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How can I make my legs stronger?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Answered by: Ms. Neeta Garg
Fitness expert and Psychologist
Apollo Clinic
Gurgaon
Google Buzz

Q. The muscles of my legs have become very loose. Can you let me know how I can tighten them without going to the gym? What exercises will help me make my legs stronger?

A.  Ideally, one should think of fitness as an overall goal, rather than one isolated area that might need fixing. Cardio vascular exercises 2-6 times a week, resistance training or yoga 2-4 times a week and flexibility exercises almost everyday. If you do want to specifically tighten your legs, regular walking will help as well as resistance exercises suggested below: Repeat about 10 times and then do another set. Slowly build up the number of repetitions, over time. Keep a days gap before you do each of these again. For the hamstrings: Lying on your stomach, raise one leg slightly off the ground, gently bend the leg at the knee with the leg folding, squeeze the muscles at the back of the thighs as you do. Do the other leg. For the quadriceps: Sit comfortably on the edge of a chair and lift both or one leg at a time, till the knees are straight. Feel the front of the thighs tightening as you do. For the calves: Stand in front of a wall to support you. Slowly go up on your toes and feel the tightening of the calves as you do. For the outer thighs: Lie on your side and lift the leg that is on the outside toward the ceiling with the outside of the leg continuing to face the ceiling. Do not raise too high nor too fast. Bring it down with resistance. Turn around and do the other side. For the inner thighs: In the same position, raise the bottom leg towards the ceiling, squeezing the inner thighs as you do. Remember to stretch the muscles when you have finished.

A.  Ideally, one should think of fitness as an overall goal, rather than one isolated area that might need fixing. Cardio vascular exercises 2-6 times a week, resistance training or yoga 2-4 times a week and flexibility exercises almost everyday. If you do want to specifically tighten your legs, regular walking will help as well as resistance exercises suggested below: Repeat about 10 times and then do another set. Slowly build up the number of repetitions, over time. Keep a days gap before you do each of these again. For the hamstrings: Lying on your stomach, raise one leg slightly off the ground, gently bend the leg at the knee with the leg folding, squeeze the muscles at the back of the thighs as you do. Do the other leg. For the quadriceps: Sit comfortably on the edge of a chair and lift both or one leg at a time, till the knees are straight. Feel the front of the thighs tightening as you do. For the calves: Stand in front of a wall to support you. Slowly go up on your toes and feel the tightening of the calves as you do. For the outer thighs: Lie on your side and lift the leg that is on the outside toward the ceiling with the outside of the leg continuing to face the ceiling. Do not raise too high nor too fast. Bring it down with resistance. Turn around and do the other side. For the inner thighs: In the same position, raise the bottom leg towards the ceiling, squeezing the inner thighs as you do. Remember to stretch the muscles when you have finished.

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