Best Leg Exercises

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Heel Raises (Calves front and back)

Have you noticed the beautiful calves on ballerinas and those sculpted calf muscles on professional basketball players? Both ballerinas and basketball players use heel raises to strengthen the calf muscles to increase vertical lift. Heel raises are the ticket to shapely calves -- and guess what? You'll be able to jump high, too!

How to do heel raises:

Start with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides and head facing forward. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your abdominal muscles should be pulled in to protect your back. Lift your body weight up onto the balls of the feet and hold for a three-count. Return to flat feet. Perform three sets of 20 heel raises. A challenging variation of the heel raise involves hanging your heels off a step and then raising and lowering yourself through the repetitions.

Step-ups (Quadriceps)

You can perform this leg exercise anywhere there's something to step up on. Your bottom step or an aerobic bench is perfect. Whatever you choose, this exercise will work your quads, and you will definitely feel the workout in your entire leg. Add some dumbbells or ankle weights to increase difficulty.