Leg day. Just the mere mention of the word can send many of you running for shelter. While most will envision huge barbells, Smith machines, and a variety of other heavy equipment, it doesn’t always have to be this way. Building lower body strength while improving the shape of your legs and butt can be accomplished in a variety of ways. While there’s no denying the benefits of the squat and/or deadlift, they certainly aren’t the be all end all.
Today I want to give you some at home options for building lower body strength. These exercises are the best bodyweight options for building lower body strength and improving muscular definition in your legs and butt. To maximize these exercises, I encourage you to utilize a combination of weight-bearing and plyometric work. This combination has been shown to greatly speed up muscular gains, strength, and overall appearance of your lower body.
Top 5 Exercises for Improved Lower Body Strength
- Squat Pulse Jumps
This move combines two amazing bodyweight exercises into one killer attack on your legs and butt. With your feet hip width apart squat down to roughly 90 degrees and pulse. After a few pulses explode up and off the ground.
As your abilities progress, focus on exploding higher and faster, while remaining in control and landing soft on the return.
- Single-Leg Squat Jumps
Want to really push your quads and glute muscles to the max? Give these shot and feel the burn the next day. By increasing the body weight supported by a single leg, you’re forcing those muscles to go into overdrive. The plyometric nature of the jump will further increase muscle breakdown and eventual growth of lean muscle mass.
- Butt to Floor Squats
Engage all of those lower body muscles with this increased range of motion exercise. Keep your weight in your heels as you sink down as low to the ground as possible. Return to standing by pressing through your heels and doing your best to keep a straight upper back. Along with helping you build a killer set of legs and butt, this exercise will do wonders for your flexibility in your hips and lower back.
- Long Jump + Plyo Lunge Combo
This combination exercise pairs two of the best plyometric movements around. By exploding through each exercise in back-to-back fashion, you’re going to specifically target those major lower body muscles. This means better growth and more lower body strength.
- Bulgarian Lunges
Here’s an exercise that’s going to really target your hamstrings and butt. The Bulgarian lunge is performed with one leg propped on an elevated surface. Lower yourself slowly while maintaining pressure through the supporting heel. Drop as low as comfortably possible then return to starting position.
Work hard, stay disciplined, and feel free to work these exercises into your every day routine. For the times you can’t make it to the gym, feel free to create your own circuit routine with these exercises. Alternatively, try supersetting some of these exercises between your standard gym-day lower body exercises like the squat or deadlift. Whatever you do, stay consistent and a better set of legs, round butt, and improved strength are in your future.