Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 26, 2020

10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

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)

    Advertising

    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:

    Advertising

    • 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.

        Advertising

        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

                Advertising

                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

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Sergio Pedemonte

                      CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

                      lower body workout 10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home 4-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan to Shed Pounds Fast 10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast 30-Minute Morning Workout Routine for Maximum Fitness How to Build Endurance Fast and Enhance Stamina

                      Trending in Exercise & Training

                      1 10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home 2 The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds 3 15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners 4 9 Simple Cardio/Core Exercises You Can Do At Home 5 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on November 26, 2020

                      The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds

                      The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds

                      “If I drink this supplement, will I lose 40 pounds in two weeks?”

                       Another consultation with a new member in the fitness center that I manage, and yet another person that fell prey to the marketing-trap of a supplement company that promised immediate results and rapid weight loss.

                      Rapid weight loss is enticing. It speaks to our human nature. It’s unfortunately also a false fantasy of ours.

                      The truth is that while you might be able to lose weight in a very short time, it’s practically impossible to keep it off. Here’s why and how you can actually shed pounds sustainably and continuously.

                      The Key to Patience

                      A mentor of mine once told me bluntly: You can have it all young man. You can be a great salesman and entrepreneur. You can run a successful business. As long as you just refuse to give up.

                      Is it that simple? It is.

                      I came into a management position at a young age not because I’m the brightest but because I outlasted my colleagues.

                      There are a lot of similarities between business and the results in the gym. They just produce different rewards.

                      If something isn’t working simply because you don’t have the patience to push through, develop this crucial piece of the puzzle before moving on.

                      You can learn more about just how long it takes to build muscle and lose fat here.

                      Advertising

                      The Art of Weight Loss

                      Weight loss is simple, but not easy.

                      It’s not easy because it goes against our nature. We all have to know that our ancestors dealt with much rougher situations than we did. Over millions of years our genome has evolved to store energy in order to prepare for rainy days.

                      Only in the recent decades have we gone from scarcity to absolute abundance. The supermarket just around my corner contains ripe fruits from all over the world. Packaged, conserved foods that can be stored in our shelf for years to come.

                      While our recently-evolved, self-conscious forebrain is demanding us to keep losing 10 more pounds, our genome is desperately trying to hold on to all of those bits of energy storage, making rapid weight loss nearly impossible.

                      Fat cells used to be our friends, and now they’re enemies. (Find out more about the reason why here.) In order to beat them and lose weight, we have to learn to go against nature and trick our genome.

                      How to Trick Your Genome

                      What if I told you that there is a way to soothe your genome and your brain at the same time? How can we manipulate both of these entities to reach our goals?

                      Here’s everything that you need to know about substantial and sustainable weight loss in one sentence: Calories and satiety are not linked.

                      We can eat a huge McDonalds meal with thousands of calories but still feel hungry after one hour. We can scoop out some ice cream late at night, and the only time we feel satiated is after we’ve gained 2 more pounds.

                      On the other hand, we can eat 1-2 cups of broccoli or spinach and often feel full. What matters is the caloric density and the seven crucial factors influencing satiety.

                      7 Parts of Satiety

                      Hunger and satiety are sensations. Satiety is the absence of hunger. If we feel satiated, we feel full. If we feel full, we’re more likely to stick to a diet.

                      Advertising

                      If calories are not linked to satiety, which factors are? Lucky for us, a study on satiety gave us some answers. The researchers concluded:[1]

                      Servings of different foods vary greatly in their satiating capacity.[2]

                      Optimize satiety for rapid weight loss

                        And the effect of a food on one’s satiety is important, as the satiety heavily influences our future eating behavior. These are the components that played a role.

                        Fiber

                        Fiber fills up your stomach and speeds up digestion through your small intestine. This means that less macronutrients will get absorbed. Therefore, also less calories.

                        Foods containing fiber-entrapped natural sugars produced the highest satiety scores in the whole study. If you want to feel full, start taking in more fruits and vegetables.

                        Sensory Information

                        Studies have shown that our sensory information can play a huge part in our satiety and rapid weight loss. We’re primed to seek a variety of foods, but if we routinize the habit of eating the same foods during our eating breaks, satiety might come earlier.[3]

                        Water

                        If a food contains more water, it will naturally also be less calorie dense. Not only that, but the increased water content also fills up our stomach more, boosting feelings of satiety.

                        Protein and Carbohydrates

                        Protein and (good) carbohydrates seem to have great satiating effects. Both of these macronutrients can, therefore, help you lose fat more easily. However, stay away from fatty products, as fat was inversely correlated with satiety. Fat also contains nearly double the calories.

                        Plate Size

                        The bigger the plate size, the more calories you will consume, which will slow you down on the road to rapid weight loss.[4] This may seem obvious, but many people eat far more than they should simply because they fill up a plate that’s bigger than a normal portion size.

                        Advertising

                        Amount of Fat Cells

                        Our fat cells, scientifically called adipocytes, release a hormone called leptin. Leptin levels are significantly higher in obese individuals. When we start dieting, our leptin level goes down fast—too fast. It’s an indication to our brain that we’re starving.

                        We suddenly feel hunger, have reduced motivation, and burn less calories at rest. This means that if we’re overweight, our body wants to keep us like that.[5]

                        Serotonin

                        Do you ever wonder why chocolate is so addictive? This tasty, dark food is releasing serotonin in our bodies to the same extent as cigarettes. This explains why stress often causes weight gain.

                        They crave that good-feeling neurotransmitter that gets released in our brains. This means that the less stress we have and the better we feel, the more satiety we will experience.[6]

                        The Next Steps

                        “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln

                        It’s time that we start thinking about long-term weight results when it comes to weight reduction. We have to realize that if we use the dieting approach to rapid weight loss, we’re losing both muscle and fat mass.

                        This means that every time we start a diet, it gets harder, not easier.

                        It’s therefore absolutely crucial that we start with the end in mind. We have to start a diet that is sustainable for months to come. There are three ways to do that:

                        1. Focus on Satiety

                        While a calorie deficit is important, we also have to focus on staying full. If our brain thinks we’re starving, our diet is doomed to fail.

                        If we fight against our genome, we enter a war we can not win. If we fight against our genome, we enter a war we can not win. Eat high protein foods while avoiding processed foods. This will get you started.

                        Advertising

                        2. Add Weightlifting and Cardiovascular Training to Your Schedule

                        Weightlifting and cardio can improve the ratio of lost fat and muscle mass and keep us healthy. Increased muscle mass will also make it easier to keep off the weight, as it increases our caloric need.

                        You can learn more about why cardio is so good for you in this article.

                        3. Add Incremental Changes

                        A diet shouldn’t necessarily be a diet. It should be a long-term dietary change for the better. We lay the groundwork to our dieting success by beginning with the end in mind.

                        Try making one small change to your diet each week to avoid shocking your body and mind. As you work incrementally, you’ll train your body to adjust slowly and sustainably.

                        Conclusion

                        Rapid weight loss is a false fantasy. There’s no supplement that will help you lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks.

                        It’s practically impossible to keep the weight off long-term if you do this because the dietary switch was never sustainable in the first place.

                        Instead of focusing on short-term results, we should pay special attention to long-term habit change to get us to a healthy weight and more balanced levels of body fat.

                        Weight loss is a trojan horse. We might expect superficial results like an improved reflection in the mirror, but if we begin with the end in mind and focus on long-term habit change, it affects multiple components of our existence and can lead to a better quality of life overall.

                        More Weight Loss Tips

                        Featured photo credit: Meghan Holmes via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next