My Favorite Lower Body Exercises


I have been exercising for a majority of my life and throughout my time in gym I have been partial  to a few exercises. When I see those exercises on my program I get excited like a young teenage girl about to see Hunger games.  So in the Post I want to show My 5 favorite Lower body exercise I recommend given them a try if you haven’t already.

5. Back Squat/Front Squats
 I truly believe that this exercise will withstand the test of time. This is the basic exercise to build strength in your lower limbs.  I usually only go to 90 degrees( upper thigh parallel to floor) but I have at one period of time squat ATG(Ass to Grass).  There is a big myth that squats are bad for your knees but I haven’t had any problem with knees. Having a strong lower body will greatly improve the quality of your life.  I was first introduced to back squats in the 8th grade. I had a very good strength coach who taught me great technique and it was easy for me to do.  If you don’t squat you should think about incorporating them into your program.

4. Trap Bar Deadlift
The Trap Bar Deadlift is a variation of the traditional dead lift which is a great exercise to develop the Posterior chain of the body( Hamstring, Glutes Back extensors). The hex bar is move of a manly hula hoop  that you can add weight to. The trap bar dead lift is supposed to be more back  friend rather than traditional dead lifts. Because the back level is shorter than traditional deadlift. Professionals are now starting to consider the Trap Bar Dead lift and hybrid exercise due to the amount of knee flexion compared to traditional deadlifts.  Great exercise I completely recommend it.

3. Walking Lunges
I have always hated walking Lunges because I would almost without fail be very sore the next day.  It is a very dynamic exercise That requires power, stability, strength. If you want a great lower body exercise walking lunges. Sometimes I still have flash back from the first time I perform walking lunges properly. I couldn’t sit right for a week.

2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats
RFESS  also known as the Bulgarian(Romanian whatever country) split squats.  I used to perform this exercise as a supplement exercise for my legs. Up until early 2011  I was learned that you can also perform this exercise pretty heavy not to mention there is a huge stability component of this exercise. I found that you can work you legs just as hard if not harder than the back squats without putting too much weight on your back. The limiting factor in the back squat is not your legs. It is your back you’re only able to squat as much weight as your back will allow.   But by going to single leg you can load up more weight on your body one leg at a time.  When I first started performing RFESS I was working with  135 lbs on my back and honestly it was kicking my butt. Now I can do 205 lbs comfortably and I noticed that my legs feel stronger than they have in years.

1. Pistol Squats 

I take pride in my leg strength it was something that I was naturally good at and I worked hard at trying to improve. In college I was able to squat 565lbs. I was a beast but when we got a new strength coach he felt my squat was strong enough in the bilateral since but he wanted see how strong we were unilaterally. So he started incorporating pistol squats and Single leg Dead lifts The first day I tried to do a pistol squat I could not go anywhere near parallel. It was unbelievable. How can a person with a 500 lbs squat barely perform an average pistol squat. It made me angry but at the same time open up my eyes as to how strength is relative to your goals. I see power lifters throwing up huge numbers. I see body weight people able to perform muscles ups and Full ATG Pistol squats it is truly amazing to how the body can adapt to stimulus.

Honorable mentions
Single leg Straight leg Deadlifts
Stability ball Leg Curls
Hip Thrusters
Traditional Dead lifts.

Author: Smithfitness

A former basketball player now fitness professional. Alex holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Kinesiology and certified NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist(CSCS). Alex loves lifting heavy things repeatedly and going for long runs or rides and helping others achieve high levels of fitness and health. If you love fitness and health follow this blog and submerge yourself in all the fitness and health knowledge.

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