If you want to tone your lower body, you need to do the following 5 lower body exercises. If you don’t, it’s likely that you will only achieve mediocre results. I created this short lower body workout to help you to both burn a lot of calories and body fat and to tone your buttocks, thighs, and calves.
3 of these exercises are “big” exercises, the kind that work a lot of muscle and burn a lot of calories, while the other two are “small” exercises that target a specific muscle group in order to tone it further.
I recommend to do big exercises first and small ones second. You need to be as fresh as possible when you do the bigger and harder exercises.
Some of these exercises have different variations, so I recommend switching things up. It will keep you from getting bored and your workout will be more effective.
Squats are one of the most effective exercises that you can find. They employ a lot of muscle, use up lots of calories, and they’re my favorite exercise to start any workout with because they get you warmed up quickly.
There are many squat variations that you can perform. You should start with a simple variation such as the bodyweight squat (seen in the picture below), the Y-squat or the T-squat. You can also use dumbbells or a barbell to increase intensity. We will use other forms of squats as the 2nd and 3rd exercises in this sequence.
Single Leg Exercises
For the second exercise in this sequence we’re going to do a single leg exercise of your choice. The most intense ones are a lunge or a split squat. You can also do a regular one legged squat, but this is an extremely hard exercise, so it may be beyond your current ability.
Single leg exercises place more strain on your muscles since you’re working with your entire body weight, but doing most of the work with one leg instead of two. I believe that you should diversify between forward and reverse lunges and the split squat exercise.
You can use dumbbells with these exercises or combine upper body exercises into the movement. For instance, you can do biceps curls, dumbbell swings, or overhead lifts as you see in the picture to your right.
Side or Crab Squats
The reason why I put side squats (and crab squats) as a separate exercise is that they place more focus on the outer thigh muscles. I want to make sure that we target those muscles. In addition, these are more “calorie expensive” exercises than other targeted thigh exercises. If you’re looking to burn more fat with your workouts, these are the sort of exercises that you need to do.
The side squat is a simple exercise. You start it by standing straight with both feet close together. You take a big step to the right with your right foot, place it down and squat. You will feel how different this exercise is from a regular squat. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Here’s a picture of how a side squat looks:
The Crab squat takes this one step further. To do a crab squat you need to stand with both feet wide apart. Your toes should not point forward, but need to be turned at a 45 degrees angle outward. Squat down until you’re in a similar position to the one at the end of the side squat. Take 10-15 small and quick steps to the right while maintaining the squat position. Stop and take similar steps to the left. Rise, rest, and repeat.
This is the final “big exercise”. Now, let’s go over two quick small ones for toning.
This is a fantastic exercise that targets your buttocks. To do the hip extension you need to get down on all fours and lift one leg up with bent knee.
Keep your raised leg at the level of your torso. Make sure your back and neck are straight and that you’re stable on your two hands and one knee.
Press your raised legs upward and feel the tension in your buttocks. The movement should be quick and controlled. When you lower your leg don’t let it fall beneath the level of your torso. You want to keep some strain on the buttocks at all times.
Make sure to work both legs equally. You can use ankle weights to make this exercise a bit harder.
The final lower body exercise in this sequence is the calf raise. This is an exercise that can be done with one leg or two, with dumbbells or without. It’s one of the best calf exercises that you can do.
To do a calf raise you need to stand with both legs close together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise yourself up on tiptoes until you feel the strain in your calves. Lower yourself down and repeat. Don’t let your heels fully rest on the floor until the end of the set. Keep the pressure on your calves.
Wrapping it Up
Take these 5 exercises and their variations and include them in your workouts. You will see your lower body change. Naturally, these should be part of a total body workout. If you have any question about these exercises, leave a comment below.