Healthy Living

5 of my Favorite Lower Body and Core Strength Exercises

Ever walk into a gym and think “what the heck are these people on”? LOL!

You got the macho folks who are deadlifting weights that weigh more than their entire body, and then you got the fast runners on the treadmills and the bikers on the bikes going crazy. Everyone seems to be full of energy and all you want to do is get some abs, a tighter butt, and thighs that aren’t moving all over the place!! Trust me, I’ve been there and know the feeling!

Those people aren’t different than you and I, in fact, I suggest admiring them to a certain extent because they are what we want to become. Maybe not as built or as fast but the determination to make their goals happen is something we should all admire. That’s how I began looking at them, and it’s through that perspective that I started actually becoming motivated to be at the gym and finally landed myself in one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had in my life- training other women and helping them live their best life.

 

Now, I am by no means an expert trainer, in fact, I am just starting on this new journey but I got to say, I so love the ride. One of the many incentives of my recent gym internship has been learning and perfecting different workouts and programs. The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that you do NOT need all the machines and fancy gadgets to break a sweat and get the workout done. The best tool you could use is YOUR BODY! Yup, you read it right

Using your bodyweight instead of machines is the best way to workout, especially since it involves less harm to your joints and guarantees a full body workout instead of targeting specific muscles like you would on a machine.

 

If you are looking for some great exercises that will strengthen your lower body (AKA- tone your butt and thighs) and fire up your core, so those abs come out, you should definitely try these exercises. 

1)    Squats

Of course, squats would be the #1exercise on my list. When done right, not only does squatting make your butt firm, but also works your thighs, hips, quads, and hamstrings.  It also strengthens your bones, ligaments, and tendons throughout the entire lower body - talk about a full body exercise!

If you would like to increase the resistance to your squat try doing Goblet Squats (using free weights) or JumpSquats.

Check out this youtube video on how to do a proper squat, so you aren’t hurting your joints in the process.

2)    Planks

By far, the best exercise to fire up your core and get your abs ready for viewing. It’s the perfect exercise to build your strength while sculpting your waistline and improving your posture. Another big reason why I love the plank is that when done correctly, you are working not only your core, but also your back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It’s a definite win/win situation.

To intensify your plank try staying in the position for more extended periods (anything over 1 minute).

Check out this youtube video on how to do a proper plank.

 3)    Glute-Bridge

I love doing glute bridges because like the squats it targets so many muscle groups with one exercise. When done correctly, you are activating and strengthening your core, lower back, and hips.

If you would like to intensify the glute-bridge, I highly encourage adding weights or resistance bands to your workout.

Check out this video on how to do a proper glute-bridge with or without weights.

4)     Dead Bug

Believe it or not, this exercise looks just like it sounds- like a dead bug. Don’t let the simplicity of it fool you though. It’s a killer ab workout and will leave your core sore for days.

Check out this video on how to do a proper dead bug.

 5)    Lunges

The perfect exercise for everyone! It helps with stability and targets your quads while working your glutes, hamstrings, calves and get this… your CORE as well… it honestly doesn’t get any better than this.  Like most exercises there are multiple ways of completing a lunge, here are my absolute favorite ones that I always go to:

-    Front/Reverse Lunges

-    Lateral Lunges

-    Walking Lunges with Dumbbells

To intensify your lunges, try adding weights.

Check out this video on how to do a proper lunge.

I hope this blog helps you or someone you know. Remember that you do not need a gym or expensive equipment to complete a workout. All you need is motivation and the willpower to achieve your goals. Take it step-by-step, day-by-day, and I assure you that you will see results. If you are just getting into your fitness routine and would like tips, check out my blog post How to Start your Fitness Routine or the Benefits to Strength Training. Also, feel free to contact me if you are looking to work with a personal trainer. I’d love to help you achieve your goals.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite lower body exercises? What are some that you can’t stand? LOL

 

Yours,

about me

Luwam
A program analyst by day and a blogger by night; my love of fitness, healthy living, and empowering other women started...

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