We know those big biceps and bulging pectorals look hot. But focusing only on upper body muscles to gain that aesthetic shape fast is not a wise decision.
You should put some effort in building lower body strength. You should allocate days in a week for lower body strength exercises. Only this way you will achieve your aesthetic body goals.
Major Lower body muscles include quadriceps, glutes, hamstring, and calves. Training them needs special exercise. Improving lower body strength will also affect your walking and running experience.
Effective Lower Body Strength Exercises
For training these lower body muscles, I have mentioned some most effective lower body exercises.
Two most famous and effective lower body strength exercises include squats and deadlift. But remember to do them properly otherwise you can easily damage your joints.
Squats are considered as one of the easiest and effective lower body strength exercises. You don’t even need any prior experience or any weights to do them.
Your body weight will be enough to show results. before I tell you some details of squats, make sure to follow these guidelines and try to do squat in proper body form.
Be Careful About:
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground in any lower body strength exercise that involves lifting your body from the ground by extending at hips. Never try to get on toes or claws because this can damage your tarsal or ankle joint. In beginning it will be difficult to do because you will feel that you are falling towards the back, try putting some cushions behind in start.
- Keeping the back straight. I repeat always keep you back straight while doing lower body workouts. It means You can move at your hips but not bend your spine at the lumbar or thoracic region. You can do this by moving your butt outward before starting the workout.
- Keeping feet apart at shoulder’s width. Also, be careful not to bend knees inward or outward. And your knees should be above toes during the workout.
Types of Squats
1. Bodyweight squats
It is the basic and classic squat. It does not involve lifting any weights or bars. You can start your lower body strength workout journey from this exercise.
You can do this exercise anytime anywhere, but always keep those points in mind mentioned above.
2. Quarter squat
This involves bending knees until they make a 45-degree angle. This does not put a lot of stress on the joints.
3. Full range of motion squat
In this, you can try to get your hips at least at the level of knees. You can decide for yourself the extent of this exercise.
4. Back barbell squat
This involves holding a barbell behind your neck, on the shoulders. This will put some strain on your glenoid joints. You can choose the position that is least painful otherwise just do the one without it.
5. Front barbell squat
If back barbell squat is getting difficult for you because of the barbell position. Then try squatting with a barbell in front of the neck. This will not put any strain on your shoulder joint.
6. Dumbbell shoulder squat
If squat with a barbell is a little difficult with you or you don’t like it then you can do squat with the dumbbells. This involves holding dumbbells close to the shoulders with the heads of the dumbbells resting on top of your shoulder.
7. Sled hack squat
This is done with a machine. It is like a machine leg press, but the weight is now on your shoulder. You try to stand up, pushing the weights above.
How To Do A Proper Squat?
- Get on your feet while keeping them apart slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Toes must be pointing slightly outward.
- Look directly in front of straight, try to focus on a spot.
- Always keep your eyes on the spot during the whole squat.
- Now place your arms in front of you, parallel to the ground.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and your weight on the balls and heels of your feet as you get straight.
- Keep your back extended by pushing you butts outward; you must do it before starting the exercise and try to maintain this position.
- Never bend your spine during a squat.
- When you will squat down try to keep your knees in line with the feet, don’t let them bend inward or outward.
- Try to squat down till your hips are lower than your knees level.
- Now bend your knees a little outward and repeat the squat.
This step by step guide is for basic and classic squat. You will be needed to only change your hand position while everything else for those modified squats with dumbbells and barbells.
This lower body exercise is going to increase your lower body strength especially your core but is also helpful in pumping the upper body muscles.
You do deadlift every day, obviously in a little bad form, while you are lifting your child, while you are picking the bag of groceries from the ground and during many other such daily activities.
How To Do Deadlift Properly?
- If you are starting to learn then load only 5 or 10 kg of plates on the barbell.
- Now, place your feet such that your feet are part about your hip width.
- Make sure the bar is over the middle of your feet.
- Now bend over and hold the bar with your hands slightly outside of your legs so they don’t hit them while lifting. You can change your palm direction but in starting, keep both palms facing you.
- Not without moving the bar, lower your hips to point when your shins will touch the barbell (as they will move forward)
- Now take a breath and compress your chest as well as your core muscles, while keeping your back in a neutral position.
- Never bend you’re your spine while doing a deadlift or it will damage your vertebral discs. Your back should neither be hyper flexed, nor it should be blended.
- Now without unlocking your knees lower the barbell at least lower than your knees level.
- Then it’s up to you if you want to drop the bar or sit the bar down because different trainers have different opinions.
3. Leg Press
The leg press is one of the amazing lower body strength exercises, but it also comes with its risks. You must always keep you back pressed against the pad behind you.
It’s a good butt and legs exercise where you push the weights up with your legs only. Always start with lower weights to learn the proper body form.
Once you master the form only then start increasing the weight otherwise too much weight can also damage your spine.
4. Calf Raise
When your calves are properly built, they look aesthetic. They are key muscles in running and jogging.
If you are a runner, then calf raise exercise is not going to be very effective. Because running builds these muscles and you are already overdoing it.
But still, for bodybuilders who want to target it specifically, this exercise can be crucial.
There are many modified forms of it. You can choose that suits you better.
1. Bodyweight calf raise
In this one, no extra weights are lifted. You just have to hold a bar while keeping your toes on some block.
Then you must just raise your heels and hen lower them till you feel stretch in your calves. Repeat it again and again for bigger calves.
2. Barbell calf raise
It’s the same as before but with a barbell with or without weights on the back of your neck, resting on your shoulders.
3. Seated calf raise
It involves a seated calf raise machine. It also puts extra load on your knees.
5. Glute Bridge Workout
This lower body strength workout does not involve any weights. It is useful in training the glutes muscles or butt muscles.
First, lie down on the floor with your hips flat on the ground while knees flexed. Now compress core muscles and raise your hips until your back gets straight while keeping your shoulder flat on the ground.
Now slowly move your feet outward and forward so you make the V shape while keeping your hips extended.
Once your legs get maximum stretched pull them back to initial position. Repeat it.
You must choose a day or twice for only lower body muscles workout. You must have a proper workout plan.
Ask your trainer for help. He will tell you the proper body form to do lower body strength exercises as well as guide you in the number of reps you must do for each of them.
Lower body strength can improve your overall body posture. And by focusing on the core muscles you can even make your spine safer from back injuries.