As a woman, you are constantly on the hunt for the very best moves you can do to help create your fittest, leanest, most beautiful legs. Knowing what approach to take will help you reach this goal instead of tip-toeing around it. Be open to expanding your current routine so that it includes exercises that are best for improving the appearance and strength of your legs.
Free Weight vs Machines
There are a few key things that make free weight and machines different from each other. Free weights challenge you to maintain balance throughout any given movement, as you don't have the stability of the machine to anchor you. Machines are great at targeting and isolating specific muscles. The best free weight exercises for the legs are dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges and dumbbell calf raises. Some machines that provide the best leg workout are the leg press, leg curl and stair stepper machines.
Body Weight Workouts
Women can perform these body weight moves nearly anywhere, making them ideal for ladies on the go or with little space to work with. When performed optimally, they can be very effective in toning up your legs. Some key moves to focus on for killer legs are squat jumps, sumo squat jumps and lunge jumps. Form is important, as you should never let your knees move forward farther than your toes when performing the squat and lunge jumps. Driving your weight down through your heels as you explode upwards will isolate those leg muscles to make them toned and strong.
Cardiovascular Leg Workouts
There is a place for cardiovascular workouts when trying to improve the fitness of your legs. It is important that you do this in combination with your strength training leg routine; not in place of it. Cardio training for your legs helps supplement resistance training; it activates the muscles you've helped build and utilizes them to be calorie-burning machines. Squat and lunge jumps are two effective cardio workouts that isolate your quads, hamstrings and incorporate your calf muscles. Running or walking at an incline productively isolates your hamstrings and glutes. To completely isolate the calves, try jumping rope.
Yoga Leg Workout
If you need a low impact way to exhaust your legs, try some various yoga poses. Bridge pose is a move that specifically targets the glutes and hamstrings. Warrior pose is an excellent workout to strengthen both the quadriceps and the hamstrings. It also helps improve balance in the legs. Garland pose improves on the flexibility and balance of the thighs, knees and calves. Chair pose isolates the quadriceps and hamstrings and works your legs in a similar fashion as the squat.