10 Effective Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Body January 31, 2017

Have you always longed for those sexy, sculpted, toned legs? Are you one of those who lie awake in bed after a day’s work because the pain in their legs won’t let them sleep? Or do you think that your thighs are just enormous or your calves are just too skinny? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you!

Legs are not there to just about making us look sexy! Our legs actually carry our weight and work harder than any other part of the body. And that is the reason why our legs become weak, and refuse to support us.

The solution to all these problems is exercising those legs to make them lean and strong.

Top 10 Lower Body Workouts:

Here are the top 10 exercises that will strengthen your whole lower body – calves, thighs, and butt.

1. Deep Squats:

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Targets: buttocks and thighs

A great exercise that works on your glutes as well as your quads and saddlebags. These squats have two versions – with weights and without weights.

  1. Stand with your feet apart, back straight and shoulders rolled back. Keep your abdominal muscles tight.
  2. Now lower yourself by bending your knees till your butt is just inches off the ground. This is the full squat.
  3. Make sure your knees are behind your toes and your back is not hunched.
  4. Push yourself all the way up at the same speed you squatted down.
  5. Repeat the exercise 15 times.
  6. For the weighted version, grab a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Keep the weight heavy.

2. Box Jumps:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: butt, thighs, calves and shins

Box Jumps strengthen the entire leg and also provide a high intensity cardio exercise to the body. For this exercise, a box about the height of one third of your shin is needed. If you don’t have a box, you can also use stairs or footpaths in a park or anything that is sturdy and of the required height.

  1. Stand in front of your box with your spine erect and shoulders rolled back. Keep your abs tight.
  2. Now jump with force on top of the box.
  3. Jump back to the ground. Repeat the motion 10 times.
  4. Beginners, who find jumping onto the box very difficult, should start with stepping onto the box and stepping down from the box.

3. Single Leg Squat:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: butt, thighs and shins

Single Leg Squat is a strengthening as well as balancing variation of squats. It is considered slightly advanced move and should be done at a slow and steady pace.

  1. Stand in the attention position.
  2. Lift your right leg a few inches off the ground. Don’t bend the knee and keep your foot in front of you.
  3. Now shift your weight to the left leg.
  4. Balancing on your left leg, slowly try to lower yourself. Go as much as you can without disrupting your balance.
  5. Slowly raise yourself up but do not set your right foot back down.
  6. Repeat the move 8 times and then lower your right leg.
  7. Repeat the same with the alternate leg.

4. Squat Jumps:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: calves, shins and quads

Squat Jumps are high intensity cardio exercise. This lower body workout for women strengthens the lower body really well but at the same time burns calories off the entire body too. Putting more pressure on the legs, this jumping activity strengthens them.

The only variation in this exercise from a regular squat is that you need to jump after each squat.

  1. Stand with your feet apart and muscles tightened. And squat down.
  2. Now push yourself from the position with a force that you jump off the ground while raising yourself.
  3. Squat and jump up – this is the motion to be repeated. Do it 10 times.

5. Plié Squats:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: inner thighs and glutes

Plié Squats are a variation of squat that works on toning and strengthening your inner thighs.

  1. Stand with your feet more than shoulder width apart.
  2. Turn your toes outwards in opposite directions.
  3. Now lower yourself by bending your knees. Then raise yourself to the original position.
  4. Repeat the move 15 times.

6. Deadlifts:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: butt, lower back, and hamstrings

Deadlifts are one of the best moves for your booty. Deadlifts can be done with dumbbells, barbell or heavy weights.

  1. Stand with your feet together, abs tight, back straight and shoulders rolled back.
  2. Take a dumbbell in each hand and move them in front of you.
  3. Now bend from your waist keeping the back straight.
  4. Bend to half and then raise up.
  5. Do this 15 times.

[ Read: TRX Exercises To Strengthen Your Body ]

7. Side Lunge:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: inner thighs, calves and glutes

Side Lunges can be done with and without dumbbells. This move stretches and tones the inner thighs and strengthens the quads. It also works on flexibility and a whole range of joint movements.

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width.
  2. Now shift more of your weight on your left side and bending that knee, lower yourself to that side.
  3. Now straighten and repeat the motion with the right side.
  4. Do both sides 10times each.

8. Calf Raises:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: calves and shins

Calf Raises sculpt calves effectively and make the shins strong. This exercise has 3 steps that work on different part of our calves. To further intensify the exercise, grab a pair of heavy dumbbells.

  1. Stand with your feet apart, shoulders rolled back and spine erect. Keep your toes forward.
  2. Now lift your heel of the floor such that your weight is on the balls of your foot.
  3. Lower that heel, but do not touch it to the ground.
  4. Repeat the motion for 1 minute and then lower your heel to the ground.
  5. Now, for the next step, turn your feet outwards in opposite direction, such that your feet are placed diagonally and toes pointed outwards.
  6. Do the raises in this position for 40 seconds. Then lower your heels to the floor.
  7. Now, the third step would be to turn your toes inwards.
  8. Do the raises in this position for next 40 seconds.

9. Hamstring Curls:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: glutes, hamstrings and saddlebags

This exercise for lower body is effective in strengthening those glutes and lifting your buttocks! It stretches the hamstrings and tones the backs of thighs.

  1. Get down on your hands and knees. Keep your back straight and abs tight.
  2. Lift your left leg and straighten the knee. Now your left leg is in a straight horizontal line with your spine and core.
  3. Curl your leg from your knee so that your lower leg becomes perpendicular to the upper leg and core.
  4. Then straighten it again.
  5. Do it 10 times.
  6. Repeat the same with the other leg.

10. Mountain Climber:

Image: Shutterstock

Targets: legs, butt and core

Mountain Climber is a cardio move that burns a lot of calories and works out the whole body. It specifically targets the legs.

  1. Come down into the plank position with your core tight.
  2. Now bend the right knee and bring the foot forward near your hips. Keep your left leg straight.
  3. Keep your elbows straight and arms strong as they are going to support most of your weight.
  4. Now jump and bring your left foot forward and right leg straight at the same time.
  5. Keep alternating your feet and repeat the exercise 15-20 times.

[ Read: Exercises To Strengthen Your Upper Body ]

These exercises not only strengthen your lower body, but also help build and tone your leg muscles. The best thing about these moves is that they affect your entire body while specifically targeting your lower body. To get the best results, keep your moves progressive and keep challenging yourself! And soon you’ll have legs to kill for!

Does your workout regime include some of these lower body exercises? Do you practice any other move for your lower body? Share with us.

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Sakshi Gupta