Incorporating leg exercises into your daily workout routine is necessary for staying physically active and healthy. A strong lower body effectively helps prevent injuries by maintaining mobility.
Strong legs are also essential for resistance exercises and support bone health as a person ages. However, your leg workout should target all the muscle groups in your lower body with the right intensity.
In a proper leg workout, you’re gonna be hitting your posterior chain, including glutes, hamstrings, calves, and lats, along with spine muscles.
Read more to find out how certain leg exercises can take your fitness to the next level and how you can perform them to acquire maximum benefits.
Benefits of Leg Exercises
In a proper leg workout, you’re not just going to hit the major muscles of your body. Instead, you will also work your core, improve your balance, and develop your grip strength, which provides tangible benefits to your health in the long run. Therefore, leg workouts are just as crucial as working out other body parts.
Here are some most significant benefits of leg exercises that show why you should incorporate strength training for your legs in your daily workout routine.
1. Burn More Calories
Leg muscles are some of the largest muscles in our body. Studies indicate that the larger the muscle is, the more blood is required to get oxygen and activate it during exercise, which causes more calories to be burnt. So by incorporating leg workouts, you are definitely going to burn more calories.
2. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Regular leg muscle workouts enhance the efficiency of blood arteries. It promotes circulation and improves the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body.
In addition to that, leg workouts also help reduce cholesterol levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and maintain blood pressure levels. All these factors significantly contribute to improved cardiovascular health.
3. Help Correct Muscle Imbalance
Incorporating exercises that require the use of both legs simultaneously can result in muscle imbalances.
However, leg exercises that include the training of each leg separately can help align your body and correct muscular imbalances in your legs. This is because they require you to use both legs equally.
The 6 Best Leg Exercises
With so many choices for training the lower body, it’s no wonder that a lot of people feel overwhelmed and confused. However, we have brought some of the best leg workouts for you that will give you clarity.
1. Barbell Back Squat
The barbell back squat is the most popular compound exercise that focuses on strengthening lower-body muscle groups and your overall strength.
How To Do It?
- Take a deep breath and start by loading the barbell behind your upper back appropriately.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your chest elevated and back straight as you hinge your knees and hips into a proper squat position.
- Try to repeat the suggested amount of reps.
Deadlifts are considered whole-body exercises, but they specifically target the muscles of the glutes and hamstrings, strengthening the legs.
How To Do It?
- Begin by positioning your toes under the bar and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Maintain a neutral spine position.
- Stabilize the abdominal muscles and squat down by bending your knees.
- Grasp the barbell outside the knee line.
- Lift the bar by pushing it upward.
- Lower the barbell to the floor with a reverse motion while maintaining a straight-back position.
- Try to repeat the desired number of repetitions.
Lunges are functional exercises essential for working on multiple lower body muscles.
How To Do It?
- To initiate it, stand at your feet while placing them hip-width apart.
- Bend both knees by stepping forward.
- Shift forward onto the lead leg.
- Push off on both legs, lifting your back leg and bringing it forward.
- Repeat the suggested amount of reps.
4. Step Ups
Step-ups are simple body-resistance exercises that help improve stability and strengthen different muscle groups throughout your lower body.
How To Do It?
- Start by placing a loaded barbell onto your back.
- Shift the majority of your weight onto the foot that you’re going to lift, and drive yourself upward.
- Step up on an elevated surface and hold that position for a while.
- Once you have paused at this position, reverse the movement and lower yourself back down.
- Repeat the movement multiple times.
5. Swiss Ball Leg Curl
Swiss ball leg curl exercise helps activate lower body muscles, primarily the hamstrings and glutes, increasing core strength.
How To Do It?
- Begin by laying on your back with your legs extended and your heels flat on the ball.
- Keep your palms flat on the floor to stabilize your movement and balance yourself.
- Hinge at the knees simultaneously to curl your legs and bring the ball toward your lower body.
6. Box Jumps
Box jumps are plyometric exercises that particularly target the muscles of the glutes, calves, and quads. They can enhance leg strength, as well as cardiovascular fitness.
How To Do It?
- Position your feet shoulder-width apart and place the box.
- Then push your hips back by bending your knees.
- Propel yourself into a jump using the balls of your feet as your base, swinging your arms to project yourself onto the top of the box.
- Repeat the required amount of sets.
Risks of Leg Exercises
Legs provide support to our whole body, and training them should be your top priority to strengthen your overall physique.
However, certain leg exercises can also lead to various complications if they are not performed with the right approach, including knee and back injuries.
Therefore, make sure to use the proper technique while doing leg exercises and try to take rest in between in order to avoid overtraining.
Leg workouts primarily focus on strengthening lower-body muscles and consist of a wide range of exercises, including step-ups, deadlifts, squats, and jumps. However, if you’re new to working out, simpler leg exercises will be better.
Once you’ve grown to more advanced levels, consider doing several leg days and opt for slightly tough leg exercises to maintain better-functioning bodies.
By incorporating the aforementioned leg workouts into your exercise routine, you will certainly take your fitness game to the next level.
Can I Train Legs Every Day?
Generally, it’s suggested to do leg workouts at least three times a week, with each workout lasting for about 15 to 25 minutes while targeting different muscle groups each time.
How Many Sets Should I Do for Legs?
5 sets of almost 10 to 15 reps is a good amount. However, you should gradually increase your weight as you progress through the sets.
Do Leg Workouts Burn Fat?
Leg muscles are the largest muscle groups in our body. The more you train them, the better your metabolism functions and the more calories you burn. These leg exercises can also help burn fat if done regularly.