Your body rests on your legs and they are your foundation, beyond a doubt. These keep you connected to the ground and you can get your power from them. While going on a vacation or travel, you might find it impossible to find a good gym or a trainer to help you carry out leg exercises properly.
These are 10 compound leg exercises that can help you to emphasize each leg in a separate way, in order to have uniform strength and power. Try to repeat each workout for 5 sets, for duration of 30 seconds each, for 5 times. Then rest for 20 seconds between two sets.
1. Jump Squats
These exercises need you to make optimal effort with each repetition. When you apply optimal amount of effort from your legs, all of your leg muscles are engaged to their maximum potential.
In order to begin, you should put your feet apart in a specific position – where you can jump to the highest height. When your feet are in that specific position, draw back your hips as far as you can while pushing out your knees – so that they are beneath your hips.
You have to jump up with a single motion and try to jump as high as possible. This is a dynamic and explosive workout which can exercise your whole leg and increase your cardiac rate. It is a targeted exercise for the legs and can also give you good cardio at the same time.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
If you want to make your legs really burn, this is one of the best exercises to try! You can stretch your back leg, whereas making your front leg stronger by loading weight up on the front leg.
If you want to make the work out more difficult or challenging, grab weights or dumbbells. Put your feet on a solid surface, whether a bench or a chair and try to sink down as low as possible.
Drive up vertically, to keep one foot of the surface. If you want to push up your cardiac rate, complete this with a jump or hop. Repeat the process until you finish all the repetitions on one side and then repeat the same on the other leg.
3. Pistol Squats
It can actually test your mobility, flexibility and balance and help you to get wonderful contraction in your quad muscles – dynamically as well as statically.
In case you have wonderful balance, begin the exercise by kicking out your leg to a right angle. Squeeze the leg as tight as you can and sit down as low as possible. Drive upward from that position using only that leg which is on the surface of the ground.
Now repeat the process. Complete one side before you move to the other leg. In case you do not have excellent balance, you can try going down to a surface and attempt to drive upwards from that position.
4. Single Leg Squats
These can push the threshold of your core strength and balance. Your hamstrings and quad muscles will get optimal workout. When you lower the position of your body, you can engage your hamstrings fully. When you elevate your body, your quad muscles will get engaged.
Now kick back your leg and try to sink down all the way until your leg touches the floor surface. Try to keep all your body weight on the front leg. Drive up, kick your rear leg to the front and drive your knee. Complete all the repetitions on one leg before moving on to the other one.
5. Curtsy Lunge
This is a wonderful exercise for your glute muscles. Tuck one leg behind another and sink down with your legs crossed.
You can sense your outer thigh and glute muscles get activated tightly and deeply. Return to an upright posture. If you want to make it more difficult, do all repetitions or add weight on one side and then move to the other one.
6. Reverse Lunge
With this exercise, it is going to be a little less intense. But you are going to feel a major burn in your legs.
Stand with your legs apart from each other by a shoulder width. Reach one leg to the back and sink down. Now, move back upward to a standing posture. As in the case of the single leg squat, kick forward your leg and point your knee when your repetitions end.
7. Lateral Lunge
This is a simple but impactful leg exercise that can have you load your weight completely on each leg and make your glutes and quads get activated optimally.
Laterally reach your leg from the mid section of your body while managing to keep the opposite leg completely straight. Sink down your bodyweight into the stretched out leg.
8. Foot Over Toe
Sit on the ground and keep your back against the surface of a wall. Stretch your legs out before you. Squeeze the quad muscles tight enough to pick up the heels of the floor. Now elevate the heel of one foot as high on the toe of another leg as possible, without bringing it to the middle.
Make sure that your leg does not go all the way back to the surface of the floor. With an improvement in mobility, you will enjoy a better range of motion.
9. Yoga Squats
This is among the meanest and simplest leg exercises in the list. Squat down while standing with feet as close to one another as you can. While entering a squat position, push out the knees and keep back the hips to maintain a proper form.
10. Pause Squats
Stand in a regular squat position and push apart the knees. Squat as low as you can while feeling comfortable and hold the position for up to 10 seconds before driving up.
There are some advantages to training your lower body using your own body weight. While driving more weight, as is done often while training both legs at the same time, there are times when you make your lower body imbalances more prominent. You can even your legs out when you individually train each leg.