Why Leg Strength is So Important
What are some good leg strengthening exercises, you ask? The answer lies in fortifying the major muscle groups with some weight and resistance training. We’ll outline the specifics below, but first a few things you should know. The major muscle groups we’re talking about here are the quadriceps (above the front side of the knees to just below your hips,) the hamstrings and glutes (on the backside of your legs above the knee area,) and the calves (backside above the ankles). The leg strengthening exercises below are an important factor in maintaining a healthy body in order to increase your performance and capabilities in everything else you do. Ideally, you should do them all at a well-equipped gym or fitness center, where they have the best machines and resources.
Perhaps more importantly, increased muscle strength in your legs will help prevent injuries to the more delicate tendons, ligaments, and joints within them such as knees, ankles, and hips. Remember that strong, flexible hamstrings are an integral key to a healthy lower back. An Iyengar Yoga Class can help assure you that healthy lower back. It is vital that you use the correct procedure and techniques when doing these exercises with weights. Otherwise, you will create the very conditions ripe for the types of injuries that you want to avoid. For all the exercises below, you should take a look at the many helpful videos available on the Internet. Many feature renowned fitness instructors; in essence you can invite a personal trainer into your home without spending money.
Taking a few minutes to watch a few good example videos will save you some pain. Otherwise, have a trainer at the gym take a look at your technique. Begin with lower amounts of weight, and make sure you warm up and stretch before you start. Do these once a week, rotating the legs in with your other upper body strength workouts. This Workout Schedule for Building Muscles is a helpful guide for determining your weekly routines. Finally, you must be doing cardio for at least three times a week to attain maximum benefits; even “just walking” helps a lot.
Squats, pushing from the heels, keep your back straight (looking toward the ceiling helps with maintaining the correct posture,) and lower almost to a seated position. Start with smaller weights, you will feel pain the next day, but remember that these are the strongest muscles in your body. Three sets of something in the neighborhood for repetitions of 10, 8, and 6, steadily increasing to your max weight.
Leg Presses, use an appropriate exercise machine for this, keep the back straight and concentrate on pushing evenly with both legs. Three sets 12, 10, and 8 for repetitions same as above.
Hamstrings and Glutes
Hamstring Curls, use the machine where you lie flat on your stomach and pull the weight toward the ceiling. Three sets 12, 10, and 8, for repetitions, with the last rep being about as much weight as you can handle.
Glute machines. Gyms have varying machines designed to work the glutes and they are designed to help you maintain the proper posture. The Powerline PGM200X Glute Master pictured here, and available at Amazon.com, is just one example.
Standing calf raises are good while holding a weight bar, like you would for a squat. Two sets of 18 to 20 repetitions.
Sitting calve machines. You have two calf muscles in each leg, one that is worked while your knees are slightly bent and the other when the knees are straight. Two sets of 18 to 20 repetitions.
Now you have a good starting regimen that answers the question of, “What are some good leg strengthening exercises?”
Bodybuilding.com offers many good tips and advice for correctly engaging in these types of strengthening exercises. Change up your fitness routine once in a while by using the hip abduction and induction machines.
Correctly and consistently doing all of these recommended exercise will help you gain strength in many areas of your life beyond your legs; so keep at it and enjoy all the rewards that come with regular strength training and cardio exercises.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Science https://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/S/skeletal_muscle_groups.html