Seven lower body exercises
Seven exercises to get a toned lower body!
1. Plie Squats Stand with your feet at a 45 degree angle and wider than shoulder width apart. Put your hands on your hips and bend your legs no more than 90 degrees. Hold at the bottom point of this move, while keeping your upper body and torso in an upright position. Push into your heels and move your legs back into a straight position to complete the move. Repeat this 15 times to get a good burn on! And if you want to go a step further, hold a dumbbell weight centrally with both your hands to add an extra challenge! This exercise is great for your inner thighs especially.
2. Step ups with knee raise
Place a box or bench in front of you. Stand tall with your chest up and hands up for balance. Begin the movement by stepping onto the box with your first foot and push yourself up with this foot only. As you move up, bring the other knee forward and up. Now step down with your second foot and bring the original foot to the ground. Repeat the movement but be sure to switch which foot you lead with.
3. Pistol Squats
Balance on one leg, with the other leg and hands out in front of you for balance. Bend your grounded foot down in a controlled manner until almost fully bent. With your raised leg still out in front of you, hold the position for a few seconds before straightening the grounded foot back out into an upright position. Repeat the exercise five times on each leg.
4. Lying side leg raises
Lay on your side and support your upper body with your elbow. Keeping your leg straight and while tightening up your abs, raise your upper leg slowly to a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for a few seconds, and slowly move the leg back down to the original position. Repeat this exercise multiple times, switching sides and legs each time. This exercise is specifically useful for the glutes and leads to a more flattering hip shape.
5. Barbell hip thrust
Sit up straight on the floor with your shoulders resting on a workout bench, and a barbell rested over your hips with your desired weight. Keeping the core tight, push through your heels and use your glutes to raise your hips (and the barbell weight) up. At the top of the exercise, your back should be straight and your shoulders should be resting on the bench. Do this exercise with more weight and fewer reps for muscle gain, or less weight and more reps for conditioning and toning.
6. Barbell lunges
Holding the barbell evenly with each hand behind your head resting on your shoulders, stand up right. Move your leading leg forward one stride and bend down to a 90-degree angle, move body down until leading lower leg is parallel to the floor (in a squat like motion). Press into leading leg heel to push back up to starting position. Repeat the exercise multiple times, alternating leading leg each time. This exercise is sure to work up a sweat and is a great all round lower body workout.
7. 20 count wall squat
Stand with your back to a flat wall about a foot away, with your feet flat on the wall and shoulder width apart. Bend your legs and lean your back straight against the wall. Bend your legs until at a 90-degree angle and hold this posture for 20 seconds, then straighten your legs out returning to the original position. Repeat this exercise multiple times and it won’t be long until you feel the burn!