Let’s be honest – exercise is sometimes tough to cram up in a busy schedule and it’s not like it’s always fulfilling. Although there are people who wouldn’t be able to live without exercise, the rest of us are OK without it. We don’t share the same dedication and love for fitness as other people, but we still want results. Well, sadly, you want see any results if you don’t hit the gym at least a few times per week.
No matter if you don’t want to hit the gym or you just don’t have the time, there are many exercises you can still try at home which will keep you in shape. Even when working out, we mostly forget or don’t even think about working on our legs. Most of us are focused on our belly and chest, but if you want your body to be complete, you need to think about the legs as well. Besides looking good, toned legs are a great source of strength.
They will improve your posture and solve a lot of pains and aches, so working those muscles is of vital importance. Just think about how much we rely on our legs every day – they have powerful muscle fibers ready for this reason. Leg exercises also play a big role in weight loss and preventing injuries. If you’re lacking motivation for leg day.
Here are a few simple exercises you can try at home:
This is a great starting exercise that will tighten your core, calves and butt and of course, tone your legs. The one-legged stance will also improve your balance and posture, so don’t disregard the impact of the high-knee exercise. As time passes and you get more experienced at this exercise, it will activate your muscles and metabolism and even help your body burn fat more efficiently.
To do the exercise, start by standing upright with your legs at shoulder-width apart. Now, lift one of your legs and bring the knee to the chest, then hold for a couple of seconds before going back down. Do the same with the other leg and continue alternating between them. Keep your back straight during the exercise as improper posture may cause back pain. The exercise will tighten your inner thighs and outer hips and the balancing act will tone your quads, hamstrings and butt as well. Once you get better at the high-knee exercise, you can try other variations for even better results.
Deep (Full) Squats
In general, squats are regarded as one of the best leg and lower body exercises. They are great, but only if you know how to do them properly. Many people go for the parallel instead of the full squat just because it’s simpler. Of course, a full squat isn’t easy as your butt goes all the way down below your knees and many people hate it as they think the full squat is bad for their knees.
In short, it’s not. A full squat is really beneficial for your legs and lower body. Furthermore, a study discovered that there’s really no difference on the impact on the knees between a full and parallel squat, so there’s simply no point in doing the exercise half way. If done correctly, full squats will strengthen your knees and activate your glutes, which will help tone your butt and legs. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and go down as much as you can. Doing squats properly will also reinforce your quadriceps, calves and hamstrings, which is great for better overall stability.
If you’re not that really fond of standing exercises, below you can see a few exercises which will tone your legs while lying down (yes, it’s possible!). You can try these exercises on the bed or on the floor. We suggest trying the standing exercises first before the lying ones for best results.
Lateral Leg Raises
According to experts, the lateral leg raises activate different muscle groups and have a variety of benefits. They might seem easy, but they do show that proper form is essential to prevent injuries. When doing them, make sure your hips and ankles on the side you’re lying on are on the ground. Keep your back in line with your legs and rest on your elbow. Move the leg up from your mid body and keep your core tight. Lift the leg up to 45 degrees, then bring it back down slowly.
You can do the lateral leg raises standing, but they’re more effective and easy to perform while lying down. If you want more challenge, do them standing upright and move the leg away from your body gently. Keep your back straight and slightly bend your knee. Again, raise your leg outwards to 45 degrees and put your hands on your hips to prevent them from being used.
Inner Thigh Lifts
This exercise is ideal for those trying to tone their legs. Start on the side, putting your top leg over the other and resting the top knee or foot on the ground. Keep your head elevated on your hand and keep your torso engaged. Now, focus on your inner thighs and keep your back straight and your waist a bit away from the floor. The inner thigh lifts can be done in various ways – for example, you can lift your bottom leg up while exhaling and bring it down slowly while inhaling. You can do the exercise in small pulses – do 10-15 repetitions before relaxing for a few minutes. Make sure to keep your back straight and your torso in position on the floor.