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What Sort Of Leg Exercises Should I Do?

Feb 10, 2008
What kind of leg exercises one needs to do depends on what part of the leg muscles one is trying to develop. Leg exercises are different if people are trying to develop their calf muscles or build on their thighs.

If one is a ballerina, jogger or weight-lifter they would also have different ways of exercising the leg muscles either just to improve balance and flexibility or just to increase strength and endurance in general.

However, not all goals are mutually exclusive. It is possible to build strength while improving ones balance at the same time. Keeping the leg muscles tones and strong also help keep the joints flexible and stable.

An important note to be kept in mind is that any sort of vigorous exercise should be done only after a warm up period that should include basic stretching exercises.

Spinning on a stationary bike is a perfect exercise for those who want to tone and strengthen their leg muscles. The benefits of working only the leg muscles may not be as evident if one is using a normal bike because that involves the use of other muscle groups as well.

Spinning, even if it is done for 15 minutes is an excellent cardiovascular activity so one can enjoy the benefits of a cardio workout while toning their hamstrings and calf muscles at the same time. This exercise also improves joint flexibility and may in some cases help to reduce fat and cellulite.

Knee exercises are recommended for people who want something a little less vigorous to strengthen their knees. The following exercise is excellent for those suffering from chondromalacia patella that occur due to the roughening of the cartilage underneath the knee cap because the bones do not sit properly under the V of the knee joint.

Sit on a chair and keep your back straight but not tensed. Make sure that your thighs are parallel to the floor and that your legs are bent at 90 degree angles. Now tense the thigh, hold for about 5 seconds and slowly release. Repeat the same process with the other leg as well and try this exercise 10 times for each leg. Always make sure to breathe normally during these exercises.

Another exercise that is particularly useful to build on the muscles that control the ending of the knee is to sit up straight and cross your legs at the ankles. Now push forward with the rear leg and back with the front leg. It may seem a little complicated at first but it is quite a simple exercise. Now switch legs and repeat this exercise 10 times for each position.

If you prefer slightly more strenuous exercises to build the leg muscles you can try calf burns.This exercise should ideally be done on a wooden floor, mat or carpet depending on ones balance. Avoid using metal or concrete flooring.

Stand up straight and make sure you are well balanced by keeping your heels together and toes slightly apart. Now lift your heels so that you are balancing on the balls of your feet and hold for 5 seconds before lowering them. One can gradually increase the time that they balance themselves on the balls of their feet. This exercise is ideal for increasing strength and balance.

As a variant, you can even bend your knees slightly while doing the exercise above so that you work on the thigh muscles such as the quadriceps and hamstrings as well as the muscles of the buttocks.

Strengthening the leg muscles and keeping them in shape can prove to be very advantageous to older people. Among the elderly, most falls lead to fractured hip bones which is a major health problem but a long-term practice of keeping the legs in shape will actually help to prevent such problems later on in life.
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