Your legs contain a lot of muscle in the human body and as a result, strong legs are important for many sports and athleticism. The gym does not get the respect it deserves (especially because squats are heavy!) But for athletic performance and health, it is probably the most important. Before trying out difficult exercises, you should have a good foundation for strength and mobility in your legs. Tough workouts will only work when you are ready to do them. Once the legs are strong, different speed drills and explosive exercises can be used to perk up your athletic performance. One major factor in speed training and leg functioning is basic stability – without it, you will not be able to fully activate the legs and move quickly with your full potential.
Keep the core stable and strong at all times to target the legs although many exercises can be done quickly without giving up your form. In this article, we have discussed 5 excellent exercises to improve your leg strength and athletic performance.
How Often In A Week One Should Work Legs?
Recent research shows that when trying to increase muscle growth, there is no significant difference between training large muscle groups once a week vs. three times a week. What makes the difference in muscle growth is the volume of resistance training, which means how many sets and reps you complete. Higher volume workout sessions like 3 sets of 12 reps, or even 4 sets of 8 reps usually produce better results than working the same muscle group several times a week.
Top Five Exercises for Your Legs Workout
A strong lower body is important for performance — whether you want to improve your athletic skills, physical activity, or fitness. You will be hitting your back series: calves, hamstrings, glutes, lats, muscles near the spine, and quads. For your better figure and best training results, here are 5 top leg strength-building exercises to make sure you build stronger muscles with greater endurance.
1. Front Squats
Front squats work up on the front of your body, especially your quad. The front squats emphasize the quads over the glutes and a ham, which means you, will be sacrificing some of the load. It also helps keep the torso upright, which can help increase the depth of the squat and possibly reduce the risk of serious injury. It also helps in building serious upper back and core strength.
- For front squats, stack the barbell in front of your shoulders, connecting your fingers to the lower grip on both sides of your shoulders to support it. Push your elbows up and look forward.
- Sit on your hips, bend your knees, and go down. Make sure your knees are aligned and your chest stays upright, resisting pressure to fall forward.
- Lower it until your thighs are level with the ground – or as low as your mobility allows – and then back to the starting position.
2. Romanian Deadlift
Romanian deadlift exercises help build up your glutes, hamstrings, and calves and give mobility to your hips. Unlike many other exercises, you can go hard on it without the risk of pulling from the ground. In addition, since the hamstrings contribute to both knee flexion and extension, it is a good lift to build strong hamstrings for athletes and heavy lifts. For performing the Romanian deadlift:
- Hold one barbell or dumbbell in each hand. Keep your back straight and keep your eyes focused during the movement.
- Start to hinge onwards at your hips, lower your weight, and lower your hips slightly. Permit the weights to closely follow the line of your legs, and lower them until you feel extended on your hamstrings.
- Pause for a moment, then push your hips forward to stand up, letting your glute enable you to move.
3. Walking Lunges
Walking lunges help you to maintain your balance, as well as your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Like other exercises, the lunges involve the extension of the hips and knees, which gives you energy for both the thighs and the glutes. Another benefit is that they can be weighed down by normal muscle-building distances, with dumbbells or barbells, or by weight alone to get back up.
- Start with your feet together. Hold the dumbbell in each hand if you want to make a weight-bearing motion.
- Keeping your chest proud and straightforward, move onward, bending with your right leg until your thigh is level with the ground.
- Push your right heel, back to the starting position.
- Continue with the left leg.
4. Leg Press
While machines do not have some of the benefits of free weight training, Some machines such as leg press allow you to easily separate certain muscles – in this case, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Leg press allows for a variety of positions to identify the outer quads, inner quads, glutes, or hamstrings. Be careful not to lower the sling too far! This mistake will lift your glutes at the butt pad and cause your lower back to bend. A rounded back puts you at risk of injury
- For the leg press exercise, enter the leg press behind you with the head down on the pad. Place your feet at hip-width divisions. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle.
- Tighten your spine and stretch your legs. Stand a little higher, but be careful not to close the knees.
- Slightly return the plate to its original position by bending your knees.
5. Leg Curl
The leg curl directly works on your hamstring muscles that provide strength and flexibility to the leg muscles. Practicing this activity gives you strength for the whole leg, and improves calf muscles if done correctly and strategically. Leg curls are very effective for bodybuilders because they increase muscle mass. However, they can also cause stiffness and thinning of the hamstring muscles which can be dangerous – especially for athletes and fitness freaks desiring flexibility.
- To perform leg curl: Get into a leg-rolling machine lying on your stomach with a roller pad above your heels. Hold the support bars on both sides of the machine.
- Slot in your core and lift your feet, pulling the pad towards your butt.
- Take some break at the top, and then return to the starting spot in a controlled way.
There are many ways you can plan your weekly workouts to get results. Many people find it useful to divide their use of strength training exercises into a muscle group to give their muscles extra time to recover. It is a good idea to take a two-day break between strenuous exercises to avoid over-training. If you do not have access to a gym, there are plenty of great strength exercises that you can do at home using household items, resistance belts, or your body weight. Before all workouts, it is a good idea to take at least 10 minutes to warm up and focus on good techniques. Therefore one should keep things simple when designing a leg exercise to make it effective. Choose 3-5 exercises, do well, and watch the increase in strength of your legs day by day.