If you work a 9 to 5 desk job, you probably feel like you’re always sitting. Between the commute to work, working a full time job, and balancing your social life, there isn’t much room to add the gym into your routine. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up strong, sexy legs to show off when the weekend comes around. HBFIT has exercises you can do at home to strengthen your legs.
The skater lunge is an essential move for strengthening your legs. If you add this move to your at-home workout you can strengthen not only your quadriceps and hamstrings, but also your glutes. Glutes are often overlooked during a leg workout, but they are key to developing balanced muscle groups.
As its name suggests, this move borrows its stance from ice skaters. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step back with your left foot, crossing it diagonally behind the right, while swinging your arms to the right. You’ll look like an ice skater mid-stride. The real challenge of this move is hopping to the left. Repeat on the other side.
Doing a hamstring curl is a much easier move, but can easily be modified to add more difficulty. Begin by lying facedown on your mat and your hands in front of you. Lift one of your feet by bending your knee while keeping it on the floor. Straighten and repeat on the other side.
You might find that this is too easy and you won’t even notice the contraction in your hamstrings. In that case, you may want to add a resistance band or ankle weights. When using weights, always start low and work your way up. You don’t want to be straining or in pain while doing a hamstring curl, but you do want to feel your hamstrings working.
Variation: Exercise Ball
If you have an exercise ball, you can perform a variation of the hamstring curl. This time you will start lying with your back to the floor. Roll the ball under your feet until they are at the top of the ball. Lift your hips and keep them raised, with your weight balanced between the exercise ball and your shoulder blades. This is your starting position. Bend your knees and pull the ball closer to you and hold. Return to your starting position.
Despite its name, the sissy squat isn’t an easy exercise to perform. Adding a couple sets of these to your workout will definitely have you feeling the burn in your quads, hamstrings, and calves. You’ll need a chair, bar, or something else sturdy to use to hold yourself up.
If you’re using a sturdy chair, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your closest hand holding onto the seat back. Rise onto your feet, raising your heels off the ground and bend your knees to a 90° angle. As you do this, lean your torso back to a 45° angle so that you forms a straight line to your knees, engaging your ab muscles. Return to a standing position.
Like the sissy squat, calf raises are a useful exercise to strengthening your calves. Other exercises for strength training focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings, but your calves are an important muscle to building strong legs. You’ll need to do this exercise with a step or platform to step onto.
Begin by standing on the edge of the step with your heels hanging off the edge. Then lift yourself up on your toes as much as you can. You can use a wall or counter to help keep your balance, if you are struggling. Hold the position and then lower yourself down, below the step.
If you have a kettlebell or a free weight, you can add the goblet squat to your at-home workout. Remember that with weights, it’s best to start low and work your way up. This squat will work out your glutes, quads, inner thighs, as well as your hamstrings.
Start with your legs spread apart wider than your shoulders, with your toes pointed outwards. Hold your kettlebell, or if you have a light dumbbell, hold it by the handle vertically. Squat down until your knees are at a 90° angle and then stand back up. If that isn’t challenging enough for you, as you return to standing position, add a small hop.