The lower body contains the largest muscles, so it’s no surprise that it demands the most energy. Intensive lower body workouts can leave you feeling exhausted.
There are a variety of exercises you can do to work your lower body, which are the muscles of your thighs, hips and bottom. While the lower body is often stronger than the top half of your body, it is no less important when it comes to working out.
In this guide, we outline the best compound exercises you can do to strengthen your lower body, no matter your fitness level.
Here are five of the best compound lower body exercises.
The squat can be considered the most fundamental of all compound exercises. The squat entails the movement of the muscles in your legs and butt, along with the core muscles. The chest is also engaged when you perform a squat.
This movement engages nearly all the muscle groups in your body and is the single most effective exercise for your lower body. The squat can be done with a barbell on your back, dumbbells in your hands, or with no equipment at all.
The deadlift is an exercise that enhances the strength of your hamstrings, glutes, and back. In addition, you will also strengthen your abs as well as your core. This compound lift helps build overall body strength.
This lift requires concentration and is an advanced lift. The deadlift can be done with barbells, dumbbells, or resistance bands.
Lunges are an effective compound exercise that works your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. There are two variations of lunges: the forward lunge and the reverse lunge.
Forward lunges are done by stepping forward with one foot while bending both knees until your back knee nearly touches the ground. Reverse lunges are done by stepping backward with one foot while bending both knees until your front knee nearly touches the ground.
The leg press machine is one of the most effective pieces of equipment for building bigger, stronger legs. However, there are a number of ways to use the machine, which means that intensity, form and number of repetitions all affect the results you get.
This exercise is a great compound movement that targets the thighs, buttocks, hamstrings, calves and lower back. The leg press machine is also an effective way to improve overall strength and stability of the lower body.
The leg press is performed by lying face-up on the leg press machine with your feet on the platform and your legs straight. Push the platform away from you by extending your legs, keeping your knees in line with your feet, and your toes facing forward. Pause, then
return to the starting position.
This lift engages and strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and traps. The Romanian deadlift is a compound exercise that strengthens your entire body.
The Romanian deadlift is performed by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees, and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Stand up while holding the bar, and lift it off the ground by extending your hips and knees.
Personal Trainer Tips
When it comes to lower body workouts, the exercises you choose will stimulate your muscles. So, whether you’re new to weight training or a veteran, keep these five compound lower body exercises in mind and reap the rewards of a great lower body workout.