Leg Sculpting

If you're looking for a leg workout to improve your muscle strength and give you strong, toned legs, below are the best leg exercises that you need to be doing on your leg days.

Ideally you want to train your legs between 2 and 4 times a week, making sure to take a rest day in between.

Overtraining can not only lead to injuries but can lead to OTS.


The importance of rest days

Overtraining syndrome not only makes you feel tired and drained, but it can also lower your immunity, leading to more colds, change your moods, give you insomnia, and reduce your workout performances.

It can also give you reproductive issues, affect your ability to concentrate and think straight and lose your love of exercise.

Overall, it is massively detrimental to your health and fitness.

Always listen to your body and if you need to take a day off, then take a day off.

Before you do any exercise, make sure you warm up properly. You will need to do some light cardio, like a jump rope, to increase your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles to avoid any injuries.


Step ups

Step ups are a fantastic exercise for your leg muscles and your glutes.

It is a lower body exercise that works your legs singularly, helping to improve any muscle imbalances in size and strength.

It will give you strong legs, putting too much stress on your lower back and knees.

Starting with your right leg, step up onto the box with your right foot.

Now step up with your left so both feet are on the box. Now step down with your right leg, followed by your left.

That is one rep. Repeat for your number of reps, then switch sides leading with your left foot.


Reverse lunge

This exercise targets multiple muscle groups of the lower body and also your core.

If you are looking for more toned legs, this is definitely one for your leg day. As you work one at a time, again it will help improve any muscle imbalances.

Lunges are also the best exercise for strengthening your hip flexors and hip stabilizers, which are important muscles supporting your hip joint.

Your starting position is feet flat, keeping knees slightly bent and feet hip width apart. Core engaged.

Take a large step back with your right leg, keeping most of your body weight on your left/front leg.

Slowly lower your hips towards the ground, knees bent to a 90-degree angle.

Your left knee should be directly above your left foot, your right knee close to the ground with your right heel lifted, weight on your right toes.

Your right shin parallel to the ground. This is your lunge position.

Drive yourself back up, pushing your weight through your left leg and stepping your right foot back to your starting position.

That is one rep. Repeat for your number of reps, remembering to switch legs.

For more lunge variations like the lateral lunge check out our 'Resistance training at home' blog.

 Leg Sculpting

Squats

Squats aren't just great for your legs and glutes; they also work muscles of the upper body such as your core.

They are great for balance and mobility. If you're looking to really build your quad muscles, then you need to be adding in squats to your leg workouts.

Start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Keeping your core engaged, chest up and back straight.

Bend at the knees and drive your hips down and back as if you are sitting in a chair.

Squat as low as you can go, so at the end of the movement your thighs parallel to the ground.

Knees bent and above your toes. This is your standard squat position.

Slowly push back up to an upright position. That is one rep.

Leg Sculpting

Leg Sculpting

 

Sumo squat

The sumo squat is similar to the squat above but with a wider stance and your toes pointed outward.

Having this wider stance and your toes pointed outward will really work your inner thighs.

Start with a wider than shoulder width stance. Toes pointed outwards. Now bend your knees and drive your hips back and down as low as you can.

Hold for a moment, then drive back up, pushing your weight through the heels.

Bulgarian split squat

Stand in front of a sturdy bench or chair, take a step forward.

Standing strong, shoulders back, core tight and engaged, feet shoulder width apart.

Put your left foot behind you resting on the bench. So that the top of your foot is touching the bench.

Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips, you may hinge forward slightly at the hips.

Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle, with your back knee nearly touching the floor.

Squat as low as you can before pushing back up through your forward foot.

Leg Sculpting

Leg Sculpting

For more squat variations, see our 'How to do proper squats without weights' blog.


Hip abduction

Hip abduction exercise will not only sculpt your thighs, but studies have shown that improving your hip strength can help with 'knock' knees.

This is where your knees cave inwards. It can be common in older people.

Starting with your left side, and keeping your left leg straight, slowly lift your leg out to the side to the highest possible level.

Pause and hold for a moment then release.

Hold onto your Axium pole for support if needed and your supporting leg- holding your bodyweight, keep your knees soft.

Continue for your number of reps, switching sides to work your other leg.

Leg sculpting

Leg sculpting


Calf raises

To improve the look and strength of your lower legs you need to train your calf muscles. Strengthening your calf muscles also helps knee stability.

Stand on your resistance band, feet hip width apart, holding either side of the band in either hand.

Raise your arms up to shoulder height almost like you were going to do a resistance band shoulder press, elbows bent, palms facing forward.

Your band should be tight now and under tension.

Now stand up on your toes, leg straight, contracting your calves as you do so.

That is one rep. Continue for your number of reps.


Stability ball hamstring curl

Laying on the floor on your back, palms facing the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet on a stability ball.

Lift your lower back off the floor by squeezing your glutes and hamstrings so that only your shoulders are on the floor.

Holding your core tight and engaged, roll the ball away from yourself so that your legs extended with just your heels on the ball.

Now bend your knees and roll the ball back into yourself, all whilst keeping your hips lifted still.

That is one rep, continue for your number of reps.


Hip adduction

Start by attaching your band to a low anchor point and to your right foot with an ankle strap. Standing strong on your left leg, core tight and engaged.

You may hold your Axium pole if you need support. Knees slightly bent.

Slowly move your working leg in a straight line in front of your left leg.

Concentrating on squeezing your inner thigh, pause and hold for a moment.

Then slowly move back to your starting position.

That is one rep. Repeat for your number of reps and remember to switch sides to work your left inner thigh.

Leg sculpting


Clamshells

Loop a small resistance/exercise band around your thighs, sitting just above your knees. Lay on your right side on the floor.

Your feet on top of each other, left heel on the right. Your right arm supporting your head and your left arm relaxed.

Now lift your left knee as high as you can whilst keeping your feet together. Hold for a moment, then relax.

Continue for your number of reps, then switch over.

Lay on your left side and lift one knee.


Single leg deadlift

Single leg deadlifts are an amazing way to work and build your legs, mainly your quads and hamstrings.

Start standing, with your bodyweight on one leg. Let's start with the right. Have a slight bend in your right knee.

Lift your leg up behind you as you bend at the hips and lower your chest towards the floor.

Your body will now be in a straight line parallel to the floor, arms relaxed hanging towards the ground. Your left heel is up, toes pointing to the ground.

If you want to add in a weight, hold dumbbells or a kettlebell, lowering this to the floor as your hinge.

Drive back up through your right heel and return to your starting position.

That is one rep, continue for your desired reps and then switch over legs.


Finally

If you are looking to build and sculpt your legs, aim to train them 2 to 4 times a week.

With a day off in between your workouts. If you are sore from a previous workout, take an extra day off.

Taking one additional day off here and there is better than sustaining any injury that may set you back weeks or even months.

Head on over to Axiumfit.com for your Axium poles and bands.