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How To Have Strong Leg Muscles And Burn Calories? Try These Legs Exercises

Find out your leg muscles and how they work to perform your thighs exercises correctly for the wonderful results you want. 

Knowing the general anatomy of your thigh allows you to easily adjust the exercises to the muscles of the thigh that you want to develop or strengthen. 

Your thigh is made of many muscles. What are the main leg muscles?

Leg muscles in the front of the thigh

leg muscles
Thigh muscles in the front of the right leg

The most in front of your leg are the quadriceps muscle (quadriceps femoris), which consists of four heads: the rectus femoris muscle, the vastus medialis muscle, the vastus lateralis muscle, and vastus intermedius muscle. 

The quadriceps muscle is one of the largest and strongest muscles in the human body. Its main function is to extend the knee and bend the hip joint (rectus femoris). 

This muscle is responsible for the balance of the body (it has a static function) and works, for example, while standing (when the center of the body gravity shifts backward), while walking, going uphill, and going downhill. 

What are the leg’s muscles on the side of the thigh?

On the external side of the thigh, there is the tensor fasciae latae

Its most important task is to abduct the thigh (move it to the side), but it also rotates it and bends the hip joint. 

On the internal side of your leg, there is adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor brevis, gracilis.

Thanks to these leg muscles your body maintains balance. 

In addition, adductor longus extend the hip, and adductor brevis helps cross the legs.

What are other leg muscles on the back of your thigh?

Legs muscles on the back

legs muscles
Thigh muscles on the back of the right leg

The main leg muscles of the back of the thigh are the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris.

The muscles extend the hip joint (move thigh to the back), and adduct (brings the thigh closer to the body) the hip joint.

Additionally, the muscles bend the knee and rotate the lower leg (biceps and semi-tendons). 

Knowing your leg muscles gives you an increased ability to adjust your exercises and get the results you want. 

What are the great exercises for the legs?

Exercise 1

Below are exercises for the quadriceps (mainly rectus femoris), biceps femoris muscles, and glutes

quad exercises

Put your feet hip-width apart and bend your knee at the right angle.

Your knees should be at the level with the heels. They should not move forward. 

You can put your feet wider than hip-width apart if you want to activate your glute muscles more intensively.

Contract your abdominal muscles to support your back and prevent leaning.

You can check in the mirror if you are doing this exercise well! 

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Exercise 2

In the next exercise work similar legs muscles and glutes as in the exercise above.

best leg exercises

Put one leg in front (take one big step) of the other and bend the knees. 

Your knees should bend at right angles. 

After a few repetitions change the leg position and do the same exercise.

What are other great leg exercises?

Exercise 3

The main leg muscles that work in the exercise below are tensor fasciae latae, sartorius, and partly glute muscles.

thigh raises

Lie on your side and raise your straight upper leg. 

The lower leg should be bent at right angles, and the foot should be parallel to the floor. Do NOT point your toes up. The toes should be pointing to the side. 

Exercise 4

In the next exercise work the leg muscles: adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor brevis, gracilis, pectineus, and the lower part of gluteus maximus.

leg lifts

Lie on your side and raise your straight lower leg. The upper leg should be bent at the knee and rests on the floor. 

Raise and lower the straight lower leg.

The foot of the working leg should be parallel to the floor. Don’t point your toes up. 

Do a few repetitions then change the side and exercise the other leg.

Enjoy your exercises! 😉

What are advanced leg exercises for strong leg muscles and burning calories?

The exercises presented below are great not only for the legs but also arms, shoulders, back, and chest.

Squats with weights are awesome to get stronger and burn calories. 

How to do squats? 

If you want to engage the muscles of your thighs more then put your feet with your hips width apart.

If you want to activate your glutes more, then put your feet wider and point the toes sideways.

  • It is important to keep your back straight and contract your belly muscles to protect your spinal joints. 
  • Also, bend your knees to the right angle and keep your knees above your ankles to protect your knee joints.
  • If you want to engage more muscles at the same time then you can add the movement of your arms with weights. 

Lift your weights to your chest level.

Remember to have your wrists straight while holding weights to protect your wrist joints. 

You can use your regular weights or any other objects you have around, such as bags of apples. 🍏 😉

It is worth doing exercises on other muscle groups on other days to keep balance in your body.

Turn on your favorite music.

Also, remember about the most important thing which is having fun! 😃

Enjoy your workout! 

Do you like to exercise at home?

Great fat burning exercises for the inner parts of your thighs.

Put your legs to the sides. 

However, move your torso to the back and keep your knee at the right angles to protect your knee joints.

Move your body weights to the sides.

You can do it with just your bodyweight or with weights or a homemade barbell. 😉

By the way, do you like my homemade barbell? 😂  It took me only 3 seconds to make it from 2 water canes and a broom.

When you add weight to the leg moves your train also the arms, chest, and shoulder muscles.

Have fun!

Do you prefer to exercise with bodyweight or weights?

Do you not have time for a workout? No problem. Join me for a 15 seconds workout at home!

Lunges are great to burn calories and have strong and amazing legs.

Stand tall. Legs with hip-width apart. Take a big step backward and return to a standing position.

Remember to bend your knees and hips to the right angle to protect your joints.

You can also use weights in this exercise. If you are exercising with weights, keep your wrists straight to protect your joints as well.

Have fun! 😉

How do you like the information?

I hope the knowledge about the leg muscles and thigh exercises presented above will allow you to perform the leg exercises more consciously. 

Don’t forget to warm up at the beginning and stretch your legs at the end of your workout! 

Try also leg workouts at home, bodyweight workout, dumbbell leg workout, and download my free e-book below.

Polish post

Source: “Functional anatomy in the field of physical education and physiotherapy studies” – Bogusław Marecki

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