Hello and happy hump day everybody, the rain has come to say hi and its pretty grey outside my window right now but I guess we needed it after all the beautiful sunshine, I just wish it would rain through the night and be clear in the day!
I am here again with my usual Workout Wednesday post for you and the topic of the day is legs, my top five leg exercises to be precise. I have to admit I love my leg day workouts and these exercises are nearly always included and if you don't do them I would say they are worth adding to your routine!
I love normal, weighted, narrow, sumo, jump basically any squat I love and here's why:
I am really into functional fitness and squats are a great functional exercise they promote mobility and balance to help you in everyday life. When performed correctly squats help to strengthen the connective tissue around the knees and help with stability. Not only do squats help firm up and strengthen the legs but the whole body gets worked especially the abs! They help to build muscle and the more muscle you have the better you burn fat which means they are great if you want to lose weight. If you are also looking to get that butt perkier squats are a must!
Again this is an exercise that has many variations and I am a keen lunger including front, reverse, side curtsy jump you name a lunge and I do it here's why:
Lunges strengthen your legs and butt and are great for firming up the abs. They help with hip flexibility especially when perform as a stretch and hold. Lunges are a unilateral exercises which means you are training one side at a time which improves balance and coordination definitely something I need help with!
3. Wall Sits
Hated by all my clients but one of my favourites because:
Wall sits are great for strengthening the quads (muscle at the front of your thigh) and all four quad muscles work together to straighten your knee while in the seated wall position. On the under side of your leg are the hamstrings which are also being strengthened and giving the hip a good stretch at the same time. The wall sit is great to help you strengthen all the muscles you need to use to get up and down from a seat so definitely one worth adding into your routine, lets face it we all sit down far too much!
4. Step Ups
One of my favourite cardio leg exercises, quite old school but sometimes those are the best, this why I like them:
Step ups increase your heart rate as move and the faster you can go the higher your heart rate gets the more calories your gonna burn. I like to include steps in all my walks and runs plus they can be performed at home so easily if you have stairs or a box so no excuse not to fit some good cardio in! They help to build strength, burn fat and reduce body size...happy days! Step ups are another great exercise to help you improve balance and coordination too : )
5. Calf Raises
The smaller muscles can be forgotten in your routines but here's why you should remember the calf raise:
Calf raises can be performed with or without extra weight just about anywhere. They help to strengthen the muscles in your lower leg giving your calves a beautiful shape. Keeping your calves strong is so important because they help to keep your ankles strong and flexible as they control your ankle motion. Keeping your ankles strong means your balance will be better and you will be able to perform exercises on one leg, another way of strengthening them.
And those are my top five! All of the exercise above can be performed pretty much anywhere plus if you add weight they become harder and more challenging. If you don't usually do any of them why not give it a try and reap the benefits each one gives you!
I will be doing my top five exercise for arms, abs, butt and cardio over the next few weeks so don't forget to check back if you love to exercise but are in need of some new inspiration! And if you want to try out a new workout check my Workout Wednesday page where you can find loads to try out!
Whats your favourite leg exercise?