What not have we all tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle this year? While some of us have got the gym home, some of us have made the outdoor our gym and have joined sport activities. To help us keep on going, there is one part of our body that needs more attention and special care; That’s right, our legs. Stronger the legs, easier it is for us to stay active in the long run and maintain our daily day-to-day chores.

And for some of us who are tied down at home with lesser exposure, or for the ones who are highly active, with no need of equipment, here are 8 workouts for strong and toned legs that we can do at home or just about anywhere! These exercises are also good to prevent and relieve knee pain and ankle pain. 

Pro Tip: It is important to have even legs, to bring a natural tone and balanced strength, practice these exercises by training each leg individually. Repeat each exercise for 10 counts in each leg (10 in right leg & 10 in left leg a total exercise of 20 sets) with 20 secs of rest between sets.

EXERCISE NO. 1: The Devil’s Chair

The devil’s chair or wall sit, could be your gateway to 6 pack abs. Wall sit is multi beneficial as it helps to strengthen your abdominal and calf muscles, tones thighs and sculpts legs and also the most easiest way to get rid of calories. As it requires tremendous amount of balancing, it also trains you on focusing and concentrating better. If you suffer from runner’s knee, wall sits are a must for you! It strengthens the muscles around knees which help you run better and avoid the pain of runner’s knee too.

 Wall sit is nothing but pretending to be sitting on an invisible chair. Having only your back fixed on the wall and your feet on the ground, forces your body to stay upright to maintain a sitting position. This act of balancing is a natural strength training routine as you take support of nothing but the wall and all your weight rests on your thighs.

 Start by standing against a flat wall having your entire back fixed on the wall. Make sure your feet are up to 2 ft apart or in line with your shoulder width.

Slide down slowly until you know you are in a sitting position. To correct this position, adjust to make sure your knees are directly above your ankles. Keep your back flat in a way you feel you are sitting up straight in 90°.

Hold the position for 60 seconds.

 Pro Tip: During wall sits, breathe consistently, focus on one point, keep your abs flexed, place your hands on your thighs or on the side of your body having your palms touching the wall. This will help you to retain your position longer.

 Go on, grab a flat wall NOW!

 EXERCISE NO. 2: Squat Pose

 An excellent practice to strengthen your inner thighs, calves and bring maximum flexibility, the squat pose, also known as Malasana in Yogic practice, is actually a relaxation pose once the right posture is attained. We all know that half squats are a popular workout practice, however this the squat pose is done in a manner where your entire body is engaged in the pose. The squat pose is beneficial not only to strengthen your legs, but also helps in back pain relief, body flexibility as well as improves the digestive system. One must avoid practicing this pose when suffering from extreme knee pain. (please read more on contraindications of the practice).

To start, stand up right with a comfortable distance between your feet, preferably in line with your shoulder width. Join your hands in namaskar pose and push out your buttocks. As you start to sit down, keep your entire feet fixed on the ground. Sit down further, slowly and push your buttocks out more, until you are sitting down completely on your feet. Your body rests naturally on the feet with your back straight, in its natural curvature. Do not lean forward. Make sure the heels are not lifted. The feet need to be fixed on the ground with your sole touching the floor.

To release, slowly stand up and relax your pose.

Experience the body balancing on your feet with a natural stretch in your inner thigh muscles.

You will find the pose relaxing and easy to do once you practice regularly.



Strengthen your legs at home with these no equipment workout regimes


 EXERCISE NO. 3: Tree Pose

 A great full body stretch, the tree pose, popularly known as Vrikshasana in yogic practice, is a great and simple routine that helps to strengthens tendons and ligaments in calves, improves balance, opens hips and lengthens spine. A great way to improve your concentration and excellent for those suffering from sciatica. An exercise that involves all parts of your body, from your mind working on focus and concentration to your body balancing on one leg with hands stretched above your head, experience a relaxing stretch in the groin, inner thighs, chest and shoulders with the Tree pose.

To begin, stand straight with arms by the side of your body. Please take support of the wall if you suffer from vertigo or if you are a beginner.

Begin first with your right leg. Fold your right leg side way and place your right foot’s soul firmly on your left inner thigh next to your groin region. The left leg must be kept straight throughout the practice.

Breathe in and slowly raise and stretch both your arms above your head and join both palms in namaskar mudra/pose. Breathe in an out normally throughout the practice. To help to maintain the balance of your posture, after taking the pose, gaze straight ahead and pick a point to focus on that is comfortable and in the level of your gaze.

To release, in a synchronized and slow format, exhale out and bring down your arms gently followed by releasing your right leg. Take a few normal breaths and repeat the practice with your left foot placed on your right inner thigh.

Pro Tip: Keep your chest open and spine is erect. Make sure you are not leaning forward or bending laterally. It is necessary to focus on a point or an object to maintain steadiness of your pose. Avoid focusing on moving objects. Do not gaze down or upwards. One must not practice this pose with closed eyes. Along with focusing on the point, make sure you breathe normally and enjoy your posture. Stay close to a wall when practicing.



Strengthen your legs at home with these no equipment workout regimes

 Introduction to Leg Lifts with Variations (Staning & Side-Lying) and their benefits

 Leg lifts are an easy and effective way for lower body strength training as we use our body weight to balance which helps to build powerful legs. Leg lifts are more advantageous when we train each leg individually, this not only evens out our legs in terms of balance and toning but also improves our body posture. With adding variations to your leg lifts you benefit other areas of your body as well as improve your body flexibility.

Strengthen your legs at home with these no equipment workout regimes


Standing leg lifts & variations.

Customize the way you do your standing individual leg lifts by changing the direction, height and intensity to build a stronger, naturally muscular and leaner lower body. Lifting your legs in a standing position engages the muscles in your hamstrings and quadriceps. For all the below variations, you can keep your hands on your waist or take support of the wall with the opposite hand of the leg you are working out with. Practice 6 sets in each leg.

 

EXERCISE NO. 4: Knee lift with side stretch:

You can start by standing straight and placing your hands on your waist or stand next to a wall and take support of it with your left hand. Fold your right leg from the knee and lift it up to your waist and stretch it out towards the right side of your body. It this position, your right foot is likely to be near your left thigh. Your right folded leg is in a form of triangle. From afar, your lower body posture looks like the letter ‘P’. To release, swing back your folded knee in the front and keep your leg down (this is one set, repeat 6 in each leg). This gives a good stretch to your inner thighs and groin.

 

EXERCISE NO. 5: Front & Back leg lift:

Start with your right leg, raise your leg up from the front up to 90° with your toes pointing towards yourself. Swing it back slowly and try to raise your leg up to your hips as much as you can. Keep your toes stretched out, this helps to involve your hip and lower back muscles. Rest for a few breaths and repeat in the other leg.

Pro Tip: For more benefits, practice front raises and back raises separately in each leg.

 

EXERCISE NO. 6: Leg Rotation with lifts and variations:

A common warm up exercise yet highly effective, when rotating your ankle joints and legs, your body uses motion to bring flexibility in your legs and hips which in turn helps in body stability and stronger legs.

Start by rotating your ankle joint first, followed by rotating your leg outward and inward in clock-wise and anti-clockwise motion. You can practice 3 rotations of each motion, a total of 6 sets in each leg.

Strengthen your legs at home with these no equipment workout regimes

Side-lying leg lifts and variations:

 

Similar to standing leg raises and lifts, we can practice the same exercises by lying down on the side of our body. Side lying leg lifts along with legs, also engage our abdominal and core muscles. For all exercises, we lie down straight on the side our body. The exercises need to be practiced individually on each side with each leg. Once we lie in a straight line, to secure the upper body, we support our head with one hand and place the other hand in front your chest.

 EXERCISE NO. 7: Individual Leg lifts:

 Starting with lying on the right side of our body, lift your right leg up to 90° first, followed by stretching it towards yourself as further as you can and bring it down slowly. You can place your hand on your thigh when pulling the leg towards yourself. Repeat up to 6 times or more. These practices when trained slowly are more effective. You can continue practicing other leg lift variations when lying on one side and repeat in other leg by changing your side.

EXERCISE NO. 8: Leg lifts with Variation

 Leg lifts not only engages our legs but also our inner thighs and buttocks while keeping the abdominal muscles pulled in, developing the core strength and improves balance.

To intensify the leg lifts, boost power into your legs and core muscles, when lying on one side of the body, raise both legs off the floor together up to 30° or 45° depending on your capacity and try to maintain this position in mid-air for as long as you can. Please make sure your legs are fixed together and there is no gap between your thighs or knees. This exercise is highly beneficial for your calves, hamstrings and core as your lower body is balancing itself with the entire weight on your upper body.

 To increase the intensity of this workout, start kicking both legs front and back, similar to swimming kicks, but mid-air.

 If you have any questions or comments about the above exercises, please feel free to share with us and we will address you as quickly as possible.

Strengthen your legs at home with these no equipment workout regimes 


References:

1.       https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/10-no-equipment-needed-exercises-for-strong-legs

2.       https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-poses/tree-pose-vrikshasana

3.       https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-do-side-leg-lifts-2704680

4.       https://www.coachmag.co.uk/exercises/abs-workout/172/instant-six-pack-fix-bench-leg-raises

5.       https://www.debbieschultzhealthcoach.com/2018/09/benefits-standing-leg-lifts/

6.       https://www.siddhiyoga.com/malasana-squat-garland-pose

7.       https://www.verywellfit.com/the-wall-sit-quad-exercise-3120741

8.       https://www.fitandme.com/benefits-of-wall-sits/

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