Weight training is important for the body to keep it strong and also for losing weight. Personal trainers are a good resource for information as well as training. People are becoming more aware and trying to get fit by changing their diets and their fitness routines. It is also a known fact that men are able to lose weight faster because of having more muscle mass. There are several effective ways of losing weight and exercise to shape and strengthen your body. All of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home and with a minimum of equipment. Some hand weights, a balance ball and a stepper are all that you need and you can shape your lower body in no time. Here are some of the 10 best leg exercises for men and women. All these exercises are done in repetitions of 10-15, called a set, on each side.
- Front Squat: Cross your arms across your chest, keep your legs little wider than shoulder width apart and squat down between your legs, while pushing your hips back. This stretches your hip flexors and muscles when you are parallel to the floor. Splay the knees out a little bit – this is a natural motion. Come back up slowly and repeat.
- Dead Lift: This exercise is one which helps to strengthen your lower back, gluteus maximus (in the butt) and hamstring muscles. Get a pair of light weights (esp. if you are a beginner) and bend forward with a straight back and straighten up. This mimics the motion of weight lifters and you can eventually add weights to strengthen your back.
- Split Squat: This is one of the best leg exercises to build strong thigh muscles and shape up your butt. Stand with your feet wide apart, right foot in front. Keep the front foot firmly planted on the ground and slowly bring the left knee down to the floor. Keep the chest straight as you go down. Reverse legs.
- Reverse Lunge: Step back with your left foot and keeping your upper body straight, bring your left knee down to the floor. Change legs and repeat. This exercise strengthens all the leg muscles including the hip flexors.
- Step Ups: You can use the stepper for this exercise. Step up with your right foot. Bring the left foot up and stand on the stepper. Step back with the same foot and repeat the exercise – change legs.
- Single leg bench squat: Put your left foot flat on a high bench and squat down with the right leg. Go down only as far as it is comfortable and come back up. Change legs. This is guaranteed to give you a good burn and tone up your legs fast.
- Stability ball curl: This one is done using a big balance ball. This exercise activates the core muscles also as you have to work at keeping the ball in place. Stand with the ball behind you, put one foot on the ball and squat. Stand up straight and repeat. Change legs.
- Bulgarian Lunge: This is an advanced exercise and is almost the same as the single leg squat. You go deep into the squat and come back up.
- Deep Partial Squat: This is a variation on the front squat only you don’t go down all the way. This helps to strengthen calf, hamstring, quads, hip flexors and back muscles. This has to be done carefully so that you protect your knees.
- Single Leg Ball Squat against wall: This is another great lower body shaper. Put the balance ball against a wall and squat down slowly with one leg stretched in front of you. This exercise is very good for building core strength too.
All these exercises can be done without weights and it is a good idea to have them demonstrated to see how they are done. These ten have been voted the the best leg exercises by many fitness magazines and guarantee results in a very short time.