Winter is the perfect time to get your workout on so your legs are in impeccable shape once spring rolls around. Exercising to improve muscle mass and tone the legs makes everyday activities easier, helps you stay active and healthy, and reduces the risk of developing conditions like spider veins and heart disease. These six exercises will have you pumped up in no time.
You may want to do this one without extra weight, especially if you’re a beginner to leg day. The bar sits on the backs of your shoulders with feet about hip width. Keeping a long spine and your hands gripping the bar, slowly bend knees and lower hips toward the ground like you’re sitting in a chair. Take a peek down and make sure you can still see your toes and to ensure that weight is shifted back into your heels. This will take some of the pressure off the knees. Feel free to use a smith machine for a little extra stability.
The leg press machine allows you to push weight away from your body with the soles of your feet. The exercise engages all the large muscles in your legs including calves, hamstrings, quads, and even some of your glutes.
Muscle contractions like these help to pump blood back to the heart which can help prevent vein disease.
Dumbbell Walking Lunge
With dumbbells of your choice in hand, take wide lunges forward with alternating legs. The weight should be evenly balanced between both feet when you are in mid-lunge. Pick weights that allow you to maintain correct form and a long, erect spine. Focus on the image of your shoulder blades sliding all the way down your back.
These will work all the muscles in your calves and help you practice better balance. Simply raise yourself onto the balls of your feet repeatedly, with added weight or without.
Leg extensions work the quadriceps with an upward motion happening through the shins and lower legs. Quads pull the legs into alignment, and weight or a band helps them bend again at the knees.
These are the opposite of extensions where the hamstrings curl the legs at the knees and weight pulls them back into alignment.
These six leg day exercises will have your legs strong, lean, and beach-ready in absolutely no time. Say goodbye to flab and hello to mirror selfies and high heels.
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