Butt And Legs Exercises: Improve Your Lower Body With Lunges And Squats

Man doing squats
Man doing squats | Source

Lunges And Squats

Lunges and squats are exercises that work great for increasing your lower body strength and balance. They can also improve the appearance of your legs and butt by changing the size of your muscles and reducing fat. Doing the exercises burns calories and builds muscle. The extra muscles causes you to burn more calories throughout the day.

They are simple body weight exercises that take very little time to do. You can do them with or without additional weight.

Muscles Used

Squats and lunges are compound strength exercises that work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, abs and back. Your glute muscles are located in your hips and butt. Your quads and hamstrings are located in your thigh area. The quads are at the front and the hamstrings are at the back. The squats work your lower back muscles more than the lunges and are slightly better than lunges for improving your butt, hips and thighs.

How To Do Squats

To do a squat start by standing with your fee shoulder width apart. Then slowly lower yourself like you going to sit on a chair that is just below knee height. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor and raise yourself back up. Make sure your don't lean forward. Your knees should not go forward, the weight should be on your heels and your back should remain straight.

It is a lot like the way you usually sit down and get up but you don't push off with your arms. If you have trouble doing a full squat then only go down part way. You can increase the difficulty by holding onto weights or by doing the squats on one leg. To do a pistol squat you do the same thing as before but you raise one of your legs so it points out in front of you. When in the lowered position your lower body takes on a pistol shape. With the crouched single leg squat you bend you leg behind you so the foot of the raised leg is near your bum. One leg squats work your abdominal muscles more because your core muscles need to work harder to keep you balanced.

Rolling squats and rolling pistol square are two variations that have you laying on your back. You use a rolling or rocking motion to get to your feet or foot and then push yourself up using your legs. The hands are at the side or holding a light weight. You don't push up with them. While most squats have you moving you can do a squat hold. Instead of going down and up you go down and hold that position for a few minutes or as long as you can. Your knees should not be locked and your back should remain straight. Squat holds can be very difficult.

One Leg Squat With Kick

How To Do Lunges

When doing lunges you start by standing with your legs beside each other and take a big step forward. Drop your back knee close to the ground. Then push yourself back up with your front leg keeping the weight on your heel and go back into the starting position. Keep your back straight and don't move you front knee forward when you lower your back knee close to the ground.

With the reverse lunge you move one leg behind you and lower it close to the ground. When doing walking lunges you do the lunges while moving forward a step at a time. You can do one leg lunges by placing one leg behind you on a chair or something of similar height. Make sure you are far enough away from the chair that your front knee does not go forward as far as your toes when you lower yourself. You want to maintain proper form. Some other common variations are static, low, raised and sliding lunges.

Additional Exercises

Some additional exercise you might want to include in your lower body workout routine are step-ups, jumping rope, biking and running. It would be a good idea to do some upper body exercises. I did a hub about getting a V shaped upper body doing Pull-Ups And Chin-Ups. Pull-ups and chin-ups can be done on the same day you exercise your legs or while you are waiting for your lower body muscles to recover. They also burn calories and work your abdominal muscles. You can transform your body faster by doing both upper and lower body exercises. Push-ups are another good body weight exercise for your upper body.

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