Want to know the most powerful resource in any workout regimen?
Your muscles - particularly the ones in your legs and mid-section, are the things that keep you supported during those nightly runs, the weekly sessions lifting weights at the gym, and more. Without strong leg muscles, you'd struggle to maintain a comprehensively healthy body.
If you're not sure how leg muscles work - then you're not alone. While most of us understand that the length of our legs are a matter of genetics, we seem to forget that the strength, or composition of our legs is actually down to us. While your family history might determine whether you're going to be a runway model, or a standard shorty, it's up to you to decide how to make the most of your genes through diet, exercise, and the development of good habits.
How Leg Muscles Work - The Anatomy
Although all of our legs may look unique on the outside, we have the same composition of leg muscles - including quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors above the thighs, and tibialis anterior, soleus muscles, and gastrocnemius muscles below the knee. Looking after these muscles through constant exercise, healthy eating, and the use of a few helpful accessories such as knee compression bandages and calf sleeves is essential to facilitating a fitness-first lifestyle.
Here's a quick list to help you learn how leg muscles work by showing you the complete anatomy:
- Tibialis anterior - the line of muscles that makes up your shin and helps you to flex your ankle.
- Soleus - the calf muscle that lies underneath and works with the gastrocnemius - one of the muscles you'd protect with a compression calf sleeve.
- Gastrocnemius - the upper part of your two calf muscles - this is the bouncy part that helps you push away from the floor with every step.
- Quadriceps - the muscle at the front of the thigh, responsible for extending your knees.
- Adductors - The inner thigh muscles
- Hamstrings - the best known thigh-muscle, located behind the back of the thigh and designed to help you extend your hips and flex your knees.
Making Your Leg Muscles Work for You
Now that you understand how your leg muscles work, it's time to make them start working for you. If you find that your legs aren't supporting you as well as they could be, or they simply don't look the way you'd hope, then you can change their composition by altering the ration of lean mass to fat. Increasing endurance and strength in your legs will change how they look and perform. After all, the strongest legs are the shapeliest.
Some research even suggests that stronger legs may be essential to staying slim. When you increase the endurance of your leg muscles, you quickly find that it's easier to move around and exercise, leading to higher amounts of physical activity throughout the day. You may even end up burning more calories overall without any additional effort.
Maintaining a constant fitness routine that supports and strengthens your leg muscles will help you to feel stronger, achieve better posture, and even improve your weight loss efforts in no time.