|TammYoga in Balance: Proper leg exercises|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 18:25|
When meeting with a new client at the gym where I work as a personal trainer, I will ask them to give me a little background on their past exercise experiences and future goals. What I hear most is the desire to firm up, get healthy, and lose weight.
The legs and buttocks make up the largest muscles of the body. Working these muscles not only tones and strengthens, but also increases the metabolism. Leg exercises are a must for strength, flexibility and functional mobility.
Leg exercises promote working the largest muscles and muscle balance, while remaining healthy and pain-free. Proper form is most important to avoid injury and build muscle strength.
One of my favorite leg exercises is the squat. The squat requires the gluteus, quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles to work, which strengthens the leg and supports the knee.
The easiest way to minimize stress on the knee is to be aware of the positioning of your knees and toes during the exercise. Simply, keep your hips from moving forward when your knees are bearing the load. If you ever feel knee pain, you need to stop. The knees are very complex joints and are highly susceptible to damage. Did you know, when we are standing, the knee carries approximately 80 percent of our body weight?
Functional “real life” movement is something we want to maintain throughout our lives. The squat will help you keep the strength and flexibility in your lower body to be able to bend down to pick something up. You will be glad you kept up with your squats!
Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.
Mind: No trans fats – read the labels of everything you eat.
Body: Do three sets of squats, three times a week, with a day of rest in between.
Soul: Write down 10 things that make you happy and smile.
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