I don’t think I have to convince you that strengthening your legs is a good thing. But just in case you don’t care about the extra flab on your legs, working on building up your lean muscle means you can eat more and burn it off more easily. And if that doesn’t do it for you, how about just being able to do simple tasks better, like lifting the laundry, groceries, or moving your furniture? Here are some great ways to get your legs in shape with only an exercise ball as equipment.
These are amazing for your thighs. You will feel the burn and see the results in just a few weeks of doing these consistently. Just take your exercise ball, put it behind your back against a wall (e.g. a wall that is not a door or decorated with something that can fall off on you). The ball should be wedged between your lower back and the wall, while your legs are shoulders width apart and extended forward just enough to put pressure on the ball to stay upright. Plant your heels and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. If this is too hard to do, than just go as far as you can. Remember, if any exercise hurts you more than the ‘burn,’ than stop it immediately. However, even if you have knee trouble you should still be able to do this without pain if you are relying on your thigh and buttock muscles, rather than on your knee joint. To ensure this, make sure your heels are planted and when you bend your knees and raise yourself up to a standing position again you will be pushing up on your heel. You will know that you are doing this correctly if you feel a pull in the muscles on the top of your thighs. Squat up and down for at least 10 times a set, with 3 sets per exercise session. Always make sure you are doing this slowly and using the proper muscles, not the momentum, which will do nothing for you.
This works on your inner thighs and outer thighs. Lie on your back on a rug or floor mat. Put the exercise ball between your legs and squeeze your legs together as much as possible and then release. If your exercise ball is for your full body it might be awkward to get it between your legs comfortably. In this case, just do the best you can without straining the muscles at the joint of your hip, as this can be quite painful. If it still doesn’t quite work, than you can use a few pillows. Either way, do 3 sets of at least 10 reps.
Not everyone can do this move the first time they attempt, so don’t worry if you have to do it modified for a while because it will still be beneficial. Lying on your back with your legs extended, place the exercise ball under your ankles. Keep your feet together and roll the ball towards you using your feet. As you roll it closer, lift your hips off the ground and hold it with your feet flat on the ball. If the ball is too high, you will have trouble sustaining it. However, if you can’t do this, than do the modified version. Just put your legs over the ball, with your knees at the top and legs draped. Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your back straight. You will likely be using the muscles in your buttocks the most to do this. Repeat whichever exercise best works for you a minimum of 10 times and at least 2 sets. This activity will improve the strength of your thighs even if you do the modified version.
You can do these against your exercise ball or against a wall. Place your exercise ball against the wall with your body facing the wall. Put your hands in a pushup position against the ball, and while pushing against the ball with your upper body, stand on your tiptoes. Hold this position for about three seconds before bringing your feet flat against the floor again. When you hold the position it helps you to remember that it is by focusing on your muscle, not by momentum that you should do the exercise. Do this for only about 10 times as it works your calves out well enough to sustain you until next session. Try to do 2 sets of it every other day or twice a week and you’ll start to see those “W’s” forming in about a month’s time.
Remember, if you want to see results you need to do this consistently. With your exercise ball and a little work, you can get the legs you’ve always wanted.