3 Single Leg Exercises to Tone and Strengthen Your Entire Body
When you're working out using both arms or legs at the same time, you can fail to recognize what your true strength might actually be able to accomplish. Most people have a dominant side, which means that when you complete a leg press or squat, one side of your body automatically takes the lead. One-legged exercises can be ideal when it comes to balancing out the left and right sides of your lower body, and they're also an ideal way to fight back against injury if you find that you're constantly relying on calf compression sleeves for one leg in particularly.
Make sure that you avoid injury by going easy to begin with, starting with a single set than working your way upwards. To maximize the benefits, complete a set of leg exercises to tone and strengthen listed below on one leg, then switch to the other.
The first, and perhaps most obvious of the leg exercises to tone and strengthen your entire body that we'll cover here, are step-ups. These motions help to work the hamstrings and glutes, as well as the quadriceps for a great overall workout. Standing with a bench or step nearby, begin with your right foot on top of the bench, and your left foot on the floor. Bring your weight up onto the bench while lifting your left knee and foot away from the ground. Make sure that you bring your knee all the way up to your hip to get the best results.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
This one-legged squat is similar to a lunge, except you prop your non-working leg against a bench for additional balance. This motion helps to work the glutes and the quadriceps. Start by standing around two feet away from a flat bench, with your back to the bench. Reach one foot backwards so that you can rest your toes against the bench, while your alternate foot is flat in front of you. Keep your back straight and your head up and lower your back knee slowly as you inhale, until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Your knee should finish up directly over your toes.
3. Single Leg Hip-Pops
Some of the most effective leg exercises to tone and strengthen your entire body are the ones that utilize the flexibility of your hips. This challenging workout targets the hamstrings of the supporting leg, which can be great if you're trying to strengthen your lower body for running purposes. Start seated on the ground with your legs out in front of you and your palms against the ground beside your hips. Raise your left leg a few inches away from the ground, then push your right heel downwards, with your arms extended so that you're supporting the majority of your weight on your hands. Lift your hips as high as you can away from the floor, and hold the position before lowering your hips back to the starting position, then popping quickly back up.
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