August 18th, 2017
best lower body exercises

5 Effective Movements for a Sculpted Lower Body

Get off that chair, it’s time to workout! Strength and resistance training is crucial to your health. Specifically, working your lower body has plenty of benefits. From improving your posture and boosting your metabolism, to the aesthetic benefits of a tighter lower body, working your legs should be a cornerstone in your workout program.

First things first, you have to wake that booty up! Sitting in a chair all day at work has probably put your glutes to sleep… literally. Check out the best ways to activate your glutes before any workout:Wake Up That Booty! Build a Nice derrière and Save Your Lower Back

Once your body is warmed up and you’ve activated your glutes, try out these awesome exercises!

The best lower body exercises

Goblet Squat

Targeted Muscles: Quadriceps
Secondary Muscles: Glutes, Hamstrings, Core
Equipment: Kettlebell or Dumbbell
How to Perform: First, grab a kettlebell or dumbbell of moderate weight. Hold the weight in front of your sternum with both hands. Now, retract your shoulder blades keeping your elbows close to your body. A great way to practice this is to have someone put their finger between your shoulder blades while you try to pinch their finger with your shoulders.

Now, with your feet about shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward (or slightly out), squat down. Remember to keep your weight on the heels of you feet and to push your knees out while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Once you go to parallel or slightly lower, push up with your heels.

Sumo Squats

Targeted Muscles: Glutes, Adductors (inner-thigh)
Secondary Muscles: Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Lower Back
Equipment: Bodyweight, Kettlebell, Dumbbell or Barbell
How To Perform: These are fantastic for targeting your backside. With a barbell on your shoulders, holding a kettlebell/dumbbell with straight arms, or with just your body weight, line your feet up wide with toes pointed out. Squat down keeping your weight on the heels of your feet and your knees tracking in line with your toes. This movement takes a lot of adductor (inner thigh) flexibility so make sure to start with your feet closer if you feel your upper body being pulled forward during the movement. Always keep your shoulders retracted and your chest up.

Good Mornings

Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings, Back
Other Muscles Worked: Glutes
Equipment: Barbell
How to Perform: Similar to a stiff-legged deadlift, goodmornings are great for targeting the hamstrings and glutes while working your back muscles. Once you have a barbell on your shoulders, bend at the waist, push your butt backwards and lean forward with legs straight. Once you start to feel the tension on your hamstrings, stand straight up.

Curtsy Lunges

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Targeted Muscles: Quads, Calves
Other Muscles Worked: Glutes, Core
Equipment: Barbell, Dumbbells or Bodyweight
How to Perform: Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Take your left leg and step it backwards to the right, across to the right side of your right foot. While doing this, your right leg will squat (keeping your weight on the heel) until your right thigh is parallel with the floor. Then, pressing through your right heel, stand up and bring your left foot back to starting position. Now switch legs.

Kettlebell Swings

Targeted Muscles: Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Other Muscles Worked: Forearms, Core
Equipment: Kettlebell
How to perform: Besides being a terrific derière-blaster, kettlebell swings are a phenomenal full-body movement and fat-burning exercise. Remember, kettlebell sings are NOT a shoulder exercise, they are a hip-hinge movement that targets your entire back, glutes and hamstrings.

Evan Clark

Evan Clark is a former wildland firefighter turned fitness pro (NSCA CPT). Though he loves his heavy squat and deadlift sessions, he believes that health and fitness extend well beyond the gym and that fitness should be a tool to promote mental health and lifestyle balance.

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