Basic Lower Body Exercises
Basic Lower Body Exercises This workout offers some tried and true lower body moves for the hips, butt and thighs.
- Begin with 5-10 minutes of cardio to warm up
- Beginners do 1 or 2 sets of 12-16 reps of each exercise, using no weights or light weights
- Inter/Advanced: do 3 or more sets of 8-12 reps, using enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps
- Rest at least one day between workouts
- Perform each rep slowly (i.e., count to three during each part of the motion)
- After your workout, be sure to stretch!
Stand with feet hip distance apart. With shoulders back and back slightly arches, tip from the hips to lower the weight towards the floor (according to your flexibility) and slowly raise back up, squeezing glutes, weight in the heels.
Stand with feet wider than shoulders with barbell resting on meaty part of shoulders. Bend knees and, keeping chest up, lower into a squat. Keep abs in and the knees behind the toes. Push through the heels to raise back up and repeat.
With barbell or dumbbells, stand with feet wide, toes out. With knees in line with toes, lower into a squat. Knees should be behind toes. Push through the heels and lift back up.
Using barbell or dumbbells (or no weight) stand with feet apart, toes forward. Slowly lower into lunge position, keeping body erect and abs in, knees at 90 degree angles. Push through the front heel, squeeze butt and slowly lift up to starting position (without locking knees). Repeat for one set and switch legs.
Straight Leg Butt Extentions
Using ankle weight (or no weight), balance on hands and knees, abs in and back flat. Straighten one leg and slowly lift up, squeezing the glute. Lower back down allowing toes to barely touch the floor. Repeat and then switch legs.
Straight Hip Extentions
Using ankle weight (or no weight) lie on floor, abs in. Slowly lift leg up until perpendicular to the floor, lower back to starting position without relaxing.
Using exercise ball, place heels or calves on ball and slowly lift butt up, tightening the abs. Roll ball towards butt, squeezing the hamstrings and keeping abs tight, back flat.
Hip Adduction - Inner Thighs
Lie on one side, one foot bent in front. Tighten abs and slowly lift other leg as high as you can, keeping leg straight, foot slightly flexed. Use ankle weights for added resistance.
Hip Abduction - Outter Thighs
Lie on one side, hips stacked, knees slightly bent. Lift top leg, squeezing the glutes, then lower back down without completely relaxing. Use ankle weights for added resistance.
Bent Leg Lifts -Ball
Stand behind the ball, keeping knees only slightly bent but mostly straight and place both hand on the ball for support. Lift the left leg out to the side, foot flexed and hips, knees and feet in alignment. Try to lift the leg without tilting at the torso--hold the torso upright as you lift the leg a few inches off the ground. Lower back down and repeat for 12 reps on each leg. You can add a resistance band or ankle weights for more intensity.
Inner Thigh Squeeze - Ball
Lay on your mat with the ball placed between the lower legs. Find a spot that feels comfortable. Arms placed on the floor beside your body. With slightly bent knees, slowly lift the ball up and over the mid section of the body while tightly squeezing the ball. By taking the legs up into the air, you now have to engage your core to stabilize as you squeeze the ball. Hold for a few seconds a lower back down. Make sure to keep the abs contracted, the knees slightly bent and the back on the floor. Repeat
Leg Press - Bands
If you don't have a leg press machine, this is one version you can do at home using a heavy band or tube. Just hold the handles and press the leg up and out. Keep pressing your lower back into the floor and tighten up the leg muscles.