Lower Body Strength Exercises
Want strong legs? The right lower body strength exercises can make all the difference in building strong legs, giving you a stable platform whatever sports or activities you enjoy.
There are lots of lower body strength exercises to choose from, so to help you get the best from your workouts we have selected some of the best – start cranking these out and you’ll soon be in the best shape possible for summer!
Dumb-bell step-ups: A powerful exercise that is the cornerstone of many athletes’ strength training program, these will build your upper thighs (quads) and your butt (glutes), as well as helping to strengthen your abs.
Stand in front of a workout bench, holding a light dumb-bell in each hand. Step up with your right foot, pushing down through your right leg until you are standing tall on the bench. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.
Once you are used to doing these you can gradually increase the weight you use.
Squats: The ultimate leg strengthening exercise, squats will work your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles, hip flexors, abs, and low back! Squats can be performed with either a barbell or dumbbells.
The key to good squats is proper technique. Be sure to keep your spine straight, head up and shoulders back as you squat. To perform the exercise, bend your knees and slowly lower your butt towards the floor – if your butt sticks out, that’s good technique. Pause at the bottom, then push back up to stand up straight. Be sure not to ‘pop’ your knees out at the top.
Seated calf raises: These will build your calves, vital for any running or jumping sports. Sit on a bench with your toes resting on a step and a heavy weight plate resting on your knees – be sure to hold it securely in place. Raise your heels as high as you can, pause, then slowly lower your heels as far as you can. Repeat. Because you use your calf muscles all day when walking around, they tend to respond better to higher reps (16-20).
The beauty of all these exercises is that you can perform them at home just as easily as in the gym. No bench? Do your step ups on the stairs. No heavy weights? Simply increase the reps to increase the intensity. A high paced lower body circuit will have your legs burning and your body sweating, perfect preparation for summer!