So we all have our favorite body parts, and for those body parts, there are exercises we love to perform.
In this article, "LOWER BODY EXERCISES," I'm going to go over some exercises that you should be doing for your legs.
Before we begin, please ensure that when performing these exercises, you have proper form to lower the risk of injury.
I'm sure you already know squats are famous for beautiful legs but how you do them is what matters. As you may already know, squats and different versions of them target a wide range of muscle groups.
Squats target you're glutes, which are composed of the Maximus.medius and minus.
Another muscle group is your hamstring, which is right behind your quadriceps. The Hamstrings are composed of semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris.
The Quadricep is a primary target during squats and consist of vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the rectus femoris.
When performing squats try getting as low as you can while keeping your knees in alignment with your toes and stick your butt outward. You'll want to ensure that your heels are on the ground as you come up, slightly thus forward. You'll want to squeeze and contract your leg muscles to get the most from the exercise.
2. Walking Lunges
Lunges targets just about the same muscles, it's good to switch things up while training your legs. Try performing walking lunges with either a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. Walk lunge until you feel your legs responding. Sooner or later you'll feel the burn around your quads.
3. Jump squats
Jump squats are hands down a leg burner for anyone. Once again either with weights or just your bodyweight come down into a deep squat and explode straight up, extending your legs while coming back down into a squat. Aim for about 10-12 reps, 2-3 sets.
4. The Curl
The leg Curl works on your hamstrings and can be executed while standing, seated, or laying down on your stomach. While doing leg curls, you'll want to bring your legs back as if your trying to make your heels touch your butt. As you do so, make sure to squeeze. You can continue the reps for 10-12 and sets 2-3.
5. The Hip abductors
The hip abductors work the lateral side of the thigh. This motion helps the thigh move away from the midline of your body. The groups include the piriformis, superior gemellus, inferior gemellus, tensor fasciae, sartorius, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
6. The hip adductors
Consider these just the opposite of the abductors, they work the inner portion of your legs and instead of moving your legs away, you bring them closer together. Make sure you locate these machines in your gym and incorporate them frequently.
7. Wall Sit
The Wall Sit is one of my favorite for bodyweight exercises and can be done just about anywhere. I use this a lot with the clients that come to me for personal training. Feel free to make this movement even hard with extending your arms outward or while holding a weight to add on tension to the exercise.
When it comes to deadlifts, it can be a complex exercise because of the form. You'll want to have an expert like a personal trainer or coach perform them for you or even watch some videos. There are different versions of them, but you get the same benefits from them as you do with squats. When deadlifting, you'll want to ensure your back is straight to reduce the risk of injury. You might come across people in the gym with deadlifting belts to help keep their body in proper form and protect their backs.
9. Standing calf raises
Calf raises are significant for building beautiful calf muscles; this muscle isn't worked during squats. They help but are not primary or secondary muscle. So you should perform this often. Most gyms have this machine, but if not, you can stand on an edge like a step and push yourself up on your toes, contracting the muscle while coming back down allowing your toe to move upward. You should feel a stretch in your calves when coming down. The calves are made of two parts and have to be trained in a certain way to target each section. The gastrocnemius is the section that's being worked during the standing calf raises.
10. Seated calf raises
The seated calf raise is another way of training your calves, and they are unique because unlike the gastrocnemius. They target the soleus. Some gym doesn't have this machine, so what you can do is grab a pair of dumbbells and place them on your knees. You perform them the same way you do the standing raises but seated.
There you have it. "The best lower body exercises" for your legs. Keep in mind you can do any leg exercise that you desired. The goal is to be consistent with training your legs and ensuring that you incorporate weights to increase the intensity of your workout.
These exercises, along with others, are for men and women. There is no such exercise specifically for your gender. If you want a muscle to grow, you must train hard and frequently along with giving your body the proper foods.
Earlier I mentioned sets and reps, these are important for your work, and you can combine any number you feel comfortable with, but more isn't always right. During my time in fitness, I've found that an excellent sets and reps range for building muscle is 8-12 reps and 3-5 reps. Now for a beginner, it's probably best to go with 2-3 sets just because you're just starting.
Before I let you go, please remember that building a pair nice of legs and body for that matter takes times, so you must be patient and trust the process. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day, and those legs won't be either.
NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
NASM FITNESS NUTRITION SPECIALIST
NASM FAT LOSS SPECIALIST