best-leg-exercises-for-women

Why Leg Exercises for Women Are Important

A lot of people – both men and women – seem to truly dread “leg day.” They’ll either put it off, skip it occasionally, or cut the number of exercises, sets, or reps in a given session. If any of these describe you, then you’re making a huge mistake. Since our legs contain the largest muscles in your body, they need to be strong and powerful, in addition to improving our core and overall health.

If you’re a woman who’s worried about your legs getting too muscular, which is a common concern, let us put your mind at ease. Due to the lower levels of testosterone, you can safely work out using multiple exercises without your leg muscles appearing too bulky or large. To that end, here are 10 of the best leg exercises for womenthat you can do with nothing more than a bench or chair and two 5-pound dumbbells.

Banded Lateral Walk

Targeted Muscles: quads and glutes

Exercise Instructions: With a small resistance band just three or four inches above your ankles, keep your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Tighten your core and then move your left foot to the side, followed by the right. Next, go back the other way and repeat.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 10-12 reps per leg

Split Squat

Targeted Muscles: quads and glutes

Exercise Instructions: Start by standing with your back facing a chair a couple of feet away. Place your hands on your hips, then bend your right leg behind so that the top of your foot lands on the seat. Next, squat and bend your leg at a 90° angle with your knee over the ankle. Finally, press through your midfoot and stand.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps per leg

Pistol Squat

Targeted Muscles: quads and glutes

Exercise Instructions: Feet hip-width apart and hands reaching in front of your chest, lift and flex your left foot a few inches off the floor. Squat down and bend your left knee 90°, holding your leg to hip level in front of you. Repeat with the other leg.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 5-10 reps

Single-Leg Deadlift

Targeted Muscles: hamstrings and glutes

Exercise Instructions: Start with your feet hip-width apart, dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing the front of your thighs. Hinge forward at the hips at 90° as you extend your left leg behind you to make your body parallel to the ground and arms hanging down. Switch to your right leg and repeat the process.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps per leg

Three-Way Calf Raises

Targeted Muscles: calves

Exercise Instructions: Place the balls of your feet on either the bottom step of a staircase or something at a similar height and place your hands on your hips. Lift your heels high with your toes pointed inward, lower them just below the step’s level, and then repeat the motion with your toes outward. Finally, stand on one leg with the toes pointing forward and bend the opposite leg behind you, repeating the lifts.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Good Morning

Targeted Muscles: hamstrings, glutes, and abs

Exercise Instructions: Feet shoulder-width apart and the end of a dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows and move the weight under your chin. Keep your legs straight and maintain each arm’s position, then press your butt back to hinge forward at the hips until your back is almost parallel to the ground. Finally, squeeze your glutes to return to a standing position.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Goblet Squat

Targeted Muscles: quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, and glutes

Exercise Instructions: Feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in front of your chest with your elbows toward the floor. Then, push your hips back and bend your knees to squat. Finally, push yourself back up to reset.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Three-Way Lunge

Targeted Muscles: hamstrings, inner thighs, quads, and glutes

Exercise Instructions: Feet hip-width apart and hands clasped together in front of your chest, lunge your left forward, keeping your knees at 90°. Return to the starting position, then lunge to the left with your toes facing forward and knee at 90°. Return to the starting position again and then do one final lunge backwards.

How Many to Do: 3 or 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Contact Fitness 360 for More of the Best Leg Exercises for Women

Routine leg workouts for women can help you stay strong, get toned, lose weight, and provide other meaningful benefits. The staff at Fitness 360 can give you all of the tools you need for a successful workout and can set you up with a personal trainer if needed. If you have any questions about our list of best leg exercises for women or any other workout increase, give us a call at (727) 797-5100 today to learn more about our fitness centers in Clearwater and Trinity.