How to strengthen your leg muscles

By Eronie Kamukama

For some women, it can be very hard to wear high heeled shoes because they easily lose stamina and fall or feel pain every time they wear such shoes.

A woman strengthens her legs by running

A woman strengthens her legs by running

One physiotherapist who prefers anonymity says people need to have strong legs because they help support the whole body especially when standing or walking. He adds that someone is more likely to develop pain in the knee joints if they have weak leg muscles.

According to Derrick Kalanzi, a fitness instructor, someone who has a weak hamstring is likely to develop a muscle pull which can be a bit painful.

The physiotherapist explains that a muscle pull develops when someone does an activity especially exercise without prior preparation or warm up exercises like jogging.

How to strengthen your legs

According to Abdul Segi, a fitness trainer at Club 5 Gym in Makerere University, it is easy to have strong legs.

  • Stretch the legs after putting off the high heeled shoes. This works on the calf muscle.
  • Skipping a rope
  • Walk routinely
  • Jog around
  • Do calf raises

Kalanzi says calf raises can be done in the gym using the calf machine.

He adds that one can also do squats. These can be done in the gym using weights or at home.

Exercises to help strengthen those legs

Standing Calf Raises: In the gym

  • Place toes and heels on calf block of calf machine. Ensure your feet and toes are comfortably separated. Your toes should be pointing forward. Place your hands on support for balance.
  • Raise heels by extending ankles as high as possible. Lower heels by bending ankles until calves are stretched. Repeat. Your knees should remain straight throughout the exercise or bend knees slightly only when you are stretching.

    Standing calf raises at home

    Standing calf raises at home

 At home

  • Standing at the edge of the verandah, make sure your heels are in space and toes on verandah. Keep moving the legs up and down and work out until you feel a burning sensation on your calf.

Squats

  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  • Position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and maintain a straight back.
squats

squats

  • Begin to slowly lower your upper body by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your upper body as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.

 

 

 

Stretches for leg muscles

  • On your back, grasp your thigh behind the knee and gently pull towards your chest, keeping the leg straight.
  • Standing on one leg, grasp the other ankle and gently pull up and back towards the buttocks. Keep the pelvis from tilting and upper body upright.

    A woman stretches her legs

    A woman stretches her legs

  • Sit on the floor with one leg bent, knee to the chest, the other leg straight. Lean forward reaching out toward the toes.
  • On your back, grasp below the knees and pull the thighs toward the chest while your back remains flat.
  • Standing with one leg forward, knee bent and the other leg behind and straight. Keep heel and foot of the back leg flat against the floor during stretching.
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