Five key exercises to build stronger and more powerful legs

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We’ve all seen those people in the gym with a massive upper body and skinny legs, and in truth, it looks embarrassing.

Why only train upper body when you need balance and strength from below?

Remember legs make up 50% of your body and are the most useful muscles, especially if you’re involved in sport.

Your legs are a vital source of power, from jogging long distances, to sprinting and turning.

By strengthening your legs in the gym through exercises like squats, deadlifts and leg press, you’ll reduce the risk of injury and increase stability and endurance.

In addition to this, you’ll generate more power which will make you a faster and fitter athlete on the sports field.

Here, we take a look at five exercises that will boost your leg strength and power.

LUNGES

Step forward with your left or right leg and bend forward.

Hold the two dumbbells over your head in a Y shape.

Hold and then push back to your standing position.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

SINGLE LEG ROMAN DEAD LIFTS

Hold the dumbbells at hip level and stand tall. Balance on one leg and bend forward while trying to keep your back straight.

Push to a point where you can feel the pressure on the hamstring.

Move back up slowly to a standing position and change legs.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

STEP UPS

Stand straight and hold dumbbells in either hand.

Put your left foot on an elevated platform and step up.

Hold for five seconds and step down.

Change legs and repeat this 10 times.

CALF RAISES

Lift your calf muscles off the ground as high as your flexibility allows.

Once you feel the pain then proceed back to a standing position.

Aim to do ten repetitions.

WALL SQUATS

Position yourself with your back against a wall and hold the dumbbells by your sides.

Squat down until you feel a burn in your legs.

Pause and then push back to a standing position.

Aim to do ten repetitions.

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Three ways to add exercise to your daily routine

David Cooper 28/02/2018
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Are you stuck for time to exercise?

Well, then you need to get more organised and make better decisions each day!

Windows of time do exist for you to go for a walk or run so it’s important to utilise them.

Here’s our three tips to help to improve your health and fitness on a daily basis:

RUN OR CYCLE TO AND FROM WORK?

Depending on the distance between your accommodation and workplace, you could try running or cycling to work. It’s an efficient way to fit in your training and will have you feeling energetic and productive for the rest of the morning.

If there is a lack of showering facilities at your workplace, then you could run home instead. This will help clear your head after a long day in the office and beats sitting in a taxi during rush hour traffic in the evening.

USE YOUR WINDOWS OF TIME EFFECTIVELY

It’s nice to have some downtime after a working day but its pointless going straight home and sitting on a laptop for the rest of the evening, flicking through apps on your phone or watching five episodes of a TV series.

If you have free windows of time then go for a walk, a light jog or even a 45-minute gym session. Most of our apartment complexes have small gyms so go down and work hard for a short period of time and you’ll be feeling sharper after.

FOLLOW SAME ROUTINE AT WEEKENDS

It’s nice having a lie-in when you’re off but if you can try and get up at a similar time on a Friday or Saturday as you do from Sunday-Thursday then you’ll have no excuse about not having the time to exercise.

With less time pressure at weekends, why not try some of the great running routes around Abu Dhabi or Dubai? It’s always satisfying testing out a different location rather than the same place that you might train during the week.

Be selective with your decision making and always put your health and fitness at the forefront of your plans.

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Three ways to improve your mental approach to fitness

David Cooper 27/02/2018
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Spending time working on your mindset is nearly as important as your fitness.

We spend more time thinking and weighing up decisions in life than we do on the training field or in the gym.

Here, we take a look at three ways we can improve our mindset and mental approach to exercise.

Outdoors

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have many parks and walking routes which are ideal to get out and unwind.

Surround yourself with people on walks or jogs to help you rub off from positive energy and keep your mind active.

Yoga is also a great outlet to help you slow down your breathing, increase your flexibility and meditate.

Keep moving forward

Many of us spend countless hours thinking about the past and some mistakes we’ve made along the way.

We shouldn’t regret the past because at that time of our life we were happy and that’s the reason why it’s important to focus on the present and keep moving forward.

Having a goal is the best way to progress and maintain your focus – whether it’s to run a marathon or join a sports club in a bid to make new friends and boost fitness.

Be grateful for your health and your current situation in life – and realise that what’s meant for you. Don’t let it pass you by.

New challenge

Motivate yourself to take up a new activity or hobby outside of work.

We often get bored from doing the same thing over and over again, so getting involved in a new sports club or fitness club will help you to have a different focus and distract your mind from the stresses of life.

Keeping the mind active is the best way to boost your overall health.

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