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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

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10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

Are you having a hard time going to the gym for strength and conditioning? Do you want to work on your lower body strength but aren’t sure where to start? In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 lower body workouts anyone can try at home. No gear is needed for these workouts, just some space and a bottle of water waiting nearby.

What Do Lower Body Workouts Target?

When you tackle a lower body workout, you’ll be focusing mostly on leg workouts that strengthen your thighs and calves

.

However, a lower body workout can also be great for strengthening your hips, glutes, and core, as well as stabilizing your knee and ankle joints[1].

Major muscle groups for lower body workout

    Building lower body strength is key to helping you move through your day without pain and stiffness[2]. It can also help you achieve your other workout goals.

    Do you want to train for a marathon? You’ll definitely need to build up your leg muscles. Do you want to start endurance training? It’s hard to do if your legs and glutes get tired before your heart rate goes up.

    To get started, try a lower body workout from the list below.

    10 Great Lower Body Workouts

    This will give you an overview of some workout combinations that will help you build lower body strength using your own body weight. In the next section, we’ll go deeper and give you an overview of each major exercise.

    1. The Starter Workout

    3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 2 min rest between each set)

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    2. The 7-Minute Workout

    3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

    • Walking Lunges
    • Quarter Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (1 min rest between each round)

    3. The Unilateral Workout

    4 sets of 16 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunges
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Skater Squat
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 1 min rest between each set)

    4. The Endurance Workout

    2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (1-2 min rest between each set)

    5. The Back-to-Back Lower Body Workout

    5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

    • Skater Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (30 min rest between each round)

    6. Strength Lower Body Workout

    5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Squat

    (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time between sets)

    7. Glute Burner Workout

    4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

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    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (1 min of rest time between sets)

    8. The Advanced Lower Body Workout

    3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Skater Squat
    • Reverse Lunge
    • Glute Bridge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (2 mins of rest time between sets)

    9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

    2 sets of 10 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunge
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

    2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (4 mins of rest time between sets)

    Lower Body Workout Exercise Breakdown

    Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[3] that you found in the workouts listed above.

    1. Squat

    Squat
      A squat is a compound movement which uses the major muscle groups of the lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).
      How to Do a Squat

      Place feet hip-width apart or a little wider. Your toes should be pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through the heels, return to the starting position, and repeat.

      2. Walking Lunges

      Walking lunge for lower body workout

        A lunge is a complex movement that focuses mostly on thigh and knee strength, but it also gets into the glutes and core.

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        The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat, which is stationary. It then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance, which engages the gluteus medius, as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

        3. Reverse Lunge

        Reverse lunge

          A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat, but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

          By reverse stepping, you are allowing for more emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

          4. Quarter Squat

          Quarter squat for lower body workout

            A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps.

            5. Skater Squat

            Skater squat

              A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion, which fires up both the hamstrings and glutes.

              6. Step up

              Step up for lower body workout

                The step up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing steps up during a lower body workout will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

                7. Glute Bridge

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                Glute bridge

                  Glute bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension, which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                  8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                  Single leg glute bridge for lower body workout

                    Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt.

                    9. Single Leg Deadlift

                    Single leg deadlift

                      Single leg deadlifts engage the entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts and engage the core while you’re at it.

                      Before and After Working Out

                      Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up.

                      Even if you’re doing an at-home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[4] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                      Try these quad stretches to get started:

                      Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Completing a lower body workout can help you look and feel great, but it can also help you engage more fully with your daily activities and keep you healthier in the long run. Get started with any of the above exercises today.

                      More on Strengthening the Lower Body

                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Sergio Pedemonte

                      CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

                      10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast Can You Really Detox Your Body to Achieve Weight Loss? How to Build Endurance Fast and Enhance Stamina 30-Minute Morning Workout Routine for Maximum Fitness 4-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan to Shed Pounds Fast

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                      Last Updated on October 4, 2021

                      5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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                      5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

                      With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

                      Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

                      Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

                      We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

                      • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
                      • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
                      • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
                      • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
                      • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
                      • Total: 20 to 22 hours

                      Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

                      Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

                      • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
                      • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
                      • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

                      Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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                      Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

                      No equipment? No problem.

                      So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

                      Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

                      Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

                      1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

                      Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

                      Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

                      • Quadruped Rocks
                      • Frog Stretch
                      • Hip Prying
                      • Scapula Push-ups
                      • Hindu push-ups

                      Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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                      2. Yoga

                      Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

                      3. Calisthenics

                      Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

                      You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

                      Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

                      4. Aerobic Exercise

                      Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

                      Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

                      Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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                      5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

                      High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

                      Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

                      Chipper 60

                      Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

                      If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

                      What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

                      Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

                      Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

                      Sleep

                      Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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                      “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

                      Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

                      Stress

                      We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

                      Stimulants

                      Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

                      Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

                      Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
                      [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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