A lot of people think that strength training is just for your arms or your upper body, as a whole. Well, this myth has prevented a lot of workout fanatics from making the most out of their gym days. It is possible to train your lower body very effectively, as well. However, before we delve into the most effective strength-training regime for lower body, it is necessary for you to know some workout tips and suggestions:
1. Do not go overboard with the weights you choose. Remember, reps are extremely important and if you choose weights that are not right for you, you will end up doing fewer reps with a bad posture. Therefore, be realistic and choose a weight that is not too heavy for you.
2. You must warm up before every session as that will prevent injuries and you must cool down after the session as that will prevent muscle fatigue and reduce soreness. This can be done by simply walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes or doing some full body stretches.
3. Do not hurry with the exercise and movements. Always do slow and controlled motions.
4. Do remember that your body will adapt itself to a certain workout routine. Incorporate new exercises or change weights to shock your body every time this happens.
5. Be as healthy as possible. Diet is extremely important not only when it comes to losing weight but also when it comes to building strength.
Once you are aware of these very important points, you can start with the full proof lower body workout to strengthen your lower body. You can do all or few of these exercises post your cardio session and see the difference.
Warm Up Exercise
Squats: Keep your feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms by your side. Keeping your back straight, lower your body by bending your knee. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor or further down if you can. Get back up and repeat. Do 2 sets of 15 reps each.
Jump Squat: Stand straight and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and squat down such that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels and do a quick jump as your straighten your body and get your feet off the ground. Land smoothly on your feet and go back to the squat position. Repeat. Do this exercise for 1 minute.
Step-ups: Stand in front of a bench or a step box. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Now, place your left foot on the bench and push through your heels to raise your full body towards the ceiling. Bring your right leg in front of you or let it hang behind you. Now get back down to the initial position and repeat. Do 1 minute for each leg.
Pistol Squat: Stand with your legs hip width apart, hands in front of you and your body straight. Raise your left leg off the floor and extend it in front of you without bending the knee. You need to balance your body on your right leg.
Engage your glutes and lower your body by bending your right knee and go as low as possible for you. Maintaining the balance, get back to the starting position and repeat. Do as many as you can for each leg.
Single Leg Deadlifts with Dumbbells: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and hold it sideways. Raise your left leg off the floor and balance yourself on your right leg. Bend your right knee a little, lower your upper body in front of you, bending at the hip, and raise your left leg such that it is fully extended behind you. Go until you are parallel to the floor. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Do 2 sets of 15 reps each for each side.
Bulgarian Split Squat: Stand straight with your back towards a bench. Keep your right foot on the bench such that your toes are placed firmly on it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend both your knees, the left one will form a right angle and your thigh will be parallel to the floor, while your right knee will bend to touch the floor. Push through and get back up. Repeat. Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps for each leg.
Plie squat: Keep your feet a little farther than shoulder width such that your toes are pointing out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lower your body into a squat. Go until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly, raise your heels off the floor such that you are balancing your body on your toes. Lower them back down and repeat. Do 2 sets of 15 reps each.
Toe Touch: Stand straight and extend your arms over your head. Bend at the hip and lower your body forward so as to touch your toes with your fingers. Try and touch your knee with your head, as well. Hold for 10 seconds. Get back up and repeat. Do this exercise 6 times.
Apart from this, you can do stationary running, ankle rotations etc. to cool down, as well.