When it comes to designing a good leg day, it’s not all about the squats. There are plenty of other complementing moves you can do to strengthen, enhance, tone, and improve the look of your leg muscles. Here are some of the best thigh exercises to sculpt your legs.
Keep in mind that step-ups are a bit challenging for your balance so if you’re not sure of how stable you are, omit the added weights in the beginning and add them later if you feel strong and safe. Take an inhale and step with your right foot on the bench, driving from the heel and pushing yourself up so your other foot follows. Without dropping the foot down, slowly step back to the floor.
You can repeat this move 10-12 times and simply focus on the glute and thigh of your right leg as you push up. If you need more stability, you can always tap your left foot once it comes up, and if you need a bigger challenge, as you step up, drive the left knee up toward your chest. Repeat the same thing with the other leg.
Plyometric boxes for workouts
Challenge your workout with these fitness tools.
Keep your right leg straight or slightly bent but don’t lock out your knees. Ensure your core is engaged throughout the entire exercise as single-leg deadlifts can be really hard on your lower back and challenging for your balance. As you come back up, bring your left foot to tap, re-center, and repeat the movement again. Go for 10-12 repetitions before switching your legs.
Spice up your workouts by adding a bit of extra weight.
You can challenge yourself even more by adding resistance bands around your thighs or even a dumbbell you can place on the top of your hips for added weight.
Resistance bands for leg day
Challenge your squats with these heavy load resistance bands.
Exhale and step back to the center, using the ball of your right foot as a kick-off point, feeling it in your glute and thigh. You can repeat the same move 10-12 times on the same leg or alternate between left and right. The faster you go, the more cardiovascular the exercise becomes, but if you add a bit heavier weights, focus on the movement and don’t rush it.
Increase your weight in the gym and feel your muscles getting stronger with each rep.
Repeat 15-20 times before doing the same with your other leg. This exercise is also challenging for your balance so don’t be surprised if you start feeling wobbly after half of your reps. Just remember to keep your core as active as possible and engage your glutes.
Running and training shoe
Give your feet the stability they need.
If you want to make this exercise a bit more challenging, add a resistance band between your thighs and make your thighs work harder to reach the full expression of the move.
This thigh master will improve any leg day.
You can make this exercise more challenging by adding a resistance band or a pilates ring, or even grab a dumbbell and place it on top of your upper thigh before you start lifting your leg.
This Pilates ring is fun and versatile.
Once again, you can make this a bit harder by looping a resistance band around your thighs, placing an ab slider on the floor, or even just using a towel.
Gaiam Core Sliding Discs
Engage your core, legs, and arms with these awesome sliders.
These leg exercises will really make your thighs burn, but don’t forget to stretch after you’re done!