Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Strengthen Your Lower Body?

Whether you want to compete in a triathlon or just look better in shorts, improving your lower body can help you look better, feel better and play sports more effectively. Increased lower-body strength can also improve your balance and reduce your risk of injury. You can improve your lower body through a variety of activities such as walking and strength-training.
Walking or Running
Walking and running both work the muscles of your lower body. Running gives you a more intense aerobic workout, but it also increases the strain on your joints. For a more difficult workout, build sprints into your run or walk, run a trail that has hills or walk through waist-high water in a pool. Running and walking are most likely to give you lean muscles made up of slow-twitch muscle fibers.
Cycling also builds your lower body strength, especially your quadriceps and hamstrings, without straining your joints. Cycling also provides an aerobic workout and is an efficient, environmentally friendly means of transportation. Riding a bicycle uses five times less energy than walking to go the same distance, according to website The Exploratorium.
Strength Training
Many strength-training exercises target your lower body. For example, squats, lunges, leg lifts and leg presses tone and strengthen the muscles in your legs. Strength-training exercises are more likely to give you bulky muscles that consist of fast-twitch muscle fibers, especially if you lift heavy weights with low repetitions. Remember to take a day or two off between weightlifting sessions to allow your muscles time to recover. In addition, ask a qualified trainer for a demonstration if you don't know how to do an exercise or use a machine.
You should work out all muscle groups in your body, not just those in your lower body. This helps prevent injury and improves your overall strength. For example, if you're a runner, lift weights or add swimming to your workout schedule to improve your upper body strength. If you want to add muscle mass, work out all major muscle groups, including those in your upper body, abdomen, back and lower body.

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