Whether you’re looking to build muscle, lose weight, or run faster, leg strengthening exercises could be the first workouts you want to start incorporating in your workouts. Why? Strengthening your legs help lift your glutes for longer, leaner legs, build fat-burning muscle, and learning to use your leg strength can help take the pressure off your lower back. Building leg strength for running doesn’t hurt either as you can kick up your cardio for more effective workouts. Start today with some of these foolproof leg exercises.
Exercises to Build Strong Legs
Squat. The squat is a powerhouse of the leg strengthening exercises as it engages your legs and glutes to build a strong foundation in your lower body. Begin with air squats and work your way to weighted squats with dumbbells or a barbell as you progress. To perform a standard air squat, begin with your feet hip width apart. Lower yourself down by bending your knees and keeping your chest up so that you are not bending forward at the hips, almost like you are going to sit in a chair. Be sure to ground your weight in your heels to prevent your knees from tracking over your toes. Once lowered, engage the glutes to push yourself back up to the starting position.
Curtsy lunge. Begin with feet shoulder width apart and arms at your side. Step with your right foot to cross diagonally behind your left. Be sure to keep your weight centered to avoid leaning forward putting weight in your right toes. Repeat on alternate side for one rep.
Stiff leg deadlift. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and holding a dumbbell in either hand parallel to the floor with an overhand grip. Lower the dumbbells toward the floor, hinging at your hips to keep your legs and back straight. Your gaze should remain forward with your head up throughout as you push your hips back. Once lowered, engage glutes and abs to pull yourself back to the starting position.
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