Want to train your legs but don’t want to spend on gym memberships? Well, the best thing you can do is add some great leg stretching exercises to your home workout routine.
There are many benefits to having stronger, well-sculpted legs. Not only do they look good, but they improve overall mobility and strength, and make you more independent, especially as you age. Certain leg stretches strengthen the posterior chain muscles, relieve hip and back pain, and keep injuries at bay. The best part is that you don’t need fancy gym equipment to train your legs.
So, are you ready to work on your legs from the comfort of your own home? Here are some of the best leg stretches for you to do at home.
The best leg stretches to add to your home workout routine
Whether you’re a beginner or an exerciser, the following five toning exercises are sure to target the major muscles in your legs from every angle:
One of the basic exercises in leg exercises, lunges and their variations such as forward lunges, side lunges, bent lunges, etc. are among the most popular leg toning exercises that can be done easily at home.
Besides targeting major leg muscles, including the hamstrings, calves, and thighs, this exercise sculpts your abs and buttocks, too.
How do you do the standard forward lunge?
Stand up straight with your back straight and your hands at your sides, keeping your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your left leg, then slowly lower your body into a lunge. Continue lowering until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle or your right knee lightly touches the ground.
Push with your left foot to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise and keep your right leg in front.
Aim for three sets of 10 reps for each leg.
2) Single-leg gluteal bridge
The gluteal bridge is one of the best leg stretches, and it’s an ideal exercise for beginners. This exercise tones the legs and enhances movement in the hips as well. It promotes core stability, works each side evenly, and is effective for people with back pain.
How to do a glute bridge with one leg?
Lie on your back on a flat surface, keeping your knees bent. Place your feet on the floor, and lift your right leg straight up as far as you can while lifting your hips off the floor and creating a round in your lower back. Pause at the top for a few seconds.
As you lift your leg off the floor, be sure to engage your glutes and hamstrings to achieve more contraction. Bring your right leg back to the start; Lift your left and repeat the exercise.
Aim for three sets of 12 reps per leg.
3) Single leg calf raise
Single leg raises are among some of the more compelling leg toning exercises that specifically target the calf muscles, lower leg muscles and also help promote balance. Strengthening these muscles enhances athletic performance, prevents strains and injuries, and increases calf size.
How is one leg raise done?
Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Hold on to something sturdy for balance. Bend your right knee slightly and lift your left heel off the ground while balancing on the ball of your foot. Pause at the top, then slowly lower your heels back to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise several times with your left leg, and continue with the right leg. Aim for sets of 15 repetitions on each leg.
4) Plank leg raise
One of the most beneficial leg curls, leg curls target the upper legs and butt while also working your midsection. This exercise offers an amazing advantage over a regular plank exercise by training the core, shoulders and glutes, and also helps in reducing body fat.
How is the rafter leg raised?
Start on all fours with your forearms on the floor and legs extended back. Engage your core muscles and lift your left leg. Pause at the top, and lower your leg back to the starting position. Do the same with your right leg. Remember to engage your glutes and abs throughout the exercise. Aim for three sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Also read: Plank exercises to burn visceral fat.
5) Single leg deadlift
One leg deadlift is one of the best leg stretches that strengthens all the major muscles in the legs, including the glutes and hamstrings, and targets the core as well. This exercise builds strength, stability, and balance, and promotes movement throughout the hips and legs.
How do you do the one leg deadlift?
Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and hands by your side. Slowly lean forward placing your body weight on your right leg, with your left leg extended straight back. Lift your left leg as high as you can, continuing to bend forward as far as you can. Allow your arms to hang just below the shoulders, and stay in this position for a few seconds.
Return to the starting position, and repeat the exercise. Switch legs after a few reps. Try to complete 15 reps on each leg.
Doing the aforementioned leg stretching exercises a few times a week is sure to strengthen your legs while also increasing the size of your leg muscles. You can mix and match these exercises and adjust reps and sets to suit your fitness level.
Always remember that strong and toned legs are very important and necessary to maintain an active and healthy life. So, be very consistent and give your daily leg exercises the attention they deserve.