Every body needs a strong foundation. This is why you should include low-body exercise in your regular workout routine, says Cody Brown, a CPT and Beachbody fitness expert.
That is, knowing the importance of your lower body and making it work Rights Ways are two separate issues. Here, we will help you fill that gap so that you can become a professional to train the muscles of your lower half.
Ready to get your best low-body workout of all time? Mix and match the steps below and get started!
Tip: To make it easier to design a new lower-body workout, we’ve divided these lower-body exercises into the main movement patterns (aka, squats, hip hinges, and lunges).
- Stand shoulder-width apart from the buttocks of your feet, holding a pair of dumbbells beside you.
- Keeping your back flat, above your chest and core braces, pushing your hips back, bend your knees and keep your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Take a break, then push yourself back to the starting position.
- Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, cupping the upper end with both hands. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart from your hips.
- Keeping your back flat and elbows pointing down, push your buttocks back and keep your body down until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground.
- Take a break, and then slowly bring yourself back to the starting position.
- Stand facing away from a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells beside you. Place your left toes on your back bench.
- Keeping your torso straight and your core engaged, bend your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Pause, and then return to starting position. Repeat evenly on both legs.
- Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells by your side, palms of your hands.
- Keeping your right leg straight and your right leg on the floor, extend your left leg with your left leg, then bend your left knee and push your buttocks backwards. Lose weight on both sides of your left knee until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Take a break, and then push yourself back to the starting position.
- Lie on your back, keep your hands on your side. Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor.
- Pull through your navel to tie your core muscles and then press your glutes to press your buttocks so that your body forms a straight line – no arches – from the knees to the shoulders.
- Keep your head on the floor and your eyes fixed on the ceiling.
- Hold the position for a beat, and then lift up and down, and repeat.
- While sitting on your knees, hold a heavy dumbbell on your chest with both hands, keeping your butt on your heels and the top of your foot on the floor.
- Keeping your chest up, behind your shoulders and keeping the core engaged, push your hips towards full expansion and squeeze your glutes as you transfer your weight to your knees.
- Pushing your buttocks back, slowly lower your buttocks over your heels and repeat for a repetition.
7. Single-leg hinge with loop
- Loop a resistance band around your left leg and hold it with your right hand as you stand up, separating the hip-width of your legs and bending your knees slightly to stand up straight.
- Keeping your back flat, keeping your core engaged and your left knee slightly bent, lift your right foot a few inches off the floor and move forward towards your buttocks until your torso is as parallel to the floor as possible. (As you lower yourself, your right foot kicks back.) Your right hand should be lowered down as it holds the band and your left hand can be on the side for balance.
- Return to a single-legged standing position and repeat the step by completing all the repetitions on your left leg before changing sides.
- Stand tall with a pair of dumbbells by your side, separating the hips-width of your legs.
- Take a big step with your right foot, keeping your chest up, behind your shoulders, core braces (imagine someone is going to hit you in the gut), and flat on the back. Bend your body until your front thighs are parallel to the ground and your back knees are bent 90 degrees (it should be a few inches above the floor).
- Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat, this time moving forward with your left foot. Continue phasing in with each representative.
9. Reverse lounge
- Stand with a pair of dumbbells beside you with the buttocks-width of your feet.
- Take a big step backwards with your right foot, keeping your chest up and your core engaged.
- Slowly lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee bends 90 degrees just above the floor.
- Pause and, pushing hard with your left foot, reverse the movement, taking a big step forward to return to the starting position.
- After you complete your set, perform equal reps on each leg, side switches.
- Stand with your hips wide apart. If you use a weight, hold it in front of your chest, as you would with a goblet squat.
- Keeping your back flat and your core engaged, keep your left leg behind and outside your right leg, bend your hips until your right thighs are parallel to the floor, and lose weight as your left leg moves behind you. Your left knee should be one or two inches above the floor.
- Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Continue to repeat, then switch sides and repeat.
- Stack your legs and hips, bend your knees 90 degrees, and lie on your right side with your head resting on your right hand.
- Bend your knees towards your body until your legs are aligned with your butt. Place your left hand on your left buttock so that it does not tilt back. This is your starting point.
- Keeping your abs and your legs together, keep your left knee as high as possible while keeping your legs and your right hip on the floor.
- Hold for 1 second, before slowly lowering your left knee to the starting position, hold your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Perform equal reps on the other side.
12. Raising a calf standing on a high surface
- Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, stand with the ball of your left foot on a raised surface, keeping your left ankle hanging.
- Keeping your core engaged, keep your left heel as high as possible.
- Lower your ankles up and down the raised surface until you feel an extension in your calf.
- Repeat and repeat evenly on both legs.
13. Raising the seated calf
- Sit upright on a bench or chair with your feet flat on the ground holding two heavy dumbbells above your knees.
- Keeping your core engaged, lift your heels off the ground as much as possible.
- Slowly lower your heels to the ground and repeat.
- Stand tall with a pair of dumbbells about the length of your side arm and place your left leg on a bench so that your hips, knees and ankles are all bent 90 degrees.
- With your chest up and your shoulders back, push your body up with your left foot until it is straight (keep your right leg elevated).
- Take a break, and then bring your body back to the starting position in control. Repeat evenly on both legs.
15. Side leg lift with band
- Wrap a resistance loop around your ankle and lie on your right side, lifting yourself to your right arm.
- Keep your feet straight and stack on top of each other and point your toes forward.
- Lift the top rug, lower it and repeat.
- Make equal reps on both sides.
How To Design The Best Lower-Body Workout
To create an effective lower-body workout routine, start with your largest muscle groups.
- Choose any move you like, but start with composite (multi-joint) and bilateral (working on both sides of your body) exercises that hit your glute, quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Include a mix of the big three lower-body movement types (squats, buttock hinges, and lunges). The trio also builds functional energy so you can perform daily energy feats, such as making it through the final rounds of your squat or climbing stairs while carrying your groceries.
- Then Do single joint and unilateral exercises that target specific muscle groups or contain elements of instability. These additional lower-body exercises strengthen the hip abductor (outer hip), adductor (inner thigh) and calf.
This method of hitting every movement pattern or muscle group evenly, Keeping your lower body healthy and injury free will help prevent muscular imbalances.
How often should you work your lower body?
Try not to go for more than three days without training your lower body. You can diversify these low-body movements in a single workout or spread them throughout the week, Brown says.
Although it depends on your goals, you should “do low-body exercise at least twice a week or up to four times a week,” he says. Just avoid working out in the back days of the same muscle group.
Brown offers these additional tips for scheduling your lower-body workout:
- To allow adequate recovery in the workout, go with split routines, which work different muscle groups on different days.
- For example, train your lower body on Mondays, do upper-body pushing patterns on Tuesdays, train your lower body again on Wednesdays, and then do upper body pulling patterns on Thursdays.
- Less time? Aim for two to three total body workouts per week (which combine upper-body and lower-body exercises). This ensures that you are constantly working on your lower body to effectively strengthen your muscles.
What weights should you use for lower-body exercise?
The correct weight for lower-body exercise will be different for everyone.
Use medium to heavy weight combination for 3-4 sets of 6-12 repetitions and light to medium weight combination for 3-4 sets of 12-20 repetitions.
Ideally, you should finish the last set of each exercise that is unable to do any additional repetitions. Reaching this level of fatigue will help you build strength, muscle size and endurance. This applies no matter how often you do low-body workouts.