Get Stronger Legs
Your legs are used daily for life and every activity. They are what keep you going when you run, walk, cycle, climb, and live life. If you have weak leg muscles, you are more prone to skeletomuscular and joint injuries. Which is why strengthen your legs is very important. To Get Stronger Legs you need to incorporate exercises that are the most effective in achieving balanced muscles throughout the leg.
The legs are made up of a few muscles groups. You have your Hamstrings which is the muscles on the back side of the upper leg, your Quadriceps which are the muscles on the front of the upper leg, your lower legs which incorporate many muscles but the main being the calf known as the Gastrocnemius. Your glutes also play a role and must be balanced and strong.
Get Stronger Legs
To obtain balance throughout the leg, in each muscle group and Get Stronger Legs in general you need to utilize the most effective exercises. Using these exercises with and without weights as well in a plyometric movement will get the balance needed to be your strongest.
1. Lunges: Lunges are tied with Squats for “most effective leg exercise.” Lunges engage the quads, the glutes, the hamstrings, the hips, and even the calves. A properly performed Lunge will target all of your lower body muscles, and with the right weight and volume, serious improvements can be made in leg strength. Plus, there are many variations. You can alternate stepping forward, or alternate stepping backward, you can step forward or backward on just one side for the repetitions, or step out and pulse up and down. All of these styles will do the job and do it well.
2. Squats: Squats are so much more than just an exercise to improve power. Squats target all of the lower body muscles, encouraging even muscular development and improved overall strength. Depending on one’s weak areas (knees, back, hips, etc.), you can adjust the type and style of Squat to specifically hit the areas of the lower body that have specific weaknesses in the muscle.
3. Bulgarian Split Squat: Bulgarian Split Squats are perfect for working on the back leg. It is a very efficient exercise for building that strength. It really is a “Lunge on steroids”. The rear foot is placed on an elevated surface (bench or platform) which places most of the tension on the foreleg, however the hamstrings and quads of both legs have to work overtime too lower and raise the body from this position leading to some serious hamstring muscle development.
4. Sumo Squats: This squat starts with a wider than hip width stance and toes pointed out to a 45-degree angle. This movement places most of the emphasis on the inner quads and adductors, as well as hitting the glute medius and minimus. This is a great one to add to your leg workout to focus on those inner thighs which many people neglect.
5. Romanian Deadlift: The Romanian Deadlift focuses mostly on the hamstrings, but only if done properly. This exercise can also be one that can cause low back issues when done improperly. So you must be well versed in proper form before attempting this exercise with any weight. When properly executed the deadlift hits the hamstrings and calves, as well as the glutes. With the proper form you are using the low back but in a positive way and without it carrying the load that should be on the hamstrings. Definitely an exercise you want to have in your toolbox.
6. Side Lunges: For a side lunge you want to step out laterally to one side or alternate. Either way it is very important to keep the one leg and foot stationary while the other steps out. When you step out you want the toe to point in the direction you are stepping. Once out in the lunge you make sure the other leg is straight and then push back out of the lunge. This motion of stepping out and pushing back with a force works the abductors, adductors, calves and glutes. Plus, you have the benefit of working with opening your hips range of motion and keeping it more flexible. It is recommended to start without weight until you get the proper form of your side lunge perfected.
7. Calf Raises: Calf raises can be done standing, seated, off the ledge of a box or calve raise block. Either way this is the great exercise for hitting those calves and shins. When doing a calf raise you want to make sure that your ankles are not rolling out or in. So your focus should be straight up and down. This will not only strengthen the calf and shin muscles but all the small tiny muscles within the ankle, which will improve ankle support and help ward off ankle rolls and other injuries.
8. Wall Sits: Wall Sits are basically an isometric squat with your back against a wall. Isometric means there is no movement throughout the exercise. It is about holding the position, and letting the leg muscles get fatigued and tremble as they are engaged for 30 to 60 seconds. This is one of the best lower body exercises to enhance muscular endurance, as well as improving leg strength.
Get Stronger Legs
There are a lot of other very useful lower body exercises that can also be used to Get Stronger Legs, but these are the very best of the best! With these eight exercises, your legs be stronger and balanced in no time.