Build strong legs to enhance athletic performance and overall health.
As a teenage girl, you are dealing with many internal and external changes. Exercise helps you manage your weight, build strong bones, decrease your risk for disease as well as support stress management. The World Health Organization recommends children between the ages of 5 and 17 to engage in 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily and to do resistance exercise for muscular strengthening three days a week. If you are interested in targeting your legs, there are effective workouts for doing that.
Try Walking Lunges
Walking lunges strengthen your gluteal muscles as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings. Additionally, they also enhance your endurance and coordination. Begin standing with your feet together while holding dumbbells in each hand. Select a weight that is challenging yet allows you to maintain stability and proper form. Step forward with your right foot and bend both knees to form 90-degree angles as you lower 3 to 4 inches away from the floor. Straighten your legs to rise and bring your left knee up towards your chest before stepping forward with that leg to repeat the exercise. Ensure that your front knee remains in-line over your ankle and does not drift in front of your toes. Complete 20 lunges, alternating lead legs while walking in one direction and then repeat the lunges while walking in the opposite direction.
Squat and Jump
Build power, speed and shapely legs with squat jumps. Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees to squat down and swing both arms behind you. Jump straight up as you lift your arms over head. Land and lower back into a squat and then repeat. Complete one set of 10 squat jumps without resting in between. Rest for one minute and repeat.
Climb Those Hills
Depending on where you live, there may be hills around for training. Incline training will strengthen your thighs and calves. If you live in a flat area, training options could include graded bridges and parking lot ramps. Begin your workout by jogging for five to 10 minutes. Start each repetition at the bottom of your hill or bridge and either run to the apex or run for one minute, depending on the distance. Jog back to your starting position for recovery and repeat. Complete four to twelve repeats and then cool-down with a 10- minute jog.
Incorporate Some Pilates
Not only do you strengthen your core muscles with Pilates exercises, you also strengthen your legs. Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other. Lift your top leg slightly higher than your hip. Circle your leg forward, as if you were tracing a small plate on the wall in front of you, allowing your heels to touch during the movement. Complete 10 circles and then repeat in the opposite direction. Repeat on your other side.