Lower Body Work Out

Everything You Need to Know

Lower Body WARM UP

Start with 3-5 minutes cardio warm up. Examples: torso twists, reaching toe touches, jumping jacks, etc.. Then you can shift into dynamic lower body movements to increase your range of motion around each joint. Exercises include hip circles, leg swings and tiptoe walking lunges.
After your warm-up and several minutes of dynamic stretching, you are ready to start your workout. It is recommended you choose a weight for the first 2 exercises that is about 50% of your target work load. Do a set with that weight for 3-5 repetitions. Rest and then do another warm-up set for 2-3 repetitions with 75% of your targeted first work set. Then you’re ready for your first heavy work set.

Lower Body Exercises

Lunges

This exercise will work the quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstrings(your legs).

  1. Start with your torso upright holding two dumbbells (5-8 lb.) by your sides.
  2. Step forward with your right leg and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and keeping your balance. Inhale as you go down. Do not allow your knee to move forward further than your toes as you come down. This will put stress on the knee joint. Make sure that you keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale, using the heel of your foot.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch to your left leg for 30 seconds.

Step Ups

This exercise will work the glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Find a step or bench high enough to put your knee at a 90-degree angle when you put your foot on it.

  • Step up leading with the right foot, then the left, bringing both feet completely onto the bench.
  • Go back to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot first, then the left, until ending with both feet on the ground.
  • Complete 20 steps before stepping with the left foot for another 20 steps.
  • Squats

    This exercise will work the quadriceps, calves, glutes and hamstrings.

    Stand with your feet spread shoulder-width apart.

    Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.

    Choose a weight that you would be able to squat for no more than 10 reps and do three sets of 12. Pause at the top at the end of each set to take a few deep breaths.

    Cool Down

    Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breathing in through your nose and out through the mouth.

    Lying Straight, Leg to Chest Stretch

    Lie on your back, keeping both your head and butt in contact with the floor.

    Slowly lift one leg upward, grasping it with both hands.

    Pull your leg toward your chest, keeping it straight.


    Then switch to the other leg.

    Stretch Lying

    Lie on your side, keeping both the knees and the inside of your thighs together.
    Stretch the lower leg out straight, keeping the top leg bent, and one hand holding the foot.
    Exhale, pulling the foot toward your butt while you slowly push your pelvis forward.

    One Leg Over

    Sit on the floor, with one leg straight, toes pointing upward.
    Cross the other foot over the knee of the straight leg, placing that foot flat on the floor.
    Place the elbow and forearm of the opposite arm of the bent leg on the outside of the bent knee.
    Exhale, slowly pulling the bent knee across your body.

    Benefits


    Burn More Calories - Leg muscles require more blood because they are the biggest muscles in the body. The heart beats more to supply new blood to the lower body.

    Improve Daily Life - Strong legs are important for daily activity (walking, running, etc.).

    Leg exercises help strengthen your legs for daily life and all physical activity.

    By: Angelina Prochorow