Strong leg muscles can add shape to your legs and provide your body with a stable base for other fitness moves, sports and everyday activities. Targeted leg workouts improve your overall leg strength and the power you can exert from your lower body. An exercise mat or thick towel provides a comfortable and cushioned spot on the floor for the lying leg exercises.
Leg Circle Exercise
Position yourself lying down on your back with your legs flat. Place your arms next to you a few inches from your body with your palms facing the floor. Raise one leg straight up in the air above the hip so it is perpendicular to the floor. With your toes pointed toward the ceiling, make a small circular shape with your toes as if you are drawing a circle on the ceiling. Keep the hips down and your leg straight as you perform the move. Circle your leg five times each going clockwise and counterclockwise. Lower your leg, and lift the other one so you can repeat the move on the opposite leg. Repeat the sets of five circles on each leg five times.
Hamstring Curl Exercise
This leg exercise incorporates an exercise ball to focus primarily on your hamstrings and glutes. During the exercise you lie n your back with your heels and lower legs about hip-width apart on an exercise ball. Raise your hips off the floor with your abs and glutes tightened to form a straight line with your body. Your shoulders should remain on the floor with your arms out to the side for stability. Bend your knees and draw your heels toward your glutes as you roll the ball toward you. The soles of your feet should end up on top of the ball. Lower the body and roll the ball back to the starting position. Repeat the curls eight to 10 times.
Side Leg Raises
A side-lying position is used for this leg exercise. Place your lower arm under your head for support and your upper arm on the floor in front of you for stability. Start on your left side with your left leg bent slightly. Your right upper leg remains straight. Lift the right leg 3 to 4 inches in a slow, controlled move. Hold the upper position for five seconds before lowering the leg. Repeat the leg raises eight to 10 times before switching to the other side.
The bridge move is another leg exercise that uses an exercise ball. This move also strengthens the abs and glutes. Lie on the floor with your lower legs and heels on the ball. Lift your hips up off the floor to create a straight line with your body. Raise and lower your body with controlled movement for eight to 10 repetitions. To add difficulty to the exercise, raise one leg off the exercise ball while you have your hips lifted off of the ground. Keep the leg straight and lift about 10 to 12 inches off of the ball. Lower it back down to the starting position. Repeat the single leg lifts eight to 10 times per leg.
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