Heather Black, CPT is a NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Heather Black Fitness & Nutrition where she offers remote and in-person training and nutrition coaching.
Rich Scherr is a seasoned journalist who has covered technology, finance, sports, and lifestyle.
Incorporating lower body exercises is crucial for a balanced workout routine. These workouts target muscles in the lower body, such as the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The muscles in the lower body are some of the largest on the body, so you use them during everyday activities like walking and even lifting heavy objects.
You can perform lower body workouts at the gym, studio, or at home. You may need equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, or weighted barbells. Or, you can perform bodyweight-only lower body exercises.
Glute exercises may vary depending on the equipment available to you and whether you work out at a gym or at home. Generally, exercises that target the glutes include squats, deadlifts, glute bridges, and lunges. These can be done anywhere and are often done with dumbbells or weighted barbells. Relying only on your body weight is also an option.
You don’t need a long list of exercises on your lower body days. A small handful of 3-5 lower body exercises should be enough to target lower body muscles.
Building a lower body workout is the same as building any workout. Determine which muscles you want to work on and build your routine around that information. For the lower body, focus on exercises that target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hips, and calves.
You can train your lower body muscles 1-3 times per week. Aim for at least one lower body workout per week. Depending on the workouts you do during the rest of the week, such as cardio, upper body, yoga, pilates, or stretching, you may or may not have time for 1-2 more lower body workouts.
A lower body workout can range from 15 minutes to more than 30 minutes. This depends on how many exercises you do and how many repetitions and sets of each exercise. You should also factor for rest time in between each exercise.
This refers to workouts that target muscles in the legs, such as the quads and hamstrings. Leg workouts can be done using weights or bodyweight. Examples include squats and lunges. Some leg workouts also target other muscle groups in the lower body, such as the hips, glutes, or calves.
If you don’t have access to weights or you’re a beginner, bodyweight leg workouts are a great place to start. You can perform many of the same movements without additional weights. This allows you to focus on form and repetition.
Squats are an example of a lower body exercise. They target the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. There are different types of squats, but they’re generally performed by bending the knees and sending the hips back.
Lunges are a popular lower body exercise that can be done with or without weights. There are also different types of lunges, such as curtsy lunges, walking lunges, regular lunges, side lunges, and more. These target various muscles in the legs as well as the glutes.
Dumbbells are available at the gym and in many home gyms. If you’re low in equipment but still want to get in a full workout, you can follow a dumbbell-only lower body workout. This can include exercises like deadlifts, squats, lunges, step ups, and calf raises.
Strength training is a sure-fire way to increase your physical strength, which is a measure of a person’s physical exertion. This comes in handy outside of the gym when you need to lift a heavy object, such as a large bag of dog food or box.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It’s a form of cardio that involves alternating between bursts of intense exercise and periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. Some HIIT workouts focus on the legs. If you want to work on your legs but weight lifting doesn’t appeal to you, try lower body HIIT workouts.
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