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Five Essential Lower Body Exercises That Every Woman Should be Doing

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Did you know that those hours you’re spending on the treadmill aren’t going to help you get the legs you’re looking for?

It’s true that walking and running are great forms of exercise. But, if you want to have toned, shapely legs, you need to make sure you’re also strength training on a regular basis.

If you’re ready to start building the legs of your dreams, keep reading. Listed below are five of the best lower body exercises for women that will help you do just that!

A Little Secret

Before getting into the actual exercises, there’s a little secret you need to know. The best lower body exercises for women are also the best lower body exercises for men!

When it comes to shaping your lower body, there’s no reason for you to do different exercises than the men in your life.

Don’t let the videos of endless glute kickbacks that you see on Instagram and YouTube fool you.

If you want to get a strong, sculpted lower body, these are the moves you ought to be doing, regardless of your gender.

1. Squats

Squats - Best lower body workout for woman

When it comes to lists of the best lower body exercises for women, squats regularly rank first, and for good reason.

A squat is a compound movement, which means it works multiple muscle groups. Prioritizing compound movements is the best way to build muscle and burn fat.

You can do squats with a barbell, dumbbells, a resistance band, or even just your own body weight if you’re a total beginner.

Be sure to keep these form cues in mind so that you can avoid injuries and see the greatest amount of results from your squats:

  • Keep your spine neutral (don’t round or over arch your back)
  • Keep your chest and shoulders lifted (try looking at a spot on the wall in front of you)
  • Avoid letting your knees cave in
  • Try to get your thighs parallel to the ground, if not lower

Must Read: 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Squatting Everyday

2. Deadlifts

Female-Deadlift

Deadlifts are another essential compound exercise.

They work almost all the muscles in the posterior chain — all the muscles on the back side of the body, such as the calves, hamstrings, low back, and glutes. Because of this, they’re one of the most effective exercises for women who want to build strong, defined legs.

If you do deadlifts regularly, you’re also less likely to injure yourself in your daily life when you’re bending over to pick things up or set them down.

There are tons of different deadlift variations out there. Some of the most common include conventional deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts.

The setup for each version is slightly different. But, these cues will help you master any type of deadlift you attempt:

  • Keep your weight in your heels and midfoot
  • Don’t let your hips rise before your chest when lifting the weight
  • Keep the weight close to your body at all times
  • Squeeze your glutes as you lift, but don’t hyperextend your knees and low back when you reach the top
  • Keep your core engaged as you lower the weight

Deadlifts are usually not as familiar as squats to people who are new to the gym. When you’re first getting started, don’t be afraid to use just the bar or a pair of light dumbbells. This will allow you to nail the form and avoid injuring yourself.

3. Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian Split Squats for lower body

A Bulgarian split squat is a great single-leg exercise that works the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. During this exercise, you have one leg in front of you in a lunge position while your back leg is elevated with your foot resting on a box or bench.

To do a Bulgarian split squat correctly, make sure you’re keeping these cues in mind:

  • Sit your hips back the same you would while doing a regular squat
  • Bend your back leg deeply (you should be aiming for your knee to almost touch the floor)
  • Keep your chest and shoulders lifted
  • Drive through your front heel when you stand up and don’t let your knee cave in

Most people find that Bulgarian splits squats are plenty difficult when performed with just their body weight, although you can always add dumbbells or a barbell if you need an extra challenge.

Also See: 6 Best Things You Should Do Before Starting A Workout Routine

4. Barbell Hip Thrusts

Barbell Hip Thrusts

If you want to have great glutes, barbell hip thrusts are a must.

The hip thrust is a foreign exercise for most people and can be a little intimidating at first. But, in addition to major compound lifts, it’s one of the best exercises for women who want to grow their glutes.

When you’re getting set up for a hip thrust, make sure your barbell is parallel to the bench. Then, sit on the floor and make sure your shoulders and shoulder blades are resting on the bench. Roll the barbell so it’s over your legs and sitting directly on your hips.

Once you’re set up, you’re ready to hip thrust. To get the most out of the somewhat awkward exercise, be sure to do the following:

  • Keep your spine neutral and your chin tucked slightly
  • Push your heels and squeeze your glutes tightly to lift the barbell
  • Keep your core engaged, especially when you lower the weight

If you find this exercise to be painful, try placing a rolled-up yoga mat under the bar to create some extra cushion between it and your hips.

You May Like These: 8 Ways To Stay Fit While Working At Home

5. Calf Raises

Calf Raises

Your calves will get some attention when you’re doing exercises like deadlifts. But, if you really want to fill out your legs, you should also work them on their own with bodyweight or weighted calf raises.

The calf raise is a pretty simple exercise — you just raise yourself up onto your toes. But there are lots of things you can do to help you get more out of the movement:

  • Alternate between having your toes pointed forward, turned in, and turned out
  • Avoid letting your ankles roll out when you rise up (think of keeping your weight on your big and middle toes)
  • Change up your speed when you raise and lower yourself down to mix things up
  • Stand on one foot and do single-leg calf raises to challenge your balance

If you have any mobility issues, you can also try standing on a bench or step to get a larger range of motion.

Final Thoughts

Remember, there’s no need for you to be afraid of lifting weights. So many women are afraid of getting “bulky” or “big” if they lift heavy, but it’s very hard for that to actually happen.

Don’t lift so heavy that your form suffers, of course. But, remember that lifting heavy weights will help you build muscle, which will speed up your metabolism and help you burn fat easier. It’s a win-win!

Start incorporating these lower body exercises into your workout routine today, and you’ll see amazing results before you know it!

 

Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.

 

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Everything You Need To Know About Pilates

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Everything You Need To Know About Pilates

Are you looking out for the best fitness option which would not only shape and strengthen your body but also your core? If you are looking forward to making your body and mind strong, then pilates could be a good option for you.

No matter how old you are, pilates is good and beneficial for people of all age groups.

So, What Exactly Is Pilates?

Pilates is all about getting your breathing right and your spine properly aligned. Practising Pilates regularly will increase your concentration power and sharpen the mind. This exercise includes movements of muscles that helps tone your form which with our busy schedule is not generally possible to do. It makes our body flexible and shapes the abdominal area while also keeping the joints running smooth and the body free from all types of backache.

Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates, after whom it is named.  He immigrated to the USA in around 1925 and started a Pilates gym in New York with his wife and started training people over there.

Who Can Do Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise that can be performed by almost anyone unless you have unstable blood pressure or risk of blood clots. It is good for people of all ages including children, old people and pregnant women.

For older people, pilates is hugely beneficial as it tones the muscle which is required the most at their ripe age.

For children, plates is good because it fortifies the relationship of mind and body and makes them more alert and active of the exercise’s movements.

How Can You Start Doing Pilates?

You can start doing Pilates at home with no equipments other than a mat. There are around 20 movements for pilates that a beginner can start with and once they’ve mastered these movements, they can try the advanced movements as well. But, if you are a beginner, it is suggested that initially you should join Pilate’s classes so that you can learn the right posture or the right way of doing a movement.

Pilates Is Not Yoga

Some people confuse yoga with pilates and think that both are same but that’s not the case.  Pilates is not yoga however, some of its postures and movements are similar to yoga but these are two different things.

The main difference between pilates and yoga is that pilates focuses more on physical strengthening while yoga is focused on spiritual strengthening however, both enhance your brainstorming and concentration power and make you feel light and relaxed.

Pilates is somewhat similar to yoga but it is absolutely different from aerobics and hence not to be confused with it.

It Helps With Weight Loss

Just like any other exercise, pilates tightens your muscles and shapes your body. It is helpful in reducing extra fat from the body especially from the thigh and abdominal area. It flattens the stomach and help shape the thigh and buttocks. People having lower and upper back pain and spine pain must do pilates as it is most recommended for these problems.

Good For Pregnant Women

Pilates is undoubtedly the best exercise for all the 9 months of pregnancy irrespective of whether mothers-to-be are feeling well or uncomfortable. It is not only good for abdominal problems but it also strengthens the core and the pelvic floor muscles. It is safe for all the 3 trimesters as it builds strength, stamina and balance in your body.

Moreover, it helps tremendously with labour pain. Few movements of Pilates can be performed throughout pregnancy as it helps expecting mothers stay relaxed. It also helps post pregnancy to get back in shape.

Pre and Post Natal Personal Training Package

Pilates is certainly a good exercise for expecting women which is why you should join a health or fitness centre which provides pre and post natal personal training packages that are good for moms-to-be as well as the baby.

When You Shouldn’t Be Doing Pilates

If you have a chronic disease then it is good to take your instructor’s advice regarding the exercises you should and shouldn’t do, but if you have any of below problems then it is better to avoid doing Pilates altogether:

  •      If you have unstable blood pressure levels
  •      If you have a risk of blood clots
  •      If you suffer with a scoliosis problem
  •      If your knees have been replaced
  •      If you have any serious back problems
  •      If you suffer with neck problems

So, there it is – everything that you need to know about pilates and all the good that it can do for your body. Sign up for a class nearby and see the change in yourself in no time.

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10 Killer and Amazing Ways to Gain Your Muscle Naturally

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Amazing Ways to Gain Muscles Naturally

Are you looking for ways to build your muscles in a very natural way, here are some amazing tips for you:

1. Train Under An Hour

It is not true that increasing the number of hours will make you more successful in gaining muscles. If you want to do this in a natural way, you should increase the frequency, not the hour. Train under an hour because adding more minutes will only result to over workout. This may cause over fatigue and will not really help you in building your muscles.

2. Focus On Compound Exercise

Compound exercises involve muscles from different joints. This is beneficial when you want to gain muscles naturally because it enhances the release of testosterone that is known to be helpful in muscle growth. There are different examples of compound exercises that are not limited to pull-ups, press, squat and rows. You can always incorporate other exercises in your routine but make sure that you do not lose your focus on the main goal.

3. Take It Easy

You need to know that gaining muscles naturally does not happen overnight. It requires dedication and patience. Do not put so much pressure to your routine. If you are pushing too hard, you will find yourself losing motivation before you even achieve your goal.

4. Work Each Muscle 2-3 Times Per Week

You do not have to workout the same muscle every day. You should also consider rest. The best interval is to exercise each muscle 2 to 3 times a week. This will make the process more effective and natural. This is also a great way for you to monitor your progress easily.

5. Go To Bed 30 Minutes Earlier

When you work out regularly, you will notice how your energy level would go down at the end of the day. This is why you need to consider getting enough sleep. It is recommended that people should get eight hours of sleep to be able to regain the strength they lost because of the different activities during the day. If you want to gain muscles, you need to consider going to bed 30 minutes earlier than your usual bed time. This way, you will be able to condition your mind to rest early.

6. Stop Relying On Supplements

If your goal is to build muscles naturally, you have to sweat and put a lot of effort. Do not rely on supplements. It may help you boost your muscles in a shorter time-frame but it will also make you dependent on its effects. Focus more on exercise and in eating the right food rather than relying mostly on supplements.

7. Don’t Neglect Your Legs

If the main goal of your workout routine is to achieve the perfect chest and arms, you should not also forget to add a leg workout. There are other fitness equipment and other exercises that covers both your upper and lower body.

8. Change Rep Range Every 3-4 Weeks

How to build muscles naturally

The body also learns to adjust to the activities that we engage in everyday. This is also the reason why you should change your rep range every 3 to 4 weeks. This will help you know the pressure that your body needs. This is also one of the best way for you to know how to make your exercise more effective.

9. Don’t Fear Carbs

Do not be afraid of consuming carbohydrates when you are regularly working out. The body needs carbs to be burned and to be converted into energy. What you should do is to consume only the amount that you need. You can add carbs in your pre-workout and post-workout meals. You can also add this to the shake that you can have during the workout.

10. Drink A Shake During Training

Having a glass of shake before and after workout is perfect to help you gain more strength and to rejuvenate yourself. However, experts recommend that you should also consume a protein and carbohydrates based shake in the middle of your workout. This will give you more strength. So instead of just drinking water, you can now add this to what you are consuming during the training. There are superfood powders that you can add to make your shake more nutritious.

Consider all the tips provided above and you will surely achieve your fitness goal.

Author Bio: Joshua is a writer who loves to write an article on health & fitness. He is always involved in fitness. He believes health is wealth & to stay healthy & for that, we need to have a best superfood supplement along with detox drinks!

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Five Tips for Highly Effective Home Workouts

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Effective workout at home

Sixty percent of Americans do not get the amount of exercise that the government recommends, and 25 percent don’t do any exercise at all.

If you’re part of either of these groups, what’s holding you back from getting the exercise your body needs? Is it a lack of time? Is it the cost of a gym membership?

A lot of the roadblocks that are keeping you from exercising regularly could be remedied by exercising at home instead.

Some people think that it’s impossible to get an effective workout at home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to maximize your home workouts to see amazing benefits.

1. Dedicate a Space

Many people struggle to stay consistent with at-home workouts because they don’t have a space dedicated to exercise.

If you’re constantly trying to clear out the living room or shift furniture in the bedroom to have room for your workout, you’re probably going to find yourself lacking the motivation to actually exercise after a long day at the office.

If you live in a small apartment and don’t have a spare room to dedicate as a workout space, that’s okay. A whole room isn’t necessary. For a lot of workouts, you just need to have a space that is large enough for a yoga mat.

Block off a corner of the living room or bedroom for your workouts. Clear out furniture from this space and stash your equipment there so it’s always ready to go. Remember, don’t let anyone clutter this spot up with their stuff — this is your workout space!

2. Invest in Some Equipment

When you’re first getting started with at-home workouts, all you really need is a yoga mat and your own bodyweight.

Over time, though, you might start to get bored with burpees, push-ups, and crunches. Investing in some exercise equipment can help you stay motivated and remain consistent with your workouts.

Some good pieces of equipment to use for at-home workouts include:

  • Adjustable dumbbells or an adjustable kettlebell
  • Mini resistance bands
  • Soft medicine ball
  • Weighted jump rope

It’s not a piece of exercise equipment, per se, but a foam roller is also good to have on hand for rest days. It’s perfect for working out sore muscles after a tough workout.

3. Set Specific Goals

Balance body exercise

Having a goal to work toward will help keep you motivated, especially on days when you’re not feeling particularly excited about exercising.

The key is to make your goals specific and easy to track. For example, if you want to lose weight, figure out a specific number of pounds you want to want to lose. Or, if you want to work on your upper body strength, set a goal to do a specific number of push-ups or pull-ups by a certain date.

Make sure you write your goals down and display them somewhere prominent so that you always remember what you’re working for.

4. Mix Things Up Regularly

If you find yourself getting bored or feeling stuck in a rut with your workouts, remember that there are lots of free and inexpensive resources out there that make it easy for you to mix things up and try something new.

There are lots of websites that let you stream workouts online and try everything from yoga to kickboxing. When it comes to online workouts, many websites let you stream workouts for free, and others require a low monthly fee, so there’s something for every budget.

You can also look into mobile apps that show you a specific workout right on your phone. This is perfect if you don’t have access to a TV or computer but still want specific exercise cues to follow.

5. Stick to a Schedule

It’s fun to switch up your workouts, but, make sure you’re keeping your workout schedule as consistent as possible.

Sticking to a workout calendar is one of the best things you can do to make sure you see results from your at-home workouts (or your gym workouts, for that matter).

If you write your workouts down on a calendar, you’ll be more likely to follow through with them. Think about it — you never miss meetings with coworkers after they’ve been written on the calendar. Why would your workouts be any different?

Remember, when you’re scheduling your workouts, be specific — just like you should be with your goals. Don’t just write down “exercise.” Write down the time when you plan to workout, too. You might even want to add the specific type of workout you want to do as well.

Final Thoughts

Working out at home is a great option for people who are struggling to achieve their fitness goals. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll start seeing progress in no time!

Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.

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