helm.
Improving the strength in your leg muscles increases stability for the joints, taking the strain away from the ligaments which can suffer wear and tear. The improvements on your legs are extremely obvious when you start seeing an improved explosive start if a runner. Then if you’re a yoga enthusiast, you will start to feel more comfortable in how you’re able to hold your body up with improved balance in certain positions.
The 3 exercises we believe that are effective to improving leg strength are:
Muscles Involved: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves and core.
If you’re ever focusing on strengthening your legs this exercise is a must do, reason for being first on our list. Giving you the ability to access multiple muscle groups from the glutes down means you will be truly putting your legs to work. Now, there are a couple of ways I’ve seen squats performed which are with the barbell and with the smith machine however I highly recommend the barbell and avoiding squats on the smith machine as it tends to restrict natural movement.
Squatting is powerful way to develop leg strength which can support with increasing your speed, power up hills, stabilise yourself in a specific position.
Here’s instructions on how to perform the squat with a great technique:
- Stand with the bar on your upper-back, and your feet shoulder-width apart
- Squat down by pushing your knees to the side while moving hips back
- Break parallel by Squatting down until your hips are lower than your knees
- Squat back up while keeping your knees out and chest up
- Stand with your hips and knees locked at the top
Here is a video for more guidance on how to perform squats.
Ideally with leg strengthening the heavier the better so go heavy with the weight and aim for 5-8 reps, across 5 sets.
Muscles Involved: Hamstring, glutes, core, lower back, forearms.
If there was a list top 3 leg exercises deadlifts would definitely feature. However, deadlifts are extremely technique driven as the truth is many have fears they can cause themselves injuries. To avoid such an error, perform deadlifts with the proper form working on your technique and gradually adding weights, don’t start with heavy weights.
Deadlifts focus on strengthening the hamstrings, glutes and lower back so you will benefit from an improved posture, stability and all-round strength however I definitely recommend deadlifts whereby you have a day afterwards to rest.
If deadlifts are new to you, here’s how you perform them:
- Stand with your mid-foot under the barbell
- Bend over and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip
- Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar
- Lift your chest up and straighten your lower back
- Take a big breath, hold it, and stand up with the weight
Ideally with this exercise, starting light and increasing the weight is the way to go so I recommend 5 sets, with 5-8 reps each.
Check out this video guide on how to perform deadlifts with the right form.
3. Walking Lunges
Muscles Involved: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstring, Calves.
Walking lunges are a dynamic movement exercise that focuses on the running pattern however performed at the fraction of the speed. The great thing about walking lunges is that all you need is space to perform the exercise and if you feel you can push your further you can add dumbbells, being held in each hand for the added weight.
Here’s how to perform the walking lunges:
- Begin the movement by stepping forward with your left leg (or right leg) and lower your quadriceps at a 90 degrees angle while lowering the other leg toward the floor.
- Push your quadriceps back up and repeat the same movement for the opposite leg.
- For the added weight - Hold a dumbbell in each hand first then perform steps A and B.
With the walking lunges, you can go with a higher volume of 10 reps per leg.
Finally a video here too for you to get the technique right on lunges.
If you're an individual focusing on improving your leg strength then these 3 exercises definitely need to be crafted into your fitness routine pushing yourself at every chance possible.
So now it's over to you, good luck!
If you're working on legs is your focus then ensuring you look the part may also be of interest, so definitely recommend checking out Fitness Charm's article on Funky Gym Leggings where yo can see their top leggings for when you want to stand out.
In addition, doing such workouts means you definitely want to be and need to be wearing the write type of gym wear so gym leggings with pockets is definitely a must to have less items to look after or being held while working out.