5 Essential Exercises to Tone Your Lower Body

Nov 10, 2016 //

Often when we exercise, we focus on getting bigger arms or a stronger core, when in fact, real strength is built from the ground up.

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Our glutes are the body’s biggest and most essential muscle, so if you want to run faster, jump higher or simply look great in shorts, you’ll want to give your lower body some love.

These five exercises are all you need to seriously tone and strengthen your lower body.

1. Single-Leg Squat

  1. To begin, stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
  2. Next allow for your weight to favor your left foot, and then place the toe of your right foot next to your left foot to stabilize your upcoming movement.
  3. Now, while making sure to keep your backside at a straight angle, bend at your hips and knees, and slowly rest back onto your left leg while you raise your arms in front of you as you lower yourself—being sure to stabilize yourself on the back of the chair if you feel as if that’s necessary.
  4. Lastly, stop when your thighs have almost come parallel to the floor, and hold for one count
  5. Then simply press your weight into your left foot and at last stand back up straight.

2. Bent-Knee Crossover

  1. Begin standing tall with your feet much wider than shoulder-width apart, and toes slightly pointed out.
  2. From there, keep one knee straight and flex the other, as you shift your body-weight across and down towards the same side as the bent knee.
  3. Sit back into the movement, and keep your torso relatively upright.
  4. When you’re as low as you can comfortably go, push yourself back up to the start position in one powerful movement.
  5. You should aim for three sets of 10 to 15 on each side.

3. Standing Abduction

  1. To begin, stand with your knees ever so slightly bent and your right hand resting on a wall for stability purposes.
  2. Now reach out with your left leg—straight to the left—while making sure to keep your knee relaxed and your foot braced.
  3. Lift your left leg as far as you can without shifting your upper body, pausing for a second, and then settling back into your original position.
  4. All you’ve got to do from here is finish out a set, and repeat the set of motions with the opposite leg.

4. Double Leg Lift

  1. To begin lie on your right side with the both legs positioned on top one another, and your feet flexed.
  2. Then lift yourself up on your right elbow with your right hand supporting your head to avoid running any risk at sustaining a neck strain.
  3. Raise your left leg just a foot and then bring up your right leg to meet it halfway.
  4. Hold the position or the meeting for a total of 2 seconds and then slowly allow for each of your legs to lower separately.

5. Lunge

  1. To begin, stand with your feet together while holding 8-pound dumbbells at your sides, your palms turned in toward your thighs.
  2. Then take a stride forward with your left leg as you root your right foot and slowly lower your right knee back toward the floor—so that your right knee’s just off the floor.
  3. Your left knee should rest at a 90-degree angle while your backside maintains a straight angle.
  4. Lastly, push off your right foot and settle back into the starting position.
  5. Then repeat with your right leg 10 times through.