Best Lower Body Exercises for Women

14 Nov 2011

U energy’s shaveer haripershad’s top five exercises for the thighs, bums and hips!

There are dozens of exercises to choose from to increase the strength in your lower body. But if you really want to progress and see some changes, then incorporate top personal trainer Shaveer’s essential five exercises into your workout, for guaranteed results.

12-15 reps/3 sets (30 sec rest)
Intermediate: 20 reps/4 sets (15 sec rest)
Advanced: Each exercise for 1 minute/ 3 sets (10 sec rest)

1. Static Lunges

Lunges in general are really good for developing lower body strength. They work a number of muscles (quads, hamstrings, gluteus) and it’s a fairly easy exercise to get used to. Remember to:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your head straight and shoulders back.

Step out with one foot and bring your opposite knee down toward the ground.

Keep your back straight and head looking forward.

Keeping that same leg forward, repeat the motion for the required time or reps.

Switch sides to work the other leg.

Breathe out as you push yourself back up.

2. Squats
Are another great exercise for the lower body. The squat will mainly work the front of your thighs and most importantly your bum. One of the biggest mistake women make when doing the squat, is they tend to have their weight forwards on their toes rather than on their heels. Remember to:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent and head looking forward, toes pointing out.
Bend your knees and stick your butt out to the back as you squat.
Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, use your legs to push yourself back up.
When you are in the down position, you can extend your arms outward to help keep your balance.

3. Sumo Squats
All of my female clients love this exercise. Why? Two words: Inner thigh. The key to really toning and defining your inner thighs is to use a decent amount of weight when you do your sumo squats so working up to a weight of 30 lbs and beyond would be ideal. Remember to:

Stand with your feet double shoulder-width apart and with your back straight and head looking forward.
Bend your knees and squat down until your knees cover your toes. Push yourself back up and squeeze your bum. You can place your hands in front of you to act as a counter balance.
As you push yourself up, breathe out. Maintain a straight back throughout the exercise.

4. One-Legged Step Ups
With the one-legged step ups you’ll be able to develop that lower body power. Similar to the squat this exercise is going work the front of your thigh and bum. Remember to:

Place one foot on a bench and bend your knee to a 90-degree angle.
Using the front of your thighs (quads), push yourself up until your opposite foot is fully on the bench.
Step back down carefully and switch legs.

5. Hamstring Pull-ins with Stability Ball
The first four exercises mainly work the front of your legs, but we also need balance. And plus you want the backs of your legs to look good too, right? Remember to:

Lie on your back with your hands by your sides.
With good control, dig your heels into the stability ball and lift your pelvis off the ground by contracting your bum.
Slowly roll the ball out by extending your legs.
Repeat this “in and out” motion as you keep pressing your heels into the ball.
You should feel this in the back of your upper legs.
Breathe out completely as you extend your legs.