Lower Body Workouts | Is Leg Day Worth It?
20th April 2021
Many of us have areas of our bodies that we would like to be more toned. It is easy to become fixated and fall into the trap of only working out those areas. The result is that you are actually neglecting the rest of your body.
Some of the key benefits of leg workouts:
- Build muscle
- Improve balance
- Increase bone strength
- Strengthen knees to reduce risk of injuries
- Burn calories
Our favourite exercises
This exercise will work your gluteus medius muscles and in turn help with hip movement. Your gluteus medius is located underneath your gluteus maximus (your bottom muscles). If you want to give yourself more of a challenge, you can also add a resistance band around your thighs.
Bend your knees slightly (the lower you sit, the more challenging) and make sure you keep your knees in line with your feet.
2. Calf raises
These are a great way to warm up and build your calf muscles gently. You may not feel as though you are working hard at the time, but you will feel it the next morning!
Stand with your feet should-width apart and simply raise your heels off the floor and back down again. Try to do 3 sets of 10 (or as many as you feel comfortable doing) and take a 30 second break between sets. You could add a pair of dumbbells to increase the challenge.
3. Donkey kicks
Donkey kicks are great for building and toning your legs and bottom. They are also great from improving your stability. If you are new to exercise, and currently have trouble with your balance, you may need to work up to this exercise though.
Get on all fours with your hands aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. Keep your back flat and slowly raise one leg at a time so your leg maintains a 90-degree angle.
4. Lateral lunge
Lateral lunges are another great exercise for improving stability. The lunges will work your inner thigh muscles, glutes, hamstrings and quads so you may be achy the next day!
Start with your feet hip-width apart and pointed forward with your hands clasped in front of your chest, take a big step, push your hips back and bend your knee until it is at a 90-degree ankle. You should keep your non-bending knee straight. Now shift your weight and push back up into your starting position.
Clamshells are great for targeting your glutes, but they can also ease lower back pain.
Lie on your left side with your knees bent at 90-degrees and your ankles touching. You can place your right hand on the floor in front of you on your right hip.
Slowly squeeze your glutes and thigh muscles to press right thigh up as far as possible to create an opening. Then slowly bring right thigh back to starting position. Repeat this for 10 reps and then switch onto your right side.
If you would like to take part in our live exercise classes, streamed through our private Facebook group, you can join our Move More programme.