With busy lives, it can be hard to find the time for a good workout session. However, it might be easier to burn those calories than you think — there are many lower body exercises you can do from the comfort of your home without weights or equipment.
Personal trainer at Soho Strength Lab, Kristy Zurmuhlen, explains if you want long lean legs or muscular ones, just doing cardio won’t suffice. That’s because “traditional cardio is training [muscle]-fiber types and energy systems,” Zurmuhlen told Women’s Health. “It gives you a good base level of conditioning that will help support recovery and general fitness.” But she says to gain muscle and strength, you need to focus on mechanical tension. We’ve enlisted the experts to help recommend some exercises specially targeted to help build strong legs — all of which you can do at home without weights.
Bodyweight squats and side lunges
Bodyweight squats are easy to do anywhere because they don’t require weights. According to SELF, you’ll need to stand with your feet slightly facing outward and at shoulder-width apart. Next, sit your bottom back into a squat position and lean down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your weight in your heels, while you bend down and stand back up again. Make sure to keep your butt and core as tight as you can when you stand.
Side lunges are another great toning workout for your legs. To do them, stand with your feet hip-width from each other. Take a large step out to your left, while bending your left knee and keeping your other leg upright. Make sure to keep your chest straight and your core flexed. Then repeat the exercise on your right side.
Reverse lunges with knee lifts work double duty on your glutes and thigh muscles. In order to attempt these, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and step back with your right foot. It’s important to plant yourself on the ball of your foot. This should also leave you producing a 90-degree angle with both knees. Then thrust your left heel to come back to standing and push your right knee towards your upper body. Now you can repeat this set on the other side.
How many reps you decide to do is based on your own personal fitness goals — the more you do the faster you’ll see changes. For maximum results Zurmuhlen recommends splitting your workout between upper and lower body throughout the week. She said she spends time twice a week on both with her clients. “I like to leave two days between leg workouts to ensure that my clients are recovering properly and not overtraining,” she explained.
After doing these sweat inducing exercises, you’ll be ready to show off your toned gams just in time for summer.
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