If you can manage to exercise at home, it could be push-ups or sit-ups, but it’s essential to work the legs as well. They help with everything from posture to balancing body proportions.
In this article, we will introduce you to home exercises specific to the legs. How to choose the right type of workout, the best type of leg exercises, four reasons why working out the legs is beneficial, and an example of a home workout for the legs. The article focuses on bodyweight exercises and no equipment is needed for the workouts.
Choose the right type of training
There are two general types of bodyweight leg exercises. Depending on how you create the workout and your goals, you can focus on strength, hypertrophy (muscle growth), power, or conditioning.
Strength and progress
Leg strength workouts are slower and require more rest time between sets. They usually consist of performing 4 to 8 repetitions. The goal is to strengthen the muscle fibers and create overall stronger legs. To do this, you need to add weight, make the exercises harder each time, and work through what’s called progressive overload.
Progressive overload is about adding extra challenge to your body over time so it can grow. You can do this by adding more and more weight or, if you are doing bodyweight leg exercises, by doing more difficult variations of the leg exercises.
For example, you can do squats to strengthen the legs, but once you get to a point where you can do 8 squats in a row, to keep improving strength, you need to create an extra challenge for the body. adapts. You can add an extra challenge by using dumbbells, or, for home workouts, a weighted vest. If you’re only doing bodyweight leg exercises, you can create an extra challenge by doing single-leg exercises like the pistol squat.
The pistol squat is a squat where you start on one leg with the other leg extended in front of you parallel to the floor. You lower yourself slowly with one leg and then rise again. This is an advanced exercise that requires superior leg strength and balance.
The next level of progression over simple squats is the assisted pistol squat, which involves doing the pistol squat but holding on to a chair. If you’re holding onto a chair or other household object to do pistol squats, make sure you can stabilize it as much as possible to reduce the risk of injury.
Hypertrophy training consists of 8-12 reps and focuses on growing muscle size. Sometimes women don’t want to look bulky and don’t do strength or hypertrophy training. But it’s not, unless you’re really looking to get bulky.
Lower body workout helps tone the legs. If you’re worried about getting too muscular, rest assured it won’t happen overnight. It takes months or even years of intensive training. The same principle of progressive overload applies here.
Power training involves fast, explosive movements such as plyometric exercises like squats or jumping jacks. This type of exercise is more fitness-intensive because it increases heart rate compared to strength or hypertrophy training. These strength exercises burn a little more fat.
Physical conditioning is intended to keep the heart rate elevated and can be included in workouts or act as a stand-alone workout. These are usually running, swimming, cycling, pushing, etc. The goal is to develop cardiovascular endurance.
The best leg exercises to do at home
When choosing leg strength exercises, they generally fall into four categories. These four categories include most leg exercises, with multiple progressions, regressions, and variations. It’s good to incorporate most of these exercises into workouts and choose the rep range/power level that matches your goals. Without further ado, here are the four categories of leg exercises.
Squats are the foundation of many leg exercises and good form is essential because you don’t want to create muscle imbalances or injure yourself. Muscle imbalances lead to sore knees, bad back, etc.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward a bit, but try to keep your shoulders pointing forward as best you can instead of pointing them down to the floor. Lower until your thigh (quadriceps part) is parallel to the ground. Then go back up.
The most common pitfalls are not going low enough, and when squatting, people tend to tilt their upper body more and more towards the ground. These two phenomena are due to several reasons, the most important being the lack of strength in the legs. One way to start doing squats is to place a chair behind you under where your butt droops, tap the chair with your butt, and pull yourself up. If you can master the basic squat, everything else comes next. There are dozens of variations of squats and multiple ways to progressively overload them. Other variations and progressions of bodyweight squats are: jump squats, sumo squats, hindu squats, pistol squats and many more.
Lunges are great for working the different leg muscles that the squat may not have worked and for working them from different angles.
Front lunge with body weight
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise and step one leg forward enough so that your center of gravity is in the middle, but not too far either way, and the knee of your straight leg is in line with your foot. Then go down until the knee of your back leg is a few centimeters from the floor and back up, being careful not to round your back. Return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. It is a full repetition of a lunge. To make this exercise more difficult, you can make it a jumping lunge. You have the same spread leg position, but when you get up, you jump up in the air changing your leg position, then come back down and repeat. If that’s too hard on your knees, go for a reverse lunge. Other variations of bodyweight lunges are: the back lunge, the jump lunge, the walking lunge and many more.
Performing exercises that move in a different plane of motion than normal activity allows the body to strengthen areas that might be underutilized. For example, you can do side steps or side lunges. This is a great exercise because it works muscle groups on the lateral (outer) and medial (inner) sides of your body.
Lateral walking with body weight
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, take one leg and move it to the side. Keep your weight and center of gravity on your planted leg and lower yourself slightly as the leg comes out. Then bring the extended leg back to the starting position, while keeping your center of gravity in place with the knees bent. Keeping your center of gravity in the same place and your knees bent, move the opposite leg to the side. Again, your center of gravity should be above the planted leg. Your planted leg should be slightly bent, maintaining constant tension on the planted leg.
The next progression is the side lunge. Other variations of bodyweight side lunges are: resistance band side lunges, skaters, jump side lunges and more.
4. Static Sockets
When you hold yourself in place and have constant muscle tension without moving the joint, these are called isometric exercises. The boards, for example. They help improve strength and balance, as well as strengthen connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons. Yoga, barre and other similar fitness styles often use isometric exercises. Examples of isometric bodyweight leg exercises include sit-ups, bridges, and yoga positions.
The benefits of strong legs: endurance, stability and aesthetics
The legs are the foundation on which the whole body is built.
Having strong legs helps maintain good posture. This is important because it prevents back pain, reduces muscle imbalances, lowers the risk of injury, reduces stress on the joints and even contributes to the proper functioning of internal organs.
2. Better stamina for daily activities
Walking, shopping, climbing stairs, playing with the kids, doing housework, and getting off the couch all require leg movement. The more you exercise your legs, build their cardiovascular endurance and strengthen them, the easier everyday tasks become. It may not seem like much, but over time you’ll find that you can climb stairs more easily, carry more groceries without getting so out of breath, or run with the kids, all while maintaining good physical condition.
3. Reduce the risk of injury
Strengthening the legs can reduce the risk of injury. Most often, injuries (that are not due to blunt trauma) are due to connective tissue, weaker muscles, or unbalanced muscles that failed to hold their place and damaged the body. For example, knee injuries can occur because the ligaments and tendons in and around the knees are not strong and they get injured by twisting the wrong way, being put under too much pressure, or being pulled in a dangerous direction. This can happen during light or heavy exercise, playing basketball, climbing stairs, or in other daily life situations.
4. Strong, toned legs are beautiful!
You’ve probably seen those guys in the gym who have big upper bodies and skinny legs. There is something wrong. Strong legs represent masculinity in men and strong femininity in women. For both sexes, a proportional body is simply beautiful!