5 Exercises to Tone & Strengthen Legs

One of the first things I learned after retiring from gymnastics, was that if I wanted to relieve/combat knee pain, I had to strengthen my quads.  I added strength training to my workouts, and started to see a huge difference in my running. I was able to run for longer periods of time without the shooting knee pain.

Here are some of my favorite leg exercises to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, thighs, and glutes. We do these exercises regularly in our K-Fit Experience class at Studio K-Fit.

Perform 10 reps of each exercise, and repeat. Start with your Left leg the first round.

#1: Squat Jumps with Toe Touch (works those inner thighs!)

Make sure toes are facing forward; when you jump push your hips forward to engage your glutes; touch toes together and land back on feet.

#2: Single Leg Deadlift

Stand on your left leg, holding 10 lbs weights by your sides; keeping a soft knee (slightly bent) and your chest up, lean forward and touch a step or chair with your weights (you should feel the pull in your hamstring). Stand back up, then repeat. *Remember to switch legs the second round.

#3: Single Leg Squat 

Using a chair or elevated step, keep your left foot planted on the ground and sit back onto the chair. Stand back up and squeeze your glutes pushing your hips all the way forward. Switch legs second round.

#4: Forward Lunge

Make sure to keep your shoulders back, and your front knee at a 90 degree angle.

#5: Elevated Backward Lunge

First round: Place your right foot up on the step, left foot is on the ground. Perform a lunge, making sure your front knee is at a 90 degree angle. Switch legs second round.

 

*For best results, perform this set at least twice a week. As always, consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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