Wellness Warrior

The Best Full Lower Body Workout For Strength.

There’s nothing like a good leg day, right? Well, it’s my favorite time of the week and I love seeing a good lower body workout for strength. There are a ton of exercises you can add to your workout routine to give you the most effective workout for your training regimen. These are some of the best exercises to target your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, giving you a balanced routine to maximize strength gains. No matter the fitness level you are on, these exercises can easily be adjusted to anyone.

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The best lower body workout for strength you can do at home.

If you are into fitness but don’t have the time to hit the gym, you can easily do this workout at home and still see the muscle gains you are after. With a few dumbbells and a yoga mat, you can go a long way in achieving your goals at home. Making the time to get in your workout is a commitment you make to yourself and that’s never a bad thing.

Warm Up.

The most important thing to always remember is to do your warmup exercises before starting your workout. There are many different ways you can do your workout but I prefer doing a quick routine, usually in Tabata-style, but taking out your timer is just as efficient. There are some great Tabata-style remixes on Spotify that you can just follow along to.

Jog in one place – 60 Seconds

Jumping Jacks – 45 Seconds

High Knees – 30 Seconds

Burpees – 10

Jump Lunges.

Jump lunges are a great addition to your lower body workout for strength. While they might not always be the easiest exercise to do, it sure does its job. If you find jump lunges to be challenging, hold onto something while doing your lunges. If you want to make your lunges more challenging, you can think about adding a resistance band or even dumbbells.

To do a jump lunge, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one foot into a lunge position, ensuring your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. From there, explosively jump up, switching your legs mid-air and landing softly in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat this movement in a fluid and controlled manner, aiming for a consistent and rhythmic cadence.

Try doing 12 per side and repeat for 3 sets.

Weighted Squat.

When it comes to a lower body workout, squats are usually one of the first exercises that come to mind. By adding a bit of resistance to your exercise, you push your muscles to do so much more. Make sure to keep proper form when doing your squats and also not to use a weight that is too heavy as it can cause a possible injury. Choose a weight that you are comfortable with, as the reps go on, it’ll start feeling heavier.

To do a weighted squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight to your chest. Make sure that your feet are in line with each other and that one isn’t more forward than the other. Bend your knees as if you were going to sit on a chair. Make sure that your knees don’t go over your toes and that you are pushing into the seated position. When you push back up, make sure to engage your glutes until you are up. Keep your back as straight as possible and avoid bending on the way down.

Try doing 15 reps and repeat for 3 sets.

Side Lunges.

Side lunges are a great addition to any workout in my opinion. They work muscles that we don’t usually tend to focus on to get balanced muscle growth in your lower body. This exercise engages your quads, glutes, and hamstrings while also working the inner thighs and improving hip mobility. Make sure to keep proper form during the exercise to ensure the exercise works best. I prefer using a kettlebell when I do side lunges to make it slightly more challenging.

To do side lunges, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a wide step to your right side, bending your right knee and pushing your hips back, while keeping your left leg straight. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Make sure that your knee doesn’t go over your toe when in the lunge position.

Try doing 12 – 15 per side and repeat for 3 sets.

RELATED: The Best Beginner Dumbbell Exercises For A Full Body Workout.

Glute Bridge.

If you know anything about the fitness world, you’ll know that glute bridges or hip thrusts are a pretty popular exercise. This exercise is great at isolating and activating the glute muscles, which is an area a lot of people want to focus on strengthening. There are so many different variations and ways to do this exercise, find the way that works best for you, and stick to it.

Variations you can try:

  • Bodyweight glute bridge: Do the basic glute bridge with no added weight, focusing on form and muscle activation.
  • Single-leg glute bridge: Lift one leg off the ground while performing the bridge, increasing the challenge and targeting each glute individually.
  • Banded glute bridge: Place a resistance band around your thighs just above your knees to increase resistance and glute activation.
  • Elevated glute bridge: Place your feet on an elevated surface like a bench or step to increase the range of motion and engage the glutes more intensely.
  • Weighted hip thrust: Place a barbell or a weighted plate across your hips while performing the bridge, significantly increasing resistance and strength gains.
  • Frog pumps: Position your feet together and knees apart, resembling a butterfly stretch, and perform the bridge to target the outer glutes and hip abductors.
  • Glute bridge hold with leg extension: Hold the bridge position and extend one leg straight out, alternating legs to challenge stability and core strength.

To do a glute bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Driving through your heels and lifting your hips toward the ceiling, engage your glutes, core, and hamstrings and hold this position for a few seconds, and slowly lower back down to the ground.

Try doing 15 reps and repeat for 3 sets.

Weighted Step-Up.

I love doing weighted step-ups and add them to almost every workout I do, even if they are just a warm up without weights. Weighted step-ups are a great lower body exercise for strength that targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. By adding weights, like dumbbells or a barbell, you significantly increase the resistance and challenge these muscle groups even more.

To do a weighted step-up, start by standing in front of a sturdy elevated surface such as a step or a bench holding a weight in each hand. With one foot planted firmly on the step, you then push through your heel to drive your body upward, lifting your other leg as you ascend. Control your movement as you lower back down and repeat the process on the other leg.

Try doing 12 – 15 reps per side and repeat for 3 sets.

Calf Raises.

Because there are so few exercises that really target your calves like calf raises, I feel that they are a necessity in any lower body workout for strength. This exercise specifically targets the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves, enhancing both strength and endurance. Adding weights, like holding dumbbells or using a barbell, can increase the resistance and intensity of the exercise. I like to alternate the position of my feet from outward, inward, and straight to target different areas of the calf.

To do calf raises, stand on a flat surface or an elevated platform like a stepper with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift your heels off the ground, rising onto the balls of your feet, and then lower back down with control.

Try doing 10 – 15 reps and repeat for 3 sets.

RELATED: The Best Core Workout With Single Dumbbell.

Cool down exercises you can do.

Cooling down after a lower body workout for strength is a great way to ease muscle tension, prevent post-workout soreness, and improve your flexibility. There are a few different things you can do for a cool down, depending on what you prefer. If you have a treadmill close by, you can go for a quick walk, or you can grab your yoga mat and do a few stretches.

Hold these stretches for at least 20 seconds per side.

  • Standing quad stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift one leg, grasping it with the same hand and pulling towards your glutes.
  • Seated hamstring stretch: Sit on the floor with both legs extended and reaching forward towards the toes.
  • Butterfly stretch: Sit on the floor with the bottom of your feet together and knees to the floor. Push down on your knees to get them as close to the floor as possible. Lean forward to increase intensity.
  • Calf stretch: Step one foot back and lean forward, resting hands on a wall while feeling the stretch in the calf muscle.
  • Reclining pigeon: Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other while pulling it towards the chest.

Conclusion.

Just like anything in life, consistency is key. Doing a lower body workout for strength once a week for a few weeks and then nothing again, won’t give you the results you were hoping for. These exercises will help you build significant strength and muscle but make sure to adjust your workout to your own fitness level. Remember to warm up properly before starting and cool down with stretching or a brisk walk after your workout. As you progress, you can adjust the weights and repetitions to continue challenging your muscles and promoting growth.

Happy Training,

Your Wellness Warrior!


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