Lower-Body Workout for Beginners

Lower-Body Workout for Beginners

Now that you’ve completed your upper-body and core workouts, it is now time to complete your full-body beginner’s training by incorporating lower-body exercises to the mix. Here is a lower-body workout that all beginners should incorporate into their fitness regimen to keep your legs and glutes strong and lean.

The Lower-Body Beginner’s Workout

Follow every exercise in order for best results.  Take 30-60 seconds of rest between sets unless otherwise directed.

  1. Warm-Up. Just like you did with your upper body and core, you need to warm-up the lower body by performing light activities to increase your heart rate and to warm the joint tissue and muscles.  You can do this by performing about 10 jumping jacks, five light half squats, toe stands, and active range of motion activities such as leg swings and leg circles.
  2. The Wall Sit. This is a tough exercise, but helps beginners learn the motion of a squat and how to keep proper form and posture.  The wall sit should include 30 seconds where you mimic sitting on a chair, making sure you do not lower your glutes lower than your knees.  The most important aspect in keeping your form with wall sits is to ensure that your knees don’t peak past your bent knees while holding; you risk knee pain if they do.  Hold your wall sits for 30 seconds and breathe in and out slowly while holding.  Perform three sets.
  3. Bodyweight Squats. These are sometimes referred to as air squats, but these squats will be the basis for gaining good form.  Your feet need to be shoulder width apart and your toes need to point out slightly to the side.  Start by bringing your glutes back first and then slowly lower until your knees make a right angle.  Beginners can expect to feel awkward when first learning a proper squat, but it takes no time at all to learn proper form.  Take it slow and start with three sets of 15-20 using only your bodyweight.
  4. Calf Raises. Your calf muscles, also known as the gastrocnemius, are critical for runners and for the walking movement.  In addition to your calf muscles, you have the soleus underneath that requires strength to support ankle flexion.  The standing calf raise, or toe stand, is a fundamental exercise for any beginner.  Start by bringing your feet closer together and lift your heels off the ground so that your weight is shifted into your toes and lower the body down slowly.  You should be able to start out with three sets of 10-15 and progress to more reps and more sets as necessary.  The thing to remember with these is to maintain good form by shifting your bodyweight into your toes each time and avoiding rocking.
  5. Leg Abductions. Start out by standing in a tall posture and hang on to a chair, wall, or something that can help you to maintain your balance throughout.  Your task is to lift one leg out to the side, while maintaining a still and tall posture.  Slowly lower your leg back to center and repeat for about a total of 15 reps and switch legs.  Aim for three sets to start and once you get your form, consider using light ankle weights for more resistance.
  6. Hamstring Curls. This is the introduction to a machine, but it is ideal for strengthening your hamstrings.  Start with light weight and adjust your machine to the recommended settings (each machine differs; simply ask for help adjusting if you need).  Your task is to complete three sets of 10, making sure that the last one or two reps are challenging with each set.
  7. Stretching.  It is recommended to stretch all your main lower-body muscles following your workout.  Spend 30 seconds with a hamstring stretch, quad stretch, elevated toes stretch (calf), and an IT Band stretch and aim for two sets each.

Starting Slow Before Progressing

These exercises are sufficient for any beginner to start with.  Progress your workout slowly by adding resistance using cables, machines, BOSU ball, or ankle weights.  If you are looking to isolate and work specific muscle groups after 30 days or so, consider adding more machines into your mix.  Lastly, you can add in more functional exercises to maintain a slim and lean look by adding in more challenging exercises after you learn these basics.




About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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