08 May 2011

Toning & Building Leg Muscles

Dumbbell squats are easy leg exercises that can help build muscles in your legs such as your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Your lower back is also trained as a bonus with this exercise. This will help you train your legs in the absence of a squat rack, which is required for squats that use barbells. Because you are using dumbbells instead of barbells, you must exercise extra effort in keeping your back straight. You have an increased tendency of leaning forward while performing the workout as you lower and raise your legs. And for safety measures, you must choose your weights wisely. It is better to start with a lighter set of weights rather than beginning your activity with heavy ones to prevent strain and injury to your arms, back, and legs. This way, you will be able to choose a set of weights that are light to avoid getting injured, but heavy enough so you can get the full benefit of your workout.

Stand up straight while holding a set of dumbbells in each hand. If you are having difficulty holding the dumbbells, you can use a wrist strap to stabilize your grip. Rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing the side your legs. Spread your legs at shoulder’s breadth with your feet pointed slightly outwards for balance. Your head, neck, and back must be in straight alignment. Keep this for your starting position.

Inhale as you lower yourself down by bending at the knees. Refrain from looking down as you do so, and keep yourself from leaning forward. Keep your torso and arms stationary as you let your legs do all the work. This will help center the motion on your legs and protect your arms and back from getting injured. Stop once your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are at level with your toes. Maintain this position for a second while keeping the tension in your legs, then exhale as you slowly push yourself up to starting position by extending your knees. Be sure not to let your knees go pass your toes to prevent causing undue pressure on your knees. Repeat for 2 sets with 15 reps each.

***check with a medical professional before starting any exercise/diet program***