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Leg Workouts: The Best For Muscle Building or Toning

An effective leg workout is an essential part of any fitness routine. Leg muscles, like the quadriceps and the glutes, are some of the body’s largest, so they are responsible for many daily bodily movements. 

Strengthening and toning the leg muscles have so many benefits, from increasing speed and endurance to taking pressure off of the lower back. Because the leg muscles are so big, building strength can also lead to increased metabolism and weight loss. 

Even simple daily activities such as walking to the store or climbing up stairs become easier and more durable when you have strong leg muscles. 

So for anyone looking to improve the strength and function of their legs, here are 2 of the best leg workouts. The first leg workout is perfect for building strength, muscle, and volume, The second is better for overall toning and conditioning. 

The Best Leg Workout For Muscle Building

Why This Workout Is Effective

To successfully build muscle in the legs, you have to perform compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once. You also should lift heavy weights, which activates fast-twitch muscle fibers. 

Doing fewer reps with heavier weights also burns more fat than performing more reps with a lower weight. So pick heavy weights that challenge you, but don’t completely exhaust you. You should be able to perform all the reps, but the last 2 reps should be incredibly difficult. 

The Workout

Do this leg workout for muscle building after properly warming up. Be sure to consume enough protein after the workout so your muscles can rebuild themselves efficiently. 

Exercise #1: Squat

3 sets of 8 reps

Hold a barbell comfortably on your shoulders and stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees and lower down as far as you can without arching the back too much, then push back to stand. 

Exercise #2: Walking Dumbbell Lunges

3 sets of 16 reps (8 each leg)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step forward with one foot until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle and your back knee is lowered almost to the ground. Then step your back leg forward in the same way, and keep alternating legs as you move across the floor. 

Exercise #3: Deadlift

3 sets of 8 reps

Stand tall with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and then bend over and grasp the barbell that is one the floor in front of you, palms down. Activate your hamstrings and your glutes as you stand back up and slowly lift the barbell up with you. 

Exercise #4: Dumbbell Step Up

2 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and place one foot up on the bench, block, or step-up table in front of you. Use all the muscles in that one leg to step up onto the bench, and then lower back down. Do the same leg for 10 reps, then switch. 

Exercise #5: Hip Thrust

3 sets of 10 reps 

Sit on the floor with a barbell across your hips and rest your upper back on a bench. Squeeze your glutes as you thrust your hips upwards until your torso is parallel with the floor, then slowly lower back down. 

Exercise #6: Calf Raise

3 sets of 10 reps 

Hold either a barbell across your shoulders or dumbbells in your hands. Push up onto your toes with control, hold for a moment, and slowly lower back down, using your calf muscles the entire time. 

 

The Best Leg Workout For Toning

Why This Workout Is Effective

Rather than focusing on heavy weights and compound movements, this leg workout isolates and strengthens specific muscles while getting the heart rate up. This leg workout also uses higher reps, so choose lower weights that challenge you but allow you to finish the sets. 

The exercises in this leg workout promote lean, toned muscles that are strong and supple. 

The Workout

Do this leg workout for toning after properly warming up, and stretch thoroughly after to increase flexibility and mobility. 

Exercise #1: Jump Squats

3 sets of 15 reps

You don’t need any weights for this exercise. Simply perform a normal squat, but instead of standing back up after bending down, jump up explosively and land softly back on your feet.  

Exercise #2: Curtsey Squats

3 sets of 16 reps (8 each leg)

Hold a barbell behind your shoulders. Step one foot backward and lunge, but angle it so you are stepping to the opposite side of your standing foot, almost like a curtsey. Feel the burn in the side of your glutes, and then step back to neutral. Alternate legs for a total of 16 reps. 

Exercise #3: Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 12 reps

Perform this similar to a regular deadlift, but begin standing with the barbell in your hands. Hinge at the hips, lower the barbell down to just below the knees, while keeping the legs straight (with a micro-bend so as not to lock the knees). Then squeeze the hamstrings as you come back to stand. 

Exercise #4: Donkey Kicks

3 sets of 15 reps on each leg

Come onto all fours on the ground. Kick one leg back slowly, and lift it up to the sky, engaging your glutes. Then bring it back to start. You can add a resistance band for extra strength training in addition to toning the legs. 

Exercise #5: Burpees

3 sets of 12 reps 

From standing, jump up, and once you land on your feet immediately come to the ground to a plank position. Do a push-up, jump back to stand, and repeat. This tones virtually every muscle in the body and serves as cardio to burn extra fat. 

Exercise #6 Wall Sit

4 sets of 30 seconds

Stand with your back against the wall. Squat down as low as you can and hold the position for 30 seconds. Wall sits help sculpt the thighs and are the perfect toning exercise to end a leg workout.

The post Leg Workouts: The Best For Muscle Building or Toning appeared first on Health Energy Guru.



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