Leg Strengthening Exercises

leg strengthening exercises 1
graphic leg strengthening exercises 1

Leg Strengthening Exercises

You love running. And when your sport of choice involves the great outdoors, fresh air, and cruisin' down the road, you don't want to be stuck inside doing strength exercises. I get that. I'm a runner, too. But I also want to run for the rest of my life. So I strength-train two or three times a week. Running can create muscle imbalances or accentuate ones you already have. Weak calves, for example, can put too much stress on the Achilles and break down the fibers that make up the tendon. Instable hip and core muscles hurt your biomechanics and overload your shins, which can lead to shin splints and stress fractures. Do these exercises twice a week—daily if you have had shin, calf, or Achilles issues in the past. RELATED: Get stronger, faster, and stay on the road with the New IronStrength Workout for Runners DVD by Runner’s World Subscribe Subscribe 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 1/5 Mitch Mandel Plyometric Lunges Lunge forward with your right foot and left arm until the shin of your back leg is parallel to the floor and your knee almost touches the ground. Push up off the ground in an explosive manner, and switch your legs in midair so you land in a lunge with your left leg forward. Left and right lunges count as one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 2/5 Mitch Mandel Straight-Leg Calf Raise Hold a dumbbell in your right hand; stand on a step. Cross your left foot behind your right ankle. Balance on the ball of your right foot. Lift your right heel and pause; then lower. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 3/5 Mitch Mandel Bent-Knee Calf Raise Follow the straight-leg calf raise instructions, but bend the knee of your balancing leg and keep it bent as you raise and lower your body. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 4/5 Mitch Mandel Eccentric Calf Raises Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Push yourself up on your toes. Then very slowly (to a count of 10) drop your heels below the level of the step. Do three sets of 15 reps. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 5/5 Mitch Mandel Farmer's Walk On Toes Hold heavy dumbbells at your sides. Rise up on your toes and walk forward for 60 seconds. If you feel that you could've gone longer than 60 seconds, increase the weight. Do three sets. Strength Moves for Runners
leg strengthening exercises 1

Leg Strengthening Exercises

5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 1/5 Mitch Mandel Plyometric Lunges Lunge forward with your right foot and left arm until the shin of your back leg is parallel to the floor and your knee almost touches the ground. Push up off the ground in an explosive manner, and switch your legs in midair so you land in a lunge with your left leg forward. Left and right lunges count as one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 2/5 Mitch Mandel Straight-Leg Calf Raise Hold a dumbbell in your right hand; stand on a step. Cross your left foot behind your right ankle. Balance on the ball of your right foot. Lift your right heel and pause; then lower. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 3/5 Mitch Mandel Bent-Knee Calf Raise Follow the straight-leg calf raise instructions, but bend the knee of your balancing leg and keep it bent as you raise and lower your body. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 4/5 Mitch Mandel Eccentric Calf Raises Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Push yourself up on your toes. Then very slowly (to a count of 10) drop your heels below the level of the step. Do three sets of 15 reps. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Legs 5/5 Mitch Mandel Farmer's Walk On Toes Hold heavy dumbbells at your sides. Rise up on your toes and walk forward for 60 seconds. If you feel that you could've gone longer than 60 seconds, increase the weight. Do three sets. Strength Moves for Runners
leg strengthening exercises 2

Leg Strengthening Exercises

The lunge may be the single best leg exercise to build muscle and strengthen the whole leg — hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles — and the buttocks. Placing your hands on your hips for balance and squeezing your abdominal muscles, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take a long step forward on your right foot while simultaneously lowering your upper body straight down toward the floor until your back knee almost touches the floor. To avoid injuring your knees, do not allow your knee on the lead leg to go over your toes. Keep the knee of your left leg aligned under the hip. Gradually shift your body weight to your right leg/lead leg in front. Then use your leg muscles to raise yourself back to an upright position. Repeat this 10 times with the right leg, then lead with the left leg for 10 more repetitions, increasing the number when you can do 10 easily without losing form. To progress, slowly increase the repetitions to no more than 15 reps per leg or add resistance by holding five to 10 pound dumbbells and let them hang next to your body as you perform the lunges.

Leg Strengthening Exercises

Lunges The lunge may be the single best leg exercise to build muscle and strengthen the whole leg — hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles — and the buttocks. Placing your hands on your hips for balance and squeezing your abdominal muscles, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take a long step forward on your right foot while simultaneously lowering your upper body straight down toward the floor until your back knee almost touches the floor. To avoid injuring your knees, do not allow your knee on the lead leg to go over your toes. Keep the knee of your left leg aligned under the hip. Gradually shift your body weight to your right leg/lead leg in front. Then use your leg muscles to raise yourself back to an upright position. Repeat this 10 times with the right leg, then lead with the left leg for 10 more repetitions, increasing the number when you can do 10 easily without losing form. To progress, slowly increase the repetitions to no more than 15 reps per leg or add resistance by holding five to 10 pound dumbbells and let them hang next to your body as you perform the lunges.
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Leg Strengthening Exercises

Share Tweet Google plus Print +/- Comments There’s a fine line between overtraining your legs and not training them hard enough. And not surprisingly, most of us fall into one of the two camps. First you have the guy who spends 45 minutes doing squats at the power rack before moving on to the rest of his hard-hitting, 90-minute quad workout. Then you have someone who thinks a sufficient lower-body routine consists of a machine-only session in which he hardly breaks a sweat. “Most guys don’t realize that their leg training should probably be more middle of the road,” says Hollywood-based trainer Gunnar Peterson, CSCS. “They either try to do a pro bodybuilder workout once a week and end up hobbled like James Caan in Misery or do a leg extension/curl combo every three days and think they’ve trained legs. But you really should find a middle ground between the two so you train your legs with decent intensity twice a week. 5 Best Leg Exercises You’re Not Doing Cardio Leg Slam Giant Sets for Giant Legs Multi-Joint Moves Are Key Following a split that has you train legs one day a week would cripple you with 20 sets at maximum weight and keep you from progressing the way you could.” Peterson has nothing against extensions and curls, but a solid leg routine needs to be centered around multi-joint moves such as lunges, squats or step-ups. These exercises not only hit the quads and hamstrings but also the glutes, a bodypart seldom discussed among men unless it concerns those of the opposite sex. “The glutes are one of the biggest muscle groups in the body and to not train them is irresponsible,” Peterson says. “Read a women’s magazine — that’s the other team’s playbook. Women look at your glutes long before they notice your guns. Plus, training the glutes revs up your metabolism by stimulating such large muscles.” Hitting All the Angles All bodyparts should be trained from a variety of angles to maximize musclefiber recruitment. This advice becomes even more important with legs since your quads are composed of four different muscles, the hamstrings are made up of three and a slew of fibers “come in from the north, south, east and west” to form your glutes, Peterson says. “It’s not just about squatting and driving up,” he explains. “You can tweak your stance, and you can change where the load is by doing front squats, back squats and one-leg movements. A lot of people just do it by rote or don’t do it at all.” Engaging Your Core The routine Peterson designed hits all the major leg musculature via traditional squatting moves performed in novel fashion. A good dose of core work is involved, too, and the reason is simple: You can’t build strong legs with intense workouts without a sturdy core, and many guys are weak in this area. “You’ve got to shore up the weakness,” Peterson says. “I know it doesn’t sound fun, but it’s crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts, regardless of what muscles you’re training. Pages1 2 3 4 5 6 next last

Leg Strengthening Exercises

Leg Strengthening Exercises
Leg Strengthening Exercises

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