Even if you’re not a runner or an athlete and even if it seems all you do the whole day is sit, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider strengthening your legs. Literally, our legs carry us through our daily lives, from walking up stairs to lugging around laundry baskets in the house. Leg-strengthening is also something you shouldn’t feel terrified about. There are some simple leg exercises you can squeeze into your busy schedule or add to your existing fitness routine.
In fact, these exercises require no equipment at all. Body weight exercises for the legs are extremely effective even without weights or other gym equipment. This type of exercise can even improve your posture and balance. All you need is a chair and some motivation. In no time, you’ll not only feel your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and inner thighs feeling stronger, but looking great too.
Reverse Lunges with Knee Lifts
Get into starting position with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step your left foot backwards, landing on the ball of your foot and bending both knees. You should be creating two 90-degree angles with both legs. Return to standing position by pushing through your right heel. Whilst returning to a standing position, thrust your left knee towards your chest.
This exercise will work your buttocks, quads, inner thighs and hamstrings. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped in front of your chest. Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees. Return to starting position. Perform a lunge with your left leg out to the left side and your toes facing forward. Bend your left knee at 90 degrees. Return to starting position. Lunge backwards with your left leg. Repeat the three-way sequence with your right leg. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, alternating sides.
Plié Squat Calf Raises
Stand with your feet apart, wider than shoulder-width, and toes turned out. Place your hands on your hips or in front of your chest. Do a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. While squatting, left both your heels off the ground and hold for two seconds. Lower your heels back down. Return to a standing position and then repeat 10 to 15 times.
High Knee Toe Taps
Face a chair or a box and place your hands on your hips. Raise and tap your left foot on the chair, then do the same with your right. Your motion should be quick as you alternate sides. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest lifted as you perform this exercise. This exercise will help with your balance, core strength and body control.
This particular type of squat will target your buttocks and quads. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your arms in front of your chest with your elbows bent. Lift your right foot forward a few centimetres off the ground while keeping it flexed. Perform a squat as you raise your foot to hip level, bending your left knee at 90 degrees. To stay balanced, let your right heel hover close to the ground. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each side. Note that this exercise is very difficult and should only be performed once you have performed lunges and two-legged squats to the point where you are comfortable to do this exercise.