If you are looking for a workout or exercise program, chances are you want a program that will help you improve your legs. You might want them to look better, or you might want to be stronger to be able to do the things you need to in your everyday life.
Either way, we’ll show you the 11 best leg exercises for women, and how to use those exercises to get the legs you want.
1. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian Deadlift is one of my favorite leg workouts.
They are fun and an excellent workout for your legs. Plus, they also build strength in the muscle groups around your lower back and glutes.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a weight in each hand.
- Keep your back flat, lower the dumbbells down by hinging at the hip. However, only go until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
- Do not bow your back. Don’t expect the dumbbells to touch the floor.
- Once you feel the tension in your hamstrings, squeeze your glutes to stand back up. Complete five sets of 5 reps.
2. Banded Step Out
Banded step-outs have many variations. The lateral step out is one of the best leg exercises for women that work their outer thigh leg muscles.
For this legs workout, you need a 20-inch resistance band.
- Place your band around your ankles and stand with your feet apart, with slight tension on the band.
- Keeping your knees bent slightly, hinge at the hips as if to squat. Using your right leg, step your right foot out laterally, increasing the tension on the band.
- Keep your hips level, and move your left foot and left leg back to your original position. There should always be some tension on the band. Each step is one rep.
- Once you have done your reps with the right leg, switch legs and step laterally with the left leg.
Note: if having the band around your ankles is too difficult at this time, you can put it around your knees instead. Complete two sets of 20 lateral steps.
3. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl
Hamstring exercises not only make your legs look great, but these exercises help improve your overall fitness.
Strong hamstrings prevent injury during the impact of sports and exercise. As a bonus, hamstring curls also work your abs!
- For these leg exercises, you need a Swiss Ball, otherwise known as an Exercise or Yoga Ball. Lie on the floor on your back with your heels propped up on the top of the ball.
- Extend your arms to the sides, palms on the floor for balance and stability.
- Tighten your core and lift your hips. Make a straight line from your feet to your shoulders.
- Now, tighten your hamstrings and roll the ball back towards your butt until your feet are flat on the ball, knees towards the ceiling.
- Under control, lower back to the original position. Complete three sets of ten.
4. Dumbbell Calf Raises
- As you might expect, Calf Raises are one of the best exercises for your calf muscles.
- For these exercises, you will need a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells and an elevated platform. The bottom step of a staircase works great for this.
- If you have problems with balance, you can do these without weights and rest one hand lightly on a wall to stabilize you.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Step onto the platform, so just the balls of your feet are on the step.
- Each heel will hang off the back of the platform. Your toes should point forward.
- Raise your toes as high as possible. Pause for two seconds. Slowly and under control, lower your heels back down. Complete two sets of ten reps.
5. Sumo Squat
Sumo squat exercises primarily work your hamstrings, but also hit your calves and hip flexors.
- From a standing position, hinge over, keeping your legs straight. Grab your toes in either hand.
- While still holding onto your toes, sink into a squat position.
- Keep your chest and torso up. Then raise your hips and straighten your legs to return to the starting position. Complete two sets of 10 reps.
- Stand with your feet together and take a long step forward with one foot. Bend your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Push off with the forward foot and return to standing.
- This is one rep. Repeat with the other side. Complete two sets of 10 reps on each side.