The first exercise many people think of when they think of strong legs is the squat.
True, it’s a beautiful, effective exercise. But it’s not the only one. And I daresay, it’s not even the first I’d select.
My preference is for exercises that “wake up” my legs, develop flexibility, balance, and coordination.
Increasing the strength of the legs is great, but increasing the effectiveness is even better.
To that end, here are a few of my favorites.
Kung Fu Stances
Got these from Tim Larkin back in the day. You could just do these 3-5 times a week each morning. Hold each pose for 10 seconds. After 3-4 weeks, you’ll be a new man.
You can think of this as throwing kicks. In the video, I’m not as aggressive as I sometimes am. The more aggressive, the more benefit. But warm up to it.
I love isometric stretching. There is no better way to develop extreme range strength that I know of. And it makes you feel more aware and connected to your body.
Sprinting, jogging, biking, walking
All these can be leg builders. Sprinting of course is the most powerful. You gotta build up to that carefully, but keep in mind you can do a 50% sprint.
Find something you enjoy doing. Sprinting out of all requires the least time. And has the most intensity. So, you can’t do it all the time.
Walking is the most beautiful. A long walk is super-powerful. Check out this picture of Bernarr MacFadden demonstrating walking. One thing to keep in mind with walking: it’s a controlled fall. Bernarr demonstrates this.
Of all squats, I like this one the best. First of all, it protects you from being over-eager and lifting too much weight. The other thing it does is gets you into a full squat.
This is where you want to be. Full squat!
All right, so there you have it. One tip I have is that the first three make good routines to practice outside of your training session a few times a week. Pick one or two to focus on. I’d make the walk a daily thing and then put the squats into a more formal exercise session (with other exercises) of 20-40 minutes.