Lower Body Exercises For Men

Lower Body Exercises For Men

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Many guys focus on training their upper bodies, attacking the mirror muscles – chest, arms, shoulders. But there is a catch:

if you want all that ‘Greek god torso’ training to be worthwhile, you’ve got to spend some serious time building your lower body, too.

Here are some of the best lower body exercises for men. Training your legs challenges your entire body, for a variety of reasons. Your upper body, after all, has to hold all that weight. And, plus you can go heavier on leg days than you can when training, let’s say, your arms, and hitting your body with all that weight will drive a strong hormone response throughout the entire body and burn calories, too. Ready? Mix and match the moves below and get started!

Dumbbell Squatdumbbell-squat

  • Stand with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides.
  • Keeping your back flat, chest up, and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Lateral Lunge

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides, palms in.
  • Keeping your right leg straight and right foot on the floor, step to the left side with your left leg, then push your hips back as you bend your left knee. Lower the weights on either side of your left knee until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Goblet Squat

  • Hold a weight at your chest using both of your hands and stand with your feet about hip-widthgoblet-squat apart.
  • Brace your core, then drop your butt back and down to lower into a squat while keeping your chest up.
  • As you squat, sit back into your heels without shifting your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. Try to get as deep into the squat as possible to maximize glute activation.
  • Then, driving through your heels, come back up to standing and give your glutes a squeeze at the top.

If you want to make it harder either increase the weight or slow down your descent. Try a tempo of four seconds on the way down and one second on the way back up, followed by a one to two-second pauses at the top before your next rep.

 

Bulgarian split squat

The Bulgarian split squat is a version of a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on a bench or a sturdy chair. As a single-leg, unilateral squat, the exercise places a greater focus on the quadriceps than bulgarian-split-squatother, similar lower-body compound movements. It also requires a lot of balance and coordination, which increases the level of core and upper body engagement required to maintain proper form.

  • Stand facing away from a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench behind you.
  • Keeping your torso upright and your core engaged, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. Do equal reps on both legs.

 

Forward Lunge

There are several ways to do lunges: you can do it with just bodyweight or you can load it with weights. There are several ways to hold weights: you can hold them at your sides (arms fully extended); with your elbows bent, upper arms straight in front of you, weights at shoulder level (front rack position) or you can hold one dumbbell, hold it at your chest (goblet position).forward-lunge

  • Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides (palms in) with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, core braced and back flat, take a large step forward with your right foot.
  • Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your rear knee is bent 90 degrees (not touching the ground).
  • Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat stepping forward with your left foot
  • Continue alternating legs with each rep.

Kettlebell Swing

With kettlebell swing you’re hammering your core, driving your heart rate through the roof and adding size, strength, and power into your hamstrings and glutes. Hinging at your hips (helps ‘hip extension’) is another reason why this one is a must-have in your leg day.kettlebell-swing

  • Start with the kettlebell on the floor slightly in front of you and between your feet, which should be shoulder-width apart,
  • Bending slightly at the knees but hinging mainly at the hips, grasp the kettlebell (with both hands) and pull it back between your legs to create momentum.
  • Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Let the bell return between your legs and repeat the move.

Barbell Hip Thrust

This is a great way to bear plenty of load to challenge the glutes and hamstrings, without having to fear excessive low back or spinal stress. The hip thrust uses the gluteus maximus (the upper glute muscle), gluteus medius (the lower glute muscle), the quadriceps, and the hamstrings. This one is a glute developing go-to. And plus, this exercise involves the entire core, including the muscles referred to as “stabilizer” muscles that help us keep our balance and keep our spine stable.

  • Begin by putting padding around your barbell to prevent it from digging into your hips when you thrust.
  • Place your upper back on your bench with your barbell across your hips.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your glutes.
  • Drive your hips skyward, engaging your core and abs.
  • Keep the movement in the lower body as much as possible (don’t “rock” your upper body to complete the move).
  • Hold for a count then lower to your starting position.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 reps.

Don’t feel as if a barbell is your only option when it comes to hip thrusts. You can also hold a dumbbell placed across your lap, a weight plate, or even use straps.

Just make sure these weights are in the centre of your hips to avoid imbalances. Once you start to need heavier weight, progress to a barbell as it distributes weight better and can be padded to protect your hip flexors.

Perfect Leg Day

Now you got perfect tools to have a great leg day. Mix and match these exercises. Be consistent and patient and even sooner than you think, results will show.

Thank you for reading this article. If you have any question, or want to leave a comment – impression, suggestion, your thoughts, experience… please do so in the comment section below, and I’ll be happy to help you out.

8 thoughts on “Lower Body Exercises For Men

  1. Hey,

    This is such an important article for me. Since lockdown started my exercising has reduced week by week. I don’t normally exercise at home because I love going the gym and using their facilities. But, I need to start exercising at home now because I have put on weight. Making a start with these lower body exercises will definitely help, and I have friends and family (men) who are in the same position. So, I have forwarded this article onto them and tried to encourage them to start exercising again. Hopefully they will and hopefully they will get in touch if they have any comments or question, if that is OK?

    I will keep you updated on how I go with these exercises and if I need any help I will let you know.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work on your site.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom, thank you for your comment. I’m glad to head this article inspired you to start exercising at home. If you, or any of your friends, have any questions, comments…just let me know. We’ll be in touch.
      Best regards,
      Tanya

  2. Let these exercises be for men, I do some of them myself as well. Although I must admit I can’t do others, because I am physically not up to it. Now that I am aging it is all the more necessary to do strength training. 🙂
    Thanks for your explanation and examples.

    1. Dear Hannie, thank you for your comment. Yes, this article was focused on men. Just switch to workouts for women, choose exercises that are convenient for you. I do understand changes with ageing. I’ll cover it soon. No worries.
      All the best,
      T

  3. Thanks for a really insightful look at lower body exercises. I will try these for sure. Tell me, do you have any recommended exercises for the Lower stomach. I’ve got a bit of a pouch and would love to get it toned.

    1. Hi Russ, thank you for your comment. That’s on of ‘modern times’ problems. It’s not just you. Many people have that problem due to sitting long hours at a computer, or on their phone/tablet. Solution is in less sitting, more walking, running, exercising, not just lower body – full body. You see, due to sitting long hours our metabolism slows down, calories are not adequately turned into energy so they’re sticking, as fat. Reversing that is the key.
      Thank you for this question, I’ll definitely refer to it in the next article.
      Best regards,
      Tanya

  4. I quite enjoyed this article, and I do think that if you concentrate on the upper area of your body without giving much attention to your lower body this can be a mistake. If you are consuming a high protein diet you will more than likely end up looking stupid – with too much bulk being developed on top, and not enough below.

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