If you find that you regularly suffer with problems like knee sprains or calf pain, then there's more you can do for your condition than strap on a calf compression sleeve to help speed up recovery time and offer enhanced support. Strengthening your legs through simple workouts is a great way to improve the way your muscles work to support your body, meaning you're less likely to fall victim to injury in the future.
Before you sign up for a gym membership, however, it might be worth noting that there are a lot of exercises that you can do with nothing more than your bodyweight from your home, or even your office at work! Try these leg strengthening exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere, for a great workout boost.
1. Wall Sit
This exercise is incredibly easy, and it helps to strengthen your legs while stretching out cramped muscles at the same time. Lean back against the nearest wall and slowly slide downwards until the backs of your thighs are parallel with the ground. It should look as though you're sitting on an imaginary seat. Keep your back straight, and hold your position for as long as possible before raising back into the standing position.
Another classic for leg strengthening exercises, the lunge starts with your hands on your hips and your feet about 12 inches apart. Step forwards with your right leg, and lower your body by bending your left knee until it almost touches the floor beneath you. Hold for a moment, then return to your starting position and repeat with the other side.
3. Pistol Squat
A twist on the average squat movement, stand holding your arms straight out in front of your body, then lift your right leg, flexing the ankle and pushing your hips backwards. Lower your body slowly while keeping your leg in the air, and hold the position for as long as you can. These leg strengthening exercises might require some balance work.
4. Single Leg Deadlift
Beginning in a standing position, bend the knee of your right leg and lower your torso and arms towards the floor while lifting your right leg away from the floor and behind your body. Keep your left knee bent, and reach your arms out so they're as close to the floor as possible without actually touching it. Don't forget to switch to your other leg after completing this move.
When it comes to leg strengthening exercises that you can do anywhere, they don't get any simpler than the common step-up. All you need to do is find your nearest bench or step, and place one foot on the elevated surface. Press your weight forwards onto the elevated leg until it's straight, then gently fall backwards and return to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite leg and aim for about 12 reps on either side.
6. Calf Raise
From a standing position, slowly push your weight upwards and onto your toes, keeping your knees as straight as possible and holding your heels away from the floor. When you're up on your tiptoes, hold the position for as long as possible, stretching out the calves, before you come back down, then repeat. Try standing on a step to extend your range of motion.