Step onto a raised platform to strengthen your legs.
Squats and lunges are classic lower-body exercises that are particularly efficient for strengthening your quadriceps and calves. Each activity is typically safe when performed properly, but perhaps you're worried about the deep knee bends or maybe you're looking for other exercises to vary your workout. In either case, you'll find plenty of other exercises to work your major leg-muscle groups. No matter which activities you select, warm up your muscles with at least five minutes of mild cardio exercise first.
Stand in front of a raised platform to do step-ups, which target your quads but also work your calves and engage your hamstrings as stabilizers. Hold dumbbells in your hands or secure a barbell across the back of your shoulders for a greater challenge.2.
Step onto the platform with your right foot. Press down with your right heel and then step onto the platform with your left foot.3.
Lift your left foot, step back onto the floor and then step back with your right foot. Alternate your lead leg as you perform eight to 12 repetitions with each foot.
Sit on a leg curl machine with your back against the seat rest, your legs extended in front of you and the backs of your ankles on top of the resistance pads. Leg curls target your hamstrings and also work your calves.2.
Flex your knees as you press down on the resistance pads. Move your heels until you get them as close to your butt as you can.3.
Extend your legs as you return slowly to the starting position. Do eight to 12 reps.
Stand in front of a box, bench or similar raised platform. The higher the box, the more intense the exercise. Box jumps target your calves but also work your thighs.2.
Flex your knees forward and your hips back and then rise onto the balls of your feet. Jump forward onto the box.3.
Repeat the movement, but jump backward, landing in front of the box on the balls of your feet. Do eight to 10 reps.
Schedule and Weight1.
Perform leg exercises as part of a total-body workout one to three times per week or split up your workouts and do legs-only sessions once or twice each week. Alternatively, divide your workout time even further by exercising your thighs during one session and your calves the next.2.
Be sure you don't train the same muscle group two days in a row, however you format your workouts.3.
Add 5 to 10 percent more weight -- or use a higher platform for step-ups and box jumps -- if a set doesn't fatigue your legs.
- Raised box or platform
- Leg curl machine
- See your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.