Lower Body Exercises

When you add lower body toning exercises to your workout routine, you’ll see better athleticism, increased tone, and leaner legs.  And it’s not just about aestethics, it’s about function.

Moms are a special population that needs specialized exercises.  After having kids your body is left with pelvic pain, back pain, muscle imbalances, and love, of course!

At Moms Into Fitness we focus on the glutes and inner core in all of our workouts.  This helps your body to function at full capacity (think of it as the engineering parts that make your body work correctly).  If you are looking for an all-encompassing workout, use  our On Demand workouts!

The best lower body exercises are unique but have one thing in common: they each individually work multiple muscles in your legs.

These leg exercises are also safe for pregnancy, with your doctor’s permission of course. Please read all the pregnancy do’s and don’ts before starting any exercise program!

1 Leg squat

leg-exercises-squat

Target: (quadriceps/front of leg, hamstrings/back of leg, glutes/butt, abductors, adductors, core)

Start: Stand with your feet shoulder width (or slightly more) apart. Shift your weight onto one leg and lift the other knee. Hold weights at your side.

Motion: Flex your hips slightly then bend your knees to 90 degrees. Most of your weight should be in your heels. Keep your knees behind your toes. The goal is to sit to 90 degrees then extend to stand. Keep a neutral spine. Complete one set then shift weight onto your left leg and perform another set.

Mommy Terms: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width with the weights hanging at your sides. Shift your weight to one leg as you stand up. Then sit down so your knees are in line with your hips, then stand up. Keep your knees behind your toes. Pull your belly button in and shoulders up.

Pointers: Keep your knees behind toes. Try to get your knees into a 90 degree angle.

Modifications: Place your arms at shoulder height in front of you for counter-balance, no weights. If you need more balance hold onto a sturdy chair.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans

 

Curtsey Squat

leg-exercises-curtsey-squat

Target: adductors/Inner thighs, abductors/outer thighs, glutes/butt, core/abs/back)

Start: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold weights in each hand. Shift your weight onto one leg.

Motion: Extend your un-weighted leg one or two feet diagonally behind you with your heel lifted. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Return to starting position and tap the un-weighted leg.

Mommy terms: Hold your weights to your sides and shift your weight to right leg. Step back on a diagonal to the right with the left leg. Heel is lifted as you place your left toe about 2 feet behind your right shoulder. Keep your weight on your right leg. Stand up without putting weight on the weightless leg. Do 1 set on the right side, then 1 set on the left side.

Pointers: Bend both your knees and keep your front heel on the ground. Do not let your knees go past your toes when bending down. Keep hips square.

Modification: Advanced modification: hold 1 weight at shoulder height in front of you.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans

 

Wide Reverse Lunge

leg-exercises-reverse-lunge

Target: quadriceps/front of thighs, hamstrings/back of thighs, glutes/butt, abductors/outer thighs, adductors/inner thighs, calves
Start: Stand with your feet 1 foot-1.5 feet apart. Place weights in your hands with your arms at your sides..

Motion: Step back with your right leg 2-3 feet. Bend both knees to 90 degrees and slightly flex your hips. Keep a majority of your weight on the front foot and keep your knee directly over your heel.   Then extend both knees and hips to upright position, and extend elbows. Perform 1 set on right leg, then switch to the other leg.

Mommy Terms: Hold one weight in each hand, with arms to your sides and legs pretty wide. Step back 2-3 feet with one leg. Bend both knees as you step back, keeping the front knee over the front foot. Place a small amount of weight on the back toe. Use your front leg muscles to stand up. Do one set on right leg before switching to the left leg.

Pointers: Keep your front knee directly over your ankle. Push through your front heel.

Modifications: Place a sturdy chair in front of you and perform the exercise without weights.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans

 

Plié Squat

leg-exercises-plie-squat

Target: quadriceps/front of thighs, hamstrings/back of thighs, glutes/butt, abductors/outer thighs, adductors/inner thighs, calves

Start: Place your feet wide with your toes turned out. Hold a weight in each hand.

Motion: Simultaneously bend both knees into a plié squat.

Mommy Terms: Feet are wide and toes are turned out. Squeeze your upper back so your upper body stays upright. Bend both knees – your knees should follow the same direction as your toes.

Modification: Hinge forward at the hips to incorporate the glutes.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans



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