Lower body exercises are often neglected or skipped in favor of upper body workouts. However, leg workouts are an important part of a balanced, whole-body fitness routine that is aimed at building strength, speed, and stability.
Strong lower body muscles are essential to everyday movements that we perform in daily life, such as walking, sitting, squatting, hiking, climbing stairs, and many more. The ability to perform these movements is a good sign of a strong lower body. If these muscles are not trained regularly, the simple everyday movements that we take for granted will become more difficult as we grow older. Lower-body muscles are responsible for creating a strong and stable foundation.
Here we look at some amazing all-weather lower body exercises that will help you become leaner, fitter and more agile.
Squats target the muscles of your front and back thighs, buttocks and groins as well as the hip flexors and calves. It also targets your core muscles as they are used to maintain balance. Apart from being an excellent calorie-burning lower body exercise, squats also strengthen tendons, ligaments, and bones which helps reduce the chances of injury.
Lunges are well known for their ability to sculpt glutes and aid in weight loss - almost all workouts include some or all other forms of lunges. This lower body exercise primarily strengthens your back, hips and legs while also improving mobility and stability. Since it is a unilateral exercise (you work on each leg independently), the movements activate your stabilizing muscles to develop balance, coordination, and stability.
Lunges target all the muscles of the lower body such as abdominals, back muscles, gluteal muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. They strengthen your back and core muscles without putting too much strain on your spine. They also help in improving posture.
3) Step Ups
Step up is another versatile lower body exercise that is recommended if you wish to increase your lower body strength. It is one of the best exercises as it can be done anywhere and offers a very low risk of injury.
The great thing about step-ups is that they strengthen each leg individually, so that you are building strength equally on each side and not favouring one leg over the other. This lower body exercise also improves balance and stabilization apart from targeting the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Deadlift is a widely used compound weight exercise involving picking up a weight from the ground by bending at your waist and hips (with a straight back) and standing back up.
This lower body exercise requires you to bend over while maintaining a braced, neutral spine, gripping the weight, and driving through the floor with your feet. The entire range of motion uses your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to lift the barbell off the floor.
Deadlifts increase functional strength by activating the largest lower body muscles. They train your body for the functional activity of safely lifting objects off the floor, which is a very common day-to-day activity.
5) Heavy Sled Push
Heavy sled push is a full-body strength, power, and speed exercise that is effective at burning calories, boosting performance and increasing speed. The exercise engages both the upper and lower body, and can be tweaked as per your requirement.
Pushing a weighted sled will build muscle strength and endurance apart from being a good cardio workout. For speed training, the load can be lightened and the sled pushed faster. In the lower body, this exercise engages quadriceps, glutes, calves, hamstrings, abdominals and hip flexors in the lower body apart from various muscles in the upper body.
6) Bird Dog
The final exercise that we recommend for a strong lower body is the bird dog, a simple core exercise that improves stability, encourages a neutral spine, and relieves lower back pain. The exercise uses the entire body to target your abdominal muscles, lower back, gluteal muscles, and thigh muscles.
Q. Which lower body exercise works best for you?
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