Most of us, while working out, focus primarily on the upper body parts, namely biceps, forearms, chest, back and shoulders, and more times than not, ignore our legs. One reason behind it could be the excruciating pain we felt the first time we had our “leg-day.” However, some leg strengthening exercises will give you the perfect body that you dream of.
Here’s a list of 7 leg exercises that will transform your body in no time without the nauseating sting in your calves and thighs.
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When it comes to simple exercises that will transform your body, squats rule every list. Though it is considered to be primarily a leg exercise, it works out your entire body as it mimics several common natural movement patterns. Furthermore, if you have just taken up the healthy living lifestyle, then you must start with this body weight training before moving on to tougher weight training.
Right Way To Do: Start by moving your hips back and make sure your back is straight as you go down. Chest and shoulders should be up, and your knees should be in line with your toes with your hands parallel to the ground.
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#2. Leg Press
A leg press works out your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus as well as your calves. It is among the most recommended leg workouts for men and women alike. These are inverted squats where your feet push the weights against the gravity.
Right Way To Do: If not done properly, it can lead to grave injuries. Your feet should be your hip-width apart on the foot plate and should be placed flat. Legs should form an angle of 90 degrees at the knee as the weight comes down.
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#3. Lying Leg Curls
Lying leg curls is one of the best leg exercises for men and women, who want to work on their hamstring. Secondarily, the exercise also strengthens lats, middle, and lower back muscles. Opposed to most of the pushing action workouts, lying leg curls includes pulling the weights towards the hips.
Right Way To Do: Make sure you have a firm grip on the handle, and your spine does not arch as you pull the weights. Do not rush in letting the weight to its original position as it could hurt your knee.
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#4. Romanian Deadlift
Romanian deadlift (RDL) works muscles on the backside of the legs, which play a crucial role in running, jumping and other such activities. As opposed to the regular deadlifts, RDL is more concerned with hip hinge – a significant movement pattern for all athletes and body builders. It is among the popular leg exercises for men.
Right Way To Do: The hands should be shoulder-width apart on the barbell, and the legs as per the width of the hips. Your back should be straight with the hips moving backward during the downward and upward motions.
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#5. Barbell Squats
Once you have mastered regular squats, you can go to the next level by adding weights. As gravity pulls the plates down, your muscles have to work harder to push you back up. A variation of this exercise called front barbell squat, where the barbell lies before the head, is among the best leg workouts for women.
Right Way To Do: Make sure the barbell is at an appropriate height for you to unrack. The rules here are mostly the same as a regular squat as you have to keep your back straight even with the added weights. The hands on the barbell should be the same length apart as when bench pressing.
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#6. Dumbbell Lunges
People, who argue that machine-based training does not offer any function in real life, are strong supporters of dumbbell lunges as this workout enhances sprinting and jumping performance as this focuses primarily on the hamstring muscle.
Right Way To Do: Stand with your body straight with dumbbells, and step about two feet ahead and go down making sure your forward shin remains perpendicular to the ground. Push yourself back up using the heel of your forward feet. Then repeat the exercise with your other leg.
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#7. Hack Squat
Hack squats provide balance and stability to the lower back, which lacks in standing squat racks. It allows the trainee to take a narrower stance and bring the hips very close to the foot plate. These are medium to hard level leg exercises for women and men.
Right Way To Do: Keep your back in the upright position at all times and move slowly on the back pad. The legs should bend at an angle of just over 90 degrees after which you start pushing yourself back.
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While these are the most recommended leg workouts for women and men by trainers all over the world, there are many other exercises, such as Olympic lifts, Bulgarian split squat and regular deadlift that you can do to get those perfect legs.
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