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Lower-body Exercises

  • Lateral Band Walk

    The lateral band walking exercise is the perfect way to improve hip stability, strengthen the hip abductors and increase the stability of the knee joint.  You can do it as a part of your warm-up or as a separate routine.

    To do it:

    1. Place the band around your ankles.
    2. Stand in a shallower squat position, with your feet about hip-width apart, hands at your chest or on your hips.
    3. Take a step to the right with your right foot, so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Then, follow with your left so that your feet are hip-width apart again.
    4. Take three steps to the right, and then three back to the left. That’s 1 rep.
  • Step-Ups with Knee Raise

    Moves like  step-up with knee raise work multiple muscle groups at once. The move works your core, glutes, thighs, hips and calves to strengthen and tone them at the same time.

    To do it :

    1. Stand facing a box or bench of an appropriate height with your feet together. This will be your starting position.
    2. Begin the movement by stepping up, putting your left foot on the top of the bench. Extend through the hip and knee of your front leg to stand up on the box. As you stand on the box with your left leg, flex your right knee and hip, bringing your knee as high as you can.
    3. Reverse this motion to step down off the box, and then repeat the sequence on the opposite leg.

  • Glute Bridge

    Spending all day sitting behind a desk is a sure way to weak glutes and lower back problems. The glute bridge is a simple bodyweight exercise, perfect for beginners who want to strengthen their glutes and hamstrings for a tight and toned rear end.

    To do a glute bridge:

    1. Lie down on a mat. Keep your hands close to your body, palms facing down, legs flexed, and feet flat on the floor.
    2. Keeping your core engaged and gazing at your knees, push your buttocks up towards the ceiling. Support your body with your feet and upper back.
    3. Hold this pose for a second. Exhale and lower your buttocks.

    If you want a bigger challenge you can do one of the following variations.

    Single Leg Glute Bridges

    With the single-leg variation, you’ll only have one foot on the floor, while the other is extended straight up towards the ceiling. Extend your leg before you lift your hips into the glute bridge. As with any single leg exercise, do both sides to maintain muscular balance. If you’re doing two sets of 10 repetitions, do one set with your right leg raised and one set with your left leg raised.

    Elevated Glute Bridges

    Elevate your feet to increase the range of motion. If you have access to a bench, box, or another elevated surface, lay back on the floor with your feet propped up on top of it. When you get into your bridge you’ll have to go higher, which makes the exercise more challenging.

    Make sure the surface is stable and at the right distance that you can get full extension. You want to be able to rest your feet securely on the surface, so you’ll typically start sitting so your knees are roughly at right angles.

    With an elevated bridge, keep tabs on your spine. You might have more of a tendency to arch your lower back than you did without your feet elevated.

    If you want to make the exercise even more challenging, prop your feet up on a stability ball. This adds a balancing element that will further work your glutes, hips, and core.

  • Squat

    If you want to tone up and strengthen your butt there is no substitute to squats.

    To perform squat:

    1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips.
    2. Standing up tall, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, and pull in your abdominal muscles.
    3. Bend your knees while keeping your upper body as straight as possible, as if you were lowering yourself onto a seat behind you. Lower yourself as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward.

    To make squat more challenging use dumbbells for added weight.

  • Lunges

    Lunges are an essential part of any exercise program. They do not require any equipment, and you can do them at home for days you do not train with your trainer. Make sure you do them correctly to protect your joints.

    To do a lunge:

    1. Keep your body straight, with your shoulders relaxed and back and look straight ahead. Make sure you do not look down, so pick a spot in front of you and focus on it. Engage your core.
    2. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both of your knees are at about a 90-degree angle. The knee of the forward leg should be directly above your ankle and the knee of the lowered leg does not touch the floor.
    3. Push back up to starting position but remember to use both legs and keep your weight on your heels.

    If you cant go as low as 90-degree angle, stay up higher. It is better to keep torso upright and feet in correct position to ensure good form while you working on depth of the lunch.

    If you want to add an additional challenge, you can do one or all of the following:

    1. hold weights in your hands while doing lunges
    2. add torso rotations
    3. add weight pushups

    If you want to learn more about lunges, read the 5 Lunge Variations for Leaner Legs

  • Side Lunge

    Side lunges work your glutes, hips, and thighs. This move opens up tight hips while strengthening the inner thigh and glutes.

    To do a side lunge

    1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed straight.
    2. Step out to the side with your right leg as far as you can while keeping your left leg straight. Keep both feet on the ground and toes pointed straight forward.
    3. Make sure you’re sitting down and back, like in a basic squat and your right knee does not extend past your toes
    4. Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one
    5. Repeat on the other side.

    When you have perfected your form, you can add a kettlebell or dumbbell that will add a core toning.

    For even more challenge perform side lunge to curtcy. You can perform it without weights or with weight for added challenge.

    To do it:

    1. Step your left leg wide to the left coming into a side lunge
    2. Push off with your left foot, and cross the left leg behind your right coming into a curtsy, bending both knees.
    3. Finish 10-12 repetitions on one side and then switch to the other side.