If you’ve spent time in a gym, you know “that guy,” the one who doesn’t work his lower body and just focuses on upper body. Lower-body strength training is just as important as upper-body. The largest muscles are located in the lower body. Working larger muscles tends to get your heart rate up higher and burns more calories. More important, the muscles in the lower body are used for everyday movements and help with balance and coordination.
Regular lower-body strength training helps to increase bone density and strength. Strengthening the lower-body muscles around the joints also helps to strengthen the joints, decreasing the risk of injury in the hips and knees. The lower body is the powerhouse for most sports and activities, so try this workout for maximum results!
Eventually work your way up to going through this workout twice. (See the video link for specific instructions on form.) All you should need for this workout is a set of dumbbells and a step/bench/chair. I love lower-body workouts, so join me for this one and let me know what you think.
- Side/lateral lunges (12 to 15 reps each side)
- 45 seconds skater lunges
- Squat―alternating knee crunches (1 minute)
- 30 seconds squat hops
- Calf raises―toes straight, in and out (15 reps each direction)
- 30 seconds calf jumps (stay on toes)
- Straight leg deadlifts―form is very important! (15 reps)
- Single-leg squats (15 reps each leg)
- Single-leg squat hops
- Right leg lunges (10 reps), lunge hold (20 seconds), lunge pulses (20 seconds)
- Left leg lunges (10 reps), lunge hold (20 seconds), lunge pulses (20 seconds)
- Squat hold (30 seconds) staying in a squat―hop feet out and in (30 seconds)
- Lunges with back foot elevated on step/bench (12 reps each leg)
You can also refer to the demonstration video for details on which exercises are to be used with weights. Toward the end of the workout, if your legs get too fatigued, just set the weights down and do the lunges/squats with no weight. Don’t forget to stretch at the end of all workouts!