Skipping leg day and focusing on your upper body and arms is tempting, but you need to work out your legs to stay fit and healthy. There are plenty of cardio exercises that can improve your muscle tone and strengthen your legs. For example, electric bikes can help you stay fit, and running on the treadmill is another blood-pumping form of exercise. However, if you want to build strength and muscle in your legs, you should focus on strength training with weights and bands. For powerful legs, use these five best exercises for building strength on leg day.
While training your quads is fun, you should focus on the backs of your legs to stay strong and prevent injuries. One exercise that isolates these muscles is the Romanian deadlift. To do a Romanian deadlift, hold a barbell against your shins and place your feet together. In this bent position, use your legs to straighten your posture until your back is straight, and then slowly return the barbell to your shins.
Barbell Back Squats
Another one of the five best exercises for building strength on leg day is the barbell back squat. This exercise has many variations, and each targets a specific muscle group. The basic barbell back squats mainly target quads and glutes. To do this exercise, place your feet around shoulder-width apart with your toes facing slightly outward. With the barbell on your traps and slightly below your shoulders, squat downward with your chest slightly bent over, then return to standing.
When strengthening your legs, remember to include your calves. Calf raises strengthen your calves and the muscles around your ankles. To do calf raises, stand with your feet together or slightly apart. Then, lift your heels off the ground so that you’re standing on your toes. Hold this position for a second, and then slowly lower your heels to the ground. If you want to add weight, you can hold dumbbells in both hands or use a barbell.
For anyone who wants to build their glutes and hamstrings, hip thrusts are one of your best options. To do a hip thrust, either use a hip thrust machine or weights. Lean against a bench at an angle with your knees bent and your feet about two feet from your body. With a weight just above your hips, lift your hips upward, hold for a second, and then lower them back to the ground.