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6 Best Beginner Lower Body Exercises for Strength

Guide to lower body exercises for beginners. (Image via Unsplash/Photo by @victorfreitas)
Guide to lower body exercises for beginners. (Image via Unsplash/Photo by @victorfreitas)
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Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury

Lower body exercises are an important part of any fitness routine. You should do exercises that focus on your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes, and work on those muscle groups at least once or twice a week.

As a beginner, you should focus on lower body exercises once a week. However, some have found it better to split the exercises across the week.


Lower Body Exercises for Beginners

Whether you’re a beginner or not, it’s important to focus on exercises that work on your quadriceps and hamstrings, even if you don’t take other muscle groups into consideration. Here are six beginner-level exercises you should do:

1) Bodyweight Squat

This is the most common lower body exercise for beginners. One of the first resistance you need to master is your own bodyweight.

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Additionally, squats are a great way to warm up your quadriceps and form a foundation for advanced movements, such as hack squats or barbell squats. The one thing to keep in mind is to push through from your heels and not your toes.


2) Sumo Squat

If you’re working on your quadriceps, you should work on your hamstrings as well. Coming to hamstrings, a bodyweight exercise that helps in activating the hamstrings and allowing the muscles to get used to the movement is sumo squat.

It’s similar to normal squats, but you need to keep your feet wide apart, and your toes should be slightly pointed outwards. Moreover, maintain a muscle-mind connection to engage your hamstrings during the exercise.

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3) Dumbbell Shoulder Squat

Another key lower body exercise is the dumbbell shoulder squat, where you take a pair of dumbbells, hold them in each hand, and lift them to your shoulders.

Once you’ve found a stable balance while holding the dumbbells on your shoulders, proceed to do squats. As these are weighted squats, it might be difficult initially but will become easier with practice.


4) Dumbbell Lunge

If you want to isolate each leg and work on them separately as a beginner, you can choose lunges. You can do bodyweight or dumbbell lunges.

However, it’s preferable you begin with bodyweight lunges to understand the posture and build a foundation before moving to dumbbell lunges.

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One thing to keep in mind is that your knees must not cross your toes when you lower your body.


5) Weighted Step-up

Another exercise you can do for your lower body is a step-up. It helps in isolating each leg as you step up on a platform, and back down.

You can use a light dumbbell for this exercise, but ensure that it’s just enough to add slight resistance. You should not use a heavy weight till you’ve found the balance and posture for this exercise.

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6) Standing Calves

Calves are an important part of your lower body. As a beginner, you don’t need to add weighted calves or machine variations to your routine.

However, lower body exercises must have standing calves or seated calves (with weights) in it. It’s important to focus on your calves just the way you focus on your other lower body muscle groups.


Edited by Bhargav
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