At Luxe Fitness, we believe working-out should be fun, effective and beneficial to your body. That’s why we have selected our top five lower body exercises that not only improve fitness, but help you to burn fat from unwanted areas and build butt and leg muscle, creating a beautiful and shapely physique. Read on to discover more…
Walking lunges combine cardio and core strength, giving you a tighter bottom and upper leg combination as well as burning fat from unwanted areas. While 10 minutes of walking lunges only burns around 45 calories, its true benefit is in the muscles it strengthens which then make other more intensive cardio exercises easier and more effective. You can choose to complete walking lunges with or without weights. Here’s how it’s done:
- Stand with hands on your hips, forward facing in the same direction as your toes.
- With one leg, take a wide step forward and bend your front knee so that your back leg straightens behind you.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds before drawing your back leg forward and straightening your front knee into a standing position.
- Repeat this motion 10 times so that with each lunge, you move forward.
- Note: If you wish, hold a weight in one hand with a straight arm above your head, parallel to your ear. This will help bring about a more complete body workout. Make sure you swap arms half way through.
A glute bridge, much like our other favourite lower body exercises, can be performed at home or in the gym. It’s brilliant for those of you who have office jobs, which can cause immobility and weakness in the back, because it strengthens the three gluteal muscles simultaneously. Here’s how it’s done:
- Laying on your back, face up on the floor, bend your knees and keep your feet on the ground, completely flat. Put your arms by your side with your palms facing the floor.
- Slowly raise your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight, upwards line.
- Hold this position for a couple of seconds before very slowly lowering your body back down to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
The Clamshell is a popular exercise that strengthens and tones the bottom area and upper and inner leg. Foremost among the muscles worked is the gluteus medius, which is the muscle that forms the outside edge of your bottom and the side of your hip. This is a great exercise for those of you who suffer lower back problems because it strengthens the core muscles of that area, reducing the burden of weight on your back. Here’s how it’s done:
- Lie on one side with your knees bent and your feet and hips stacked. Rest your head under your arm so that it is slightly raised.
- Bring your knees in towards your body so that your feet are lined up with your bottom.
- Keeping your feet together, lift the knee furthest away from the floor, as far as you can without rotating your hip. Keep your other knee on the floor.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly lower your knee to the starting position.
- Do this for 10-20 reps, then repeat on the other side.
Also referred to as the lateral shuffle, this popular cardio exercise involves the use of your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. The motion itself will remind you of how basketball players and tennis players move around the court and is brilliant for building muscle, endurance and improving heart health. Here’s how it’s done
- Place two cones (or any other household objects) approximately 5 yards apart from one another.
- With toes facing forward, knees slightly bent and the cones to your left and right, begin to shuffle between the two cones, with feet remaining as parallel as possible. Move from left to right a few times to build momentum.
- Widen your step as you see fit to make the exercise more challenging
- Continue for 5-10 minutes.
A popular yoga pose, this gentle exercise helps to build endurance and core strength. What’s more, this simple pose can be performed absolutely anywhere. Here’s how to do it:
- Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart
- Raise your hands above your head with straight arms
- Fold your body forward at a 45 degree angle
- Bend your knees very slightly as though you are about to sit down in a chair
- Hold the position for up to 60 seconds, then release.
- Repeat 10-15 times
The amount of stamina required to complete this task helps your body to burn calories gently while improving metabolic rate and overall strength levels.
About the Author
Emma Rowlands is a professional writer with a passion for health and science. Emma has years of experience working in the diet and lifestyle sector including for the UK celebrity diet club The Hairy Bikers Diet Club. Emma is part way through an undergraduate health science degree.
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