11 Best Leg Strengthening Exercises

leg strengthening exercises

The ability to keep your legs fit can have huge benefits as exercising your legs strengthen your The ability to keep your legs fit can have huge benefits as exercising your legs strengthen your biggest muscle group. Strengthening your legs improves coordination and balance, shields joints from injury and increases your metabolism. As you get older leg strengthening exercises becomes increasingly important to keep your knees, ankles, and hips healthy.

#1 Alternating Knee Lifts

Alternating Knee Lifts

It’s best to begin every fitness routine by doing an exercise that can double as the cardio component and also a muscle builder. Alternating knee raises can get results by strengthening your quads, hamstrings and glutes as well as increasing the heart rate and increasing your balance. The benefit is also that they’re simple to master. 

Place your feet that are hip-width apart. The right knee is lifted to the level of your hips. Lower your knee and perform the same movement using the left knee. Repeat this sequence for a period of one or three minutes. 

It is also possible to achieve similar results by performing step ups on your staircase. 

#2 Squats

Squats

Squats are a classic leg strengthener that target hips, thighs, and glutes. Beginners may want to start with chair squats and graduate into standing squats. For chair squats, stand in front of a sturdy chair as you’re about to sit in it. 

Place feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Focus your weight in your heels and bend your knees to slowly lower your buttocks towards the chair. When you get close to the chair, quickly press back up to standing. Standing squats use exactly the same movement, without the chair. Aim for 10 to 15 squats per set.

#3 Donkey kick

Donkey kick

Sets 3 Reps 10 each side

Targets Hamstrings and glutes

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees on the floor under your hips. Engage your core and lift one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent so the sole of your foot ends up facing the ceiling. Bring your leg back down slowly. Do all your reps on one leg, then switch.

#4 Calf Raises

Calf Raises

Your calves might not be as massive than your other leg muscles, however they do require toning so that they can support your ankles as well as aid in balancing. Calf raises are easy yet effective. Stand with your feet hip width. It’s easier if you sit near a table or counter, railing or even a wall to support. 

You can push up on your feet’s balls as if you’re standing on tip-toes and hold it for 3 minutes. Slowly lower your heels to the ground. Do three or two sets of 15 lifts. 

#5 Side Hip Raises

Side Hip Raises

For this exercise, you can use the same chair you’ve been using for squats and calf raises. The side hip raise strengthens your hips, thighs, and glutes. The movement also helps keep your hip joints flexible. 

Stand behind a sturdy chair with feet planted and toes facing forward. Keep legs straight, but don’t lock your knees. Slowly lift your right leg to the side. Then return to the starting position. The slower you do this movement, the better. Repeat with your left left and do this sequence 15 times on each leg.

#6 Knee Extensions

Knee Extensions

These knee extensions work on the quadriceps and can strengthen the knees. It is possible to do this without or with ankle weights. If you don’t have any ankle weights, you can drape the rice bag over your feet. 

You can sit back in a chair, with your feet nearly touching the floor. Your feet should be lifted using the help of a towel, If you are required to. The right foot should be bent and slowly lift your feet toward the sky to ensure your leg remains fully extended. After that, slowly lower your leg by bending it. 

Make sure to keep your foot in a flex position and move it at a slow pace. Perform 10-20 reps. 

#7 Knee Curls

Knee Curls

This exercise targets the hamstrings at the lower back of the leg. It allows for easier walking and climbing. It can be done using ankle weights or not. 

Set up a chair to support yourself and put your feet about equal in width. Then, flex your foot and gradually bend your right leg, so that your foot is pointing towards your buttock. Slowly, lower your leg to its the starting point. Repeat the process with your opposite leg. 

Repeat this 10-20 time for each foot. Alternate legs, or do one leg and work move onto the next. Engage your core and lift one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent so the sole of your foot ends up facing the ceiling. Bring your leg back down slowly.

#8 Leg Extensions

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions strengthen the muscles of your buttocks, which aid in supporting you lower back. Sit in a chair and put both hands upon it. Your feet should be placed a bit closer than your hips. 

Move your right leg forward while keeping it straight. Imagine lifting your heel to the side and make sure you don’t arch your back. You will feel your hamstrings as well as your glutes working. When the leg extends as far as it feels comfortable, keep it for 5 minutes. Return your leg to the beginning position and repeat using your left foot. 

Repeat the sequence 10 times, and progress to 3 sets. 

#9 Hip Circles

Hip Circles

To do this move help yourself, put your weight on your elbows and knees. Place your shoulders on the elbows and your hips in the knees. Then, draw circles by using one knee. Move away from your hip. Draw a circle as large as you can, while keeping your the torso steady. Keep moving your the right knee around for 30 secs. Then switch legs and repeat the process on left leg for 30 seconds.

It’s so effective. Yes, this move will cause your glutes to go through the roof, but it’ll aid in maintaining some vital mobility in your hips. 

#10 Walking Lunges

Walking Lunges

Keeping your torso upright and step forward using your left leg while keeping your body straight. The knees should be bent and you can lower your body into a lunge position. Stop when your legs have formed 90-degree angles. 

Push through your right foot and then step forward until you’re in the same place with your left leg, as if “walking.” (Pro advice: Amp up the effort by adding dumbbells to the mixture.)

The reason it’s so popular: walking lunges increase your flexibility and balance as well as posture by releasing your hamstrings and hips.

#11 Leg Balance

Leg Balance

The final exercise helps tone your legs. It is also a chance to rest and replenish. Keep your knees bent slightly. 

Keep your chest upright and your back straight by placing your hands placed on the hips. Slowly raise your knee similar to what the knee lifts, but keep it there for between 15 and 60 minutes. You will feel your other leg moving to keep your equilibrium. 

Repeat the exercise three times for each leg. To make it harder Try to close your eyes. 

Conclusion. The Importance of Leg Strengthening Exercises 

Include leg exercises in your strength training routine two times every week. The aim should be 10 to 15 repetitions per set , and up to three sets per exercise. Because the muscles in your legs are big they should show improvement in strength and tone in a short time. 

If you’re suffering from joint issues, consult your physician before adding an exercise routine for your legs to your exercise routine.

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