Whether you work out at home on your own or at a gym under the guidance of a professional trainer, it is important to strike a balance between upper and lower body workouts. Lower body workouts aim to strength your legs, thighs, glutes, and booty. Doing lower body exercises on a regular basis will shape your legs and hips and will help build lean muscle mass. There are a plethora of lower body workouts, but choosing the best lower body workout as per your requirement is the key to success.
A lot of people have this misconception that lower body workouts can only be performed at the gym with modern accessories. But that’s not true. You can easily perform different kinds of lower body exercises at your home as well and build lean muscle mass.
Here are the best lower body workouts that you should definitely check-out.
1. Dumbbell lunge
The basic lunge is one of the most effective lower body exercises as it targets the hips, glutes, calves, hamstrings, core, and quadriceps. Once you have mastered the basic lunge, it is time to move on to the next level with dumbbell lunge. Keep in mind to start by adding light weight and slowly increase the weight as your resistance increases.
• Stand with feet at hip distance apart with a dumbbell in each hand.
• Take a step forward with your right leg, bending the knee until the front thigh is parallel to the floor.
• Push off through the heel, engage the core, hamstrings, and glutes on the right side. Slowly bring back the right leg to the original position.
• Repeat the same with left leg and try to do at least 5 -7 repetitions with each leg.
If you want to increase the difficulty level, try walking lunges with weights. Further, instead of stepping forward and backward you can try step forward with alternate sides for more efficiency.
2. Goblet squat
If you are someone who is into fitness and bodybuilding, then you must have heard about squats. It is a super effective lower body workout to strengthen your legs and give them a proper shape.
• Hole a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest.
• Push your hips back and squat slowly, until your thighs become parallel to the ground.
• Hold this position for 5 seconds and come back to standing position.
• Repeat at least 10 times.
3. Split Squat
Once you have mastered squats and are no longer afraid of them, move on to split squats. Split squats are considered one of the best lower body exercises because it focuses on a single let at a time. One leg is elevated and you need to balance the entire body weight on a single leg which means that the difficulty level is slightly up. If you want to increase the difficulty level, try this lower body exercise with a barbell jammer. And if you a beginner level athlete and want to try the split squat, do it simply without any dumbbells or kettlebell.
• Lift your left leg and place it on a bench or chair behind you.
• Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest.
• Bend your right knee, lowering your body into a one legged lunge.
• Keep your shoulders elevated over your hips and let your hips and glutes descend to knee level.
• Press through the right heel and lift the body into starting position.
• Repeat 7 – 10 sets on one leg and then change sides.
4. Glute Bridge
Glutes are one of the key muscle group and often they are overworked. It is time to strengthen your glutes with the best lower body exercises. Whether it is running or squats, with strong glutes, all these workouts become easy.
• Lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and knees bent.
• Squeeze your glutes, push your heels into the floor, and lift your hips to form a bridge.
• Your hips should be straight and abdomen should be tight.
• Hold this position for 5 seconds and then come back to starting position.
• Repeat at least 10 times.
5. Calf Raise
Often times people forget to target calves when doing lower body exercises. If you are an athlete or running is your favorite form of exercise, then it is really important to have strong calves. You can easily do these at the gym or at home. Raise the difficulty by using a dumbbell or a kettle bell.
• Stand with your feet at hip apart distance and hold dumbbells in each hand.
• While standing, push down through the balls of your feet and raise your heels so that you are standing on your toes.
• Slowly come back to original position and repeat 5 -7 times.
6. Weighted step up
If you are looking for a lower body workout that seems to be a part of your daily life, then step up and weighted step up are great options. They are great exercises to work on your legs, increase your heart rate, and keep your legs and knees strong and healthy.
• Stand in front of a step or box and hold dumbbells in each hand.
• Step onto the box/ step with your right foot.
• Press through the right foot and bring the left foot up.
• Step off with right foot first and then the left foot.
• For great efficiency you can do alternate steps.
• Start by dong 10 steps for right foot followed by 10 steps for left foot.
7. Barbell Jammer Press
For those who want a workout that helps with upper body and the lower body at the same time, try barbell jammer press. You need a barbell for it and it is performed with a squat. It strengthens the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Prepare for this lower body workout by placing the barbell jammer vertically on the floor in front of you. If you want to increase the difficulty level you can add a weight. Place the weight plate closest to your body.
• Start by sitting into a deep squat and by gripping the bar.
• Press through your hips, quads, and glutes to stand up and straighten your legs.
• Continue to hold the end of the bar.
• When you are standing take the bar over your head, by standing tall and strong.
• Once your arms are fully extended, reverse the movement. Lower the bar and bring it back to squat position.
• Repeat 10 -12 times for best results.
Hope these exercises help you in the long run and now you don’t shy away from leg days. Make sure to complement any kind of workout with a proper diet and healthy lifestyle practices to get best results.