These exercises strengthen your upper and lower leg muscles

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Leg press, leg curl and leg extension machines are three of the most common leg day equipment at the gym. Sadly, they’re also three of the most expensive ones in the fitness market. However, the good news is that you can reap the same benefits those machines do for your legs (strengthening both upper and lower leg muscles) with multiple indoor leg day exercises. All it takes is for you to do these three regimens as consistently as possible and challenge yourself by increasing the weights each rep. 

 

Walking lunge

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. You may make use of a medium-weight dumbbell on each side of your hand
  2. Take a step forward with your right leg and then bend your knees in a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees are in line with your ankles. Then, reverse your right knee before it taps the floor 
  3. Take a second to pause and then do the same method with your left leg. 
  4. Do this alternatively for three sets and with eight to 12 reps each leg

Benefits: Walking lunges helps work out your gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core muscles and back muscles. If you do it consistently, you will see an improvement in your balance, hip flexibility and core stability. It helps provide rest for your spine and aids in symmetrical toning. 

 

Single-leg deadlift 

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet together. You can hold a dumbbell in each of your hands
  2. Shift your body weight to one foot and then move forward. Make sure you keep a slight bend in your standing leg while your hip square is at your front and knee is elevated to your leg (which is pointing down the floor). 
  3. Do the same routine on your other leg. Make sure your back is straight when you transition.
  4. Do this alternative for three sets and with eight to 12 reps on each leg

 

Benefits: Single-leg deadlifts benefit all your major muscles specifically hamstrings, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, ankles and your core. It also promotes good synergy between your hip hinge movement, core muscles and shoulders. 

 

Sumo squat

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet and shoulder wide apart at a 45-degree angle. You may use a dumbbell over your shoulder to add intensity
  2. Squat by bringing your back and hips down. Make sure your core is engaged and your back is at a neutral position 
  3. Then, pause at the bottom when your hips are in line with your knees or even until your form tries to break
  4. Get up by pressing into your heels and outer edge of your foot

 

Benefits: The sumo squat exercises your lower leg muscles like inner thigh, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves. Besides being the easiest beginner friendly leg workout, this exercise helps you build leg muscles while burning any idle fats stored in your body as well.