In sports, the gym, and daily life, a strong lower body is crucial to performance. For the sake of your physique and training results, here are 30 strength-building lower body exercises to ensure you never skip leg day.
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1) Front Squat
Set a barbell on a power rack at about shoulder height. Grab the power with an overhand grip at shoulder width and raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Take the bar out of the rack and let it rest on your fingertips. Your elbows should be all the way up throughout the movement. Step back and set your feet at shoulder width with toes turned out slightly. Squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
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2) Bulgarian Split Squat
Stand lunge-length in front of a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of your left foot on the bench behind you. Lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
3) Romanian Deadlift
Hold a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stand with feet hip width. Bend your hips back as far as you can. Allow your knees to bend as needed while you lower the bar along your shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keep your lower back arched throughout.
In a squat rack or cage, grasp the bar as far apart as is comfortable and step under it. Place it on your lower traps, squeeze your shoulder blades together, push your elbows up and nudge the bar out of the rack. Take a step or two back and stand with your feet shoulder width and your toes turned slightly outward. Take a deep breath and bend your hips back, then bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back. Push your knees outward as you descend. Drive vertically with your hips to come back up, continuing to push your knees outward.
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5) Dumbbell Stepup
Stand behind a bench or other elevated surface that will put your thigh at parallel to the floor when you place your foot onto it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step up onto the bench but leave your trailing leg hanging off.
Stand straight up with feet hip width apart and shins one inch away from the bar. Grip the bar with a double pronated or reverse grip, bend knees and push them into your straight arms. Bring your chest up as much as possible and look straight ahead. Keeping your back flat, extend your hips to stand up, pulling the bar up along your legs to lockout.
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7) Swiss Ball Leg Curl
Brace your abs and raise your hips into the air but keep your knees straight and heels on stability ball. From there, bend your knees and roll the ball back toward you. Keep your hips elevated throughout the set.
8) Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on the opposite leg. Bend your hips back and lower your torso until you feel your lower back is about to lose its arch. Squeeze your glutes and extend your hips to come up.
9) Leg Press
Adjust the seat of the machine so that you can sit comfortably with your hips beneath your knees and your knees in line with your feet. Remove the safeties and lower your knees toward your chest until they’re bent 90 degrees and then press back up. Be careful not to go too low or you risk your lower back coming off the seat (which can cause injury).
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10) BodyWeight Calf Raise
Stand with your toes on the block and hold onto something sturdy for support. Raise your heels to come up on the balls of your feet, and then lower your heels until you feel a stretch in your calves.