Strengthening Our Lower Body
We have all seen people at the gym only focusing on their biceps, chest and abs, but completely ignoring their lower body. The internet is full of inside jokes about skipping leg day and people trying to be so big and bulky up top and with weak leg muscles. Let’s complete the whole package and pack on some good muscle to our lower body so we can achieve overall total fitness.
Here are a few exercises you can incorporate into your routine:
Split squats are an easy exercise that can be done at the gym or at home. It is also versatile in various ways to alter the degree of difficulty. Most versions have the hind foot elevated on a bench (or step/chair/couch if at home) to isolate the front leg. Weights can be added to increase your workout. Also consider keeping weights lifted overhead to have a full body workout while hammering out these tough leg exercises.
Front and Back Squats
We all know this classic exercise, but for some reason they tend to fall by the wayside. If you have the opportunity either at your gym or when building your gym at home, a “Smith Machine” can provide a fantastic changeup to a normal squat rack. Whichever variation of the exercise you choose, a key is to engage your core and have correct posture to maximize the workout your lower body muscles are receiving. You can start with low weight and high repetitions as your build strength and endurance, then adding weight to increase your overall muscle definition and size.
Another classic exercise, but the leg press should not be skipped when trying to change how your legs look. The leg press can remove strain on your back that some of us develop from bad form or lifting too much weight on squats, all while putting all your lower body muscles through an intense workout. You may also alter the exercise to include single leg sets and eccentric sets to really bulk up calf and quad muscles.
The leg curl machine does not get the love it deserves for helping provide definition to your leg muscles. Another great exercise that incorporates just about all of your lower body muscles, the leg curl machine can also be modified to single leg. If your goal is to be able to squat more, then strengthening the muscles that will allow you to do so involves adding some leg curls into your leg day routine.