7 Top Bodyweight Exercises to Improve your Lower Body

Max reading time 5 minutes

For those that train at home, in the park or have little equipment, this is a must read. For those that train with weights in the gym, this is still going to be highly beneficial as performing bodyweight exercises properly with good form and technique will not only improve your fitness but will help supplement your weight training.

 

Whats great about bodyweight training is the ability to do it anywhere, in the park, in your living room and even by the pool on holiday. We have a huge variety of exercises that target the gluteus (bum), quads (thighs) and hamstrings (backs of your legs) and throughout this post I'm going to let you into my top 7 that will help you shift unwanted fat, grow lean muscle, tone and shape your lower body.

 

The Squat - 

Seen as the exercise of exercises, this lower body move will work your whole lower half, especially your bum if done correctly. 

 

  1. Start by having your feet shoulder width apart and your toes turned out slightly, this will be your start position.
  2. Push the hips back and start to sink your bum down, keeping your head looking forward, back straight and chest proud. 
  3. Once you find yourself at an angle where the hips are in line or slightly below the knees, hold this position for 2 seconds, this is the bottom of the squat position.
  4. From here push up to a standing position until you find yourself where you started. 

 

The Hip Thrust - 

Another key exercise which gives the biggest bang for the buck. The hip thrust is great for targeting the gluteus and hamstrings.

 

  1. Start by lying on the floor with your knees up and feet placed firmly on the ground.
  2. Using your heels, drive your bum into the air squeezing tightly on your way up until you reach a position where the line from your shoulders, through your hips and too your knees makes one long strait line.
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds squeezing your gluteus as tight as possible, before returning back to the floor to the position you started. 

 

The Single Leg Hip Thrust - 

Like the hip thrust, this targets the gluteus and hamstrings, however using only one leg to drive from the floor places more emphasis on that one side, creating greater tension, load and not to mention making it a lot harder to perform. My advice would be to master the hip thrust first before attempting the single leg hip thrust. 

 

  1. Start by lying on the floor with your knees up and place one foot firmly on the ground with the other either in the air or crossed across the other.
  2. Using your heel, drive your bum into the air squeezing tightly on your way up until you reach a position where the line from your shoulders, through your hips and too your knees makes one long strait line.
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds squeezing your gluteus as tight as possible, before returning back to the floor to the position you started. 
  4. Perform the exact movement using the opposite leg. 

 

The Forward Lunge - 

A great single leg variation that requires both legs to work separately, one to stabilise, the other to provide the driving force of the movement. This targets the quads mainly but still recruits both hamstring and gluteus muscles. 

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet together and your torso upright.
  2. From this start position place one foot out in front until you are in a split position. The position of your front foot should create a 90º angle between your knee and foot without the knee traveling over the toe. The back leg should bend at the knee and go down with the knee coming into contact with the floor. 
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds before returning back to the start position.
  4. Repeat the same exact movement using the opposite leg.

 

The Reverse Lunges - 

You have probably already guessed it but this i the same as the forward lunge but backwards, who would of guessed? Unlike the forward lunge this places more emphasis on the gluteus and hamstrings with the secondary muscle being used, the quad. 

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet together and your torso upright.
  2. From this start position place one foot behind you until you are in a split position. The position of your front foot should create a 90º angle between your knee and foot without the knee traveling over the toe. The back leg should bend at the knee and go down with the knee coming into contact with the floor. 
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds before returning back to the start position.
  4. Repeat the same exact movement using the opposite leg.

 

Squat Jumps - 

Now we get onto the more explosive movements that require power, speed and fitness. The squat jump is an advanced version of the squat that requires you to power from the bottom movement into the air before landing softly back to your start position. 

 

  1. Start by having your feet shoulder width apart and your toes turned out slightly, this will be your start position.
  2. Push the hips back and start to sink your bum down, keeping your head looking forward, back strait and chest proud. 
  3. Once you find yourself at an angle where the hips are in line or slightly below the knees, hold this position for 2 seconds, this is the bottom of the squat position.
  4. From here drive your body up, pushing from the ground and extending your body into the air with both feet leaving the ground. 
  5. Land softly into the start position and repeat the movement. 

 

Lunge Jumps - 

Your 7th and final exercise is the Lunge Jump. Like the squat jump this requires you to leave the ground with your body, however coordination is key with this movement. 

 

  1. Start by standing with your feet together and your torso upright.
  2. From this start position place one foot out in front until you are in a split position. The position of your front foot should create a 90º angle between your knee and foot without the knee traveling over the toe. The back leg should bend at the knee and go down with the knee coming into contact with the floor. 
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds before driving your body up, pushing from the ground and extending your body into the air with both feet leaving the ground.
  4. Whist in mid air change your feet position by bringing the front leg back to the back leg position, and the back leg forward to the front leg position. 
  5. Land softly into the split position and repeat the movement. 

 

And there you have it, my 7 top bodyweight exercises for your lower body that will certainly help tone, lean and strengthen your gluteus, quads and hamstrings. Perform these exercises anywhere and watch your lower body change. 

These exercises are all in my #TRANSFORM and soon to be revealed #SHAPE program. They are a must and knowing you can do them pretty much anywhere means you can get results from the comfort of your own home. Each program on the site is semi-tailored to you and your ability, so if you have equipment and train in the gym great, you can have something that works for you. If you train from home and don’t have the luxury of gym equipment, no need to worry, the plan is tailored so you can perform 8 weeks worth of training with your body and a resistance band. To find out more about the programs we offer and how to get involved, follow this LINK and let me know if you have any questions. 

 

Thanks for reading

Ben