Leg Exercises: 3 Simple Exercises To Tone And Strengthen Your Legs


Leg exercises may be the most important exercises for your body. They are the biggest and strongest skeletal muscles that carry your entire body weight. As people age, if these muscles are neglected, balance and mobility will decline. The falls that many senior citizens experience could be prevented or reduced by conditioning the legs.

Along with developing strength to carry your body weight, doing flexibility movements will help restore mobility. These exercises could easily be a part of your warm-up before doing your leg workout.



Here are some tips for getting the most from your workouts:

Safety

Use slow controlled movements when performing each exercise.
Proper Form

Maintain good posture and form during each exercise. Be sure to choose a weight that is not too heavy to begin with.
Stretching and Warm-up

Take a few minutes(5-10)to stretch and warm up your muscles before you start your workout. A short walk, and a few stretches would be adequate.
Breathing

When Lifting a weight, “exhale” at the beginning of the movement, “inhale” when lowering the weight.
Benefits

The benefits of strengthening your legs are: (1) building stronger bones and muscles; (2) Improving balance, which reduces falls and increases mobility.



Leg Exercises

Parallel Squat-When starting out, use just your bodyweight . Stand with your arms outstretched in front of you. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times(repetitions).

As you start to develop more strength, use light dumbbells to increase the resistance. Your legs will get stronger fairly quickly. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees as you did before, squatting parallel to the floor, then returning to the starting position. You will want to gradually increase the amount of weight used as you progress.


Calf Raises-Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, raise your heels off the floor as high as you can, return to the starting position.


D.B. Lunge-In this last exercise, you will hold the ending position from 5-30 seconds. Start with your feet shoulder width a part. Put your hands on your hips. Stretch your right leg back until your knee is close to the floor. Try to keep your upper body upright. Your left leg will be parallel with the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, repeat on the other side.



As you gain strength, increase the amount of time to 30-60 seconds. If you choose you may add weight for more resistance.

To make this routine progressive, set a goal to do each exercise for 2-3 sets each(resting between each set for 1-2minutes). Also set a goal to increase the weights being used. Be sure not to use weights that make you strain when exercising.

As always, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. These simple exercises will be worth your effort. leg exercises

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