Why concentrate only on the upper body when your lower body needs equal attention? Have you been shying away from wearing that short black dress or denim shorts? It needn’t be so. It’s time to focus on your lower body and work towards getting toned legs, thighs and butt. Here are some super effective exercises for both men and women that will strengthen, tighten and tone your butt, quads, hamstrings and calves. These leg exercises will not only work towards body sculpting but provide advantageous benefits such as increasing metabolism, relieving lower back pain, increasing energy level, improving balance and more. But before that, here’s a small health tip for you – don’t diet; eat but mindfully. Healthy eating is proportionate to healthy living.
So let’s get started with the leg exercises –
Stand straight with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. This is the main Body Move Squat.
There are other squats as well like Body-Weight Jump Squat. Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they’re in line with your body. Bend your knees in preparation to leap and jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately squat down and jump again.
Pistol Squat -Stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Raise your right leg off the floor, and hold it there. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.
If done with proper technique squats are very efficient as they build muscle in your entire body, burn more fat, prevent injuries, boost your sports performance and help in digestion.
This is another efficient and easy exercise to get those muscular legs. Lunges also help in providing better balance, being more functional, superior symmetry, increased hip flexor flexibility, improved glute activation, better core stability, spinal deloading and others.
This is how you can perform lunges: Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground. Place your right foot forward on the ground, heel first. Lean your body forward keeping your back and upper body straight. Hold this position and lower your body until your right knee is at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Keep your back straight and push yourself back to the original position with your right foot. Repeat with the other leg.
3. Leg Extensions
This is a machine-based exercise. You need to choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad and the hands holding the side bars. Now using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale. Repeat for the recommended amount of times.
4. Warrior III
This is a yoga move which can tone your legs. Stand straight joining your legs, and then lift your left leg backwards with a pointed toe, bending your torso in the front making a horizontal line. Also don’t forget to place your arms at your side. Hold your breath for 2-3 minutes and relax back to the standing position.
5. The Lean
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the arms down at your sides. With your right foot take a step diagonally. Then, bend sideways from the waist toward the side where your right leg is stretched out, and stretch your right arm up and left arm down and back toward your right calf. Return to starting position to complete 1 rep.
6. Leg Lift
Stand facing a chair, raise your right leg, knee facing up and place your heel on the seat. Straighten it properly. Keeping your lifted leg in the chair, bend the leg on the floor slightly and then straighten it again. Repeat it 10-15 times, then switch sides and repeat for 1 full set; do 3 sets.