If you’re 30 or older, you better listen up. The natural decline of muscle with age is no joke. According Harvard Health Publishing, you can lose between 3% and 5% every 10 years after your 30th birthday. This can make performing everyday tasks and movements much more difficult. So commit to doing everything in your power to preserve your muscle mass over the years. It’s never too late to start, and after all, staying active, strong and healthy is the best gift you can give yourself. We’ve done the hard work for you and are here to share five bodyweight exercises to regain muscle mass in your legs. It’s time to move!
Your leg muscles have a lot to thank for. According to WebMD, they allow you to rotate and extend your legs in all directions. They also help your knees bend and your toes point correctly. Having strong, sculpted leg muscles as you age improves your balance, helping to prevent falls and injuries.
We spoke with Stefania Xytakis, a personal trainer on Fyt, the nation’s largest personal training service offering virtual and in-person workouts, who reveals five exercises to regain muscle mass in your legs. The best part? All you need is your body weight – no fancy equipment required!
Xytakis tells us, “These are helpful because they consider all sides of the leg and the many muscles involved. There is also a combination of isometric, power, and normal-paced exercises. You can make each exercise easier or more difficult depending on how you feel. Going for a short run afterwards will help you cool down and tie all the exercises together.
Perform each exercise for 60 seconds on and 30 seconds off twice in a row. Finish these exercises with a 200 meter run for a complete workout.
To perform burpees, start in a standing position before jumping up to assume a plank. Push off between your feet, keeping your shoulders aligned with your wrists. Lower your body to the ground, then come back up to a plank. Jump your feet to your hands and rise to stand. Now you have the option of jumping or group jumping for an extra challenge. Return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
Get ready to feel the burn with Wall Sits. Begin this exercise by standing with your back leaning against a wall. Bend so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle and the backs of your legs are parallel to the floor.
For Step-ups, place a solid block in front of you. Put your right foot on the block, making sure your right leg is bent. Shift your weight to your right leg as you lift your body onto the block, then straighten your right leg. Make sure there isn’t a lot of weight on your left leg when you tap it against the block. Then, using control, lower your left leg to the floor, followed by your right leg. This completes one repetition. Alternate legs.
Then get ready for the Lunges. Begin this exercise standing with your legs hip-width apart. Bring your left leg behind you and lower it until your shin is a few inches off the ground. As you do this, bend your right knee to form a 90 degree angle. Return your left leg to the position you started in to complete one rep. Alternate legs.
Finally, lie on your back and bend your knees. Squeeze your glutes as you drive your hips toward the ceiling. Make sure you keep your feet on the ground. Lower your glutes to the floor to complete one rep. To kick things up a notch, bring your heels up while your hips are up.
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care to readers. Learn more about Alexa
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