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To strengthen your legs and avoid injury, you must work all of the muscles in your legs equally. Here are 15 ways to accomplish this :
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart.
2. Tuck in your tail bone (coccyx), flatten your back and firm up your abdominal muscles. Inhale ands lowly bend your knees as you sir back, as if you were going to sit back into a chair.
3. Your upper body will lean slightly forward, but do not allow your lower back to arch or your spine to round.
4. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
5. Exhale as you press up through your heels and extend your legs in a fast, explosive motion. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Do this 2 – 3 times a week.
For this exercise, you will do the same motion and use the same technique as the full squat, but you won’t bend your knees quite so far.
Rather than lowering your thighs to parallel, bend your knees only a quarter of the distance of the full squat before rising to the standing position. Repeat 10 – 15 times, 2 or 3 times a week.
If you lack (which many of us do if we have not been active physically) the leg strength to do a full squat or, more importantly, if you feel pain in your knees or back, try 1 of 2 variations of squats :
1. Hold on to a doorknob with both hands as you squat. This basically removes some of your body weight from your legs and helps to keep your torso upright.
2. Squat with your back against a wall and a small 20cm diameter ball between your thighs.
The ball keeps your thighs and knees in good alignment, and the wall provides more support for your back.
This strengthens the gluteal muscles in your bottom and revs up your heart rate, thus boosting your cardiovascular fitness.
Challenge your children, grandchildren, partner or even colleagues to a toe-walking competition every other day. Rise onto the balls of your feet and walk across the room.
Whoever lowers his or her heels to the floor first loses and you will have plenty of laughs, strengthening your arches, ankles and calves in the process!
Place your feet flat on the floor, then rise up onto the balls of your feet, hold for 2 seconds, and sink down. Repeat this sequence 10,20,30,40 or more times. In fact, you can do this not only while brushing your teeth, but anytime you are waiting (for an appointment for example).
During each step forward, bend your knees and sink down until both legs form an angle of 90degrees. Then press into your front heel to rise. Lift your back leg and knee all the way into your chest before planting it in front of you for the next lunge. This takes a little practice, but if you ‘lunge walk’ for 20 or 30 steps a dax your legs will be far stronger and shapelier.
After the ‘Lunge Walk’ we have the lunge 😉 . These are the steps to perform the lunge :
1. Stand with your feet together.
2. Take a large step forward with your right foot.
3. Bend your right knee until the thigh is parallel with the floor.
4. Exhale as you straighten your legs and step back to the starting position.
5. Repeat with the left leg.
6. Alternate stepping forward with your right and left leg for a total of 10 – 15 repetitions on each leg.
Lunges help to strengthen lower body muscles and improve balance and coordination. To boost your workout,you can use light weights in each hand as you lunge.