If you want to use resistance bands to work the lower body you need to realize that your thighs are the biggest muscles in your body. You want to make sure that any resistance bands you buy are strong enough so that they don't break during exercise.
Most resistance bands you see in gyms are very low quality and are not strong enough to withstand repeated stress. Bodylastics is the clear leader in this market, and sells a very durable and versatile resistance bands set.
If you’re in the pursuit of stronger leg muscles, chances are you’ll begin by working on your quadriceps and then follow-up shortly after by strengthening you hamstrings.
Hamstring muscle strains and injuries are quite common, so it’s a smart idea to keep these muscles on the back of your legs strong and toned if you’re physically active.
If it’s nice beach legs you’re after, the hamstrings are also a good muscle to target. They contribute to that firm thigh/buttock look that many women (and men) want- particularly in the summer months when they’re in beach/outdoors clothes.
When it comes to weight loss, the hamstrings also figure into the picture pretty solidly. They are large muscles in the legs and if your goal is to increase overall muscle mass to increase your metabolism and hence your fat burn.
In this video, we demonstrate how to use a Total Gym XLS (a great all-in-one home gym system we like made famous by Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley in late night infomercials) to grow your hamstring muscles.
Among the exercises you can use a Total Gym XLS to execute for the hamstrings are:
Standing Lunge- this actually works both the quadriceps and the hamstrings, so we included it in our hamstrings video.
Hamstring Leg Curl- This may be the mother off all hamstring exercises. You’ve no doubt seen a variation of this at the health club. Usually there are several machines dedicated to this exercise. On the Total Gym you do it with the Wing Attachment and then you curl your own body weight on the Total Gym glide board. It’s actually pretty fun to do, and will give you a serious burn on the hamstrings.
Sprinter Start- Another exercise that works both the quadriceps and the hamstrings. Imagine you’re a sprinter starting a sprint race and you’ll get an idea of what this looks like.
Looking to strengthen your leg muscles? Maybe you’re looking to add strength to the other exercise activities you do such as running or cycling. Or maybe you’re looking for a way to increase your overall body muscle composition to increase your metabolism and fat burn.
Regardless of your motives, this video will show you how to work our build your quadriceps using a variety of squat exercises on a Total Gym system. Total Gym is a very versatile home gym system that allows you to work all major muscles groups while also getting a cardio workout. At PEERtrainer, we have become big fans of this product.
Strengthening your quadriceps helps with weight loss (because it’s a large muscle and more muscle = higher metabolism = more fat burned) and it also will give you nice, shapely legs. It will also add a lot of functional strength that will be helpful throughout your day- climbing stairs, carrying little kids around, lifting boxes in the garage, etc.
Check out this video where we demonstrate how you can build your quads using a Total Gym XLS. Here are some of the exercises you can do using the Total Gym system, several of which are featured in this video:
Squats- Perhaps the most standard, straightforward leg strengthening exercise. If you decide to purchase a Total Gym machine, then either the XLS or the 3000 model come with the squat stand.
Jump Squats- Another variation of the squat, only using a thrust motion to jump up. Creates additional burn and intensity on the muscles.
One Legged Squats- You can quickly double the intensity of the squat exercise by doing it with just one leg.
One Legged Jump Squats- Same as above, increase intensity by going to one leg. This one’s a killer! We’re talkin’ some serious leg burn here!
Side Squat- Another variation where you turn to the side…easiest to do the one leg version.
Calf Raises- Another standard leg strength building exercise for the calves. Total Gym offers a quick and easy way to do this using the squat platform.