It’s Time to Crush Your Goals
Many people skip leg day because it isn’t “fun” or “sexy”… we think otherwise! Check out these simple, effective lower body exercises that you can do at home or anywhere to get great results!
Effective lower body exercises
A common issue with gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts occurs when they continually “skip leg day”…
This is a term for focusing too much or solely on the torso and arms during a training program. This might leave you with a taut upper body, rock-hard abs and enviable biceps, while doing nothing for your butt, thighs and calves. You can find a lot of tips and tricks from websites such as Garage gym planner, for working out right at home without resorting to an expensive gym membership.
Don’t get stuck with chicken-like legs and a rear end resembling a pancake and incorporate these lower body exercises into your next gym routine!
If you have a lot of space to move around, do a few sets of lunges to tone the butt and back; this movement does put strain on the knees, so keep any relevant weak spots in mind when first adding lunges into your training routine.
Make sure your back is upright at all times and look directly ahead with the chin staying elevated. Move one leg at a time, ending at a 90-degree angle with the knee bent and your entire foot planted on the ground. Don’t let your knee go past your toes in the end position and let the other leg’s knee almost touch the ground before rising back up to the standing position. This sequence can be done backwards or to the side, and can also become more challenging with a set of dumbbells in hand.
2. Large inflatable balls
Provided you have access to a gym with these comically large balls, don’t hesitate to use them for toning the lower body. One move that works the inner thighs is achieved by placing the ball between the ankles with your upper body anchored on the back or on the side; remain stationary aside from your legs and lift the ball as far in the air as possible, moving back to resting position and repeating the action (on the other side if necessary).
For a perky bum, lie on your back with your feet on the ball, knees at 90 degree-angles, and lift your pelvis into the air like a bridge, and repeat to your liking. Do not engage any other muscles besides the glutes, especially not the arms, when lifting yourself up in this exercise. A similar move tightens the hamstrings: while lying on your back, stick your legs straight out onto the ball. Then, do a “roll-in” by bending your knees and moving the ball back towards your butt. The goal should be to keep your hips in the air throughout the exercise.
3. Resistance bands
Possibly one of the least expensive types of gym equipment, stretchy resistance bands come in sets of three or four bands (increasing in elasticity) and fit around your thighs or lower legs. Using your preferred band, strengthen your glutes and hamstrings by walking side to side, taking long, repetitive strides. You can also use lateral resistance bands to amp up squats and deadlifts by moving the band onto your upper thighs, which keeps the knees in place while lifting weights or simply going through the motion.
On an exercise mat, fortify your hip muscles and stability by lying on one side, keeping your pelvis steady and motionless and your heels staying locked somewhat together. Next, with the elastic band on your upper thighs, slowly move one leg further away from the other leg with a knee as high up in the air as the pose permits and repeat all activity facing the opposite direction.
4. Pogo jump
Calf muscles respond well to jumping rope, which is why this high-energy move is an engaging, yet equipment-free way to bulk up that hard-to-reach area. At a standing position, bend your knees slightly, keep your arms steady at chest level and jump up a few dozen times, as though you were jumping rope. A step up from the “low pogo jump” is the “high pogo jump”, this requires you to leap higher, but still only with the calf and ankle muscles. This will wipe you out!
Squats have a reputation for sculpting backsides and creating irresistible butts, but most people have trouble with the move’s proper form and fluid motion. Before picking up barbells and dropping to the ground, make sure your legs are shoulder-width apart and that your heels are firmly planted in position. (You can even perform squats with your balance ball as pictured.)
Stand with your back straight and arms extended parallel to the ground, before unlocking the hips and moving them gradually backward until your upper legs are somewhat parallel to the floor—slowly repeat. At no point should your back curl inwards, your heels should stay grounded and your eyes must always be looking straight ahead. As this gets easier, maintain a good grasp of the proper form and gradually work in resistance bands and weights.
Another basic weight training move (like squats) that is one of the great overall and lower body exercises are deadlifts. They can be challenging with just one’s body weight. The mechanics of deadlifting is simple, but hard to master in practice: the legs are only slightly bent to allow your upper body to bend completely at the pelvis, keeping your back as straight as possible. Your body thus looks like a hinge bending in and out.
Take your time in perfecting this motion before trying out variations, like only using one leg (this takes lots of flexibility) or adding kettle and barbells.
No matter what fitness resources or equipment are at your disposal, there are a myriad of lower body exercises out there.
You might also find results from frequent stair climbing and tightening your glutes while walking from place to place. If you do choose to purchase exercise equipment for fine-tuning, know that one tool can go a long way if used creatively.
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