Let’s be real – we all want a nice butt and thighs! More importantly, having a strong lower body will help with much more than appearance. With increased strength in the thighs and butt comes better balance and decreased likelihood of injury. Also, it will be easier for you to perform certain daily activities, like lifting and moving things or going up and down stairs. Just like everyone else, I don’t always have the time to go to the gym. I am either too busy with school, or am stuck at home with my toddler. So, to achieve all of the benefits of lower body exercise, I have created my own at-home routine that can be completed in no time!
Donkey Kicks: Get down on all fours. Kick one leg back, while making sure to squeeze the glute muscles. Bring the leg back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 20 times per leg. Do 3 sets with about 30 seconds of rest between sets. I wear ankle weights while doing these to improve strength.
Fire Hydrants: Get down on all fours. With knee bent, lift one leg out to the side. Bring the leg back to center and repeat 20 times per leg. Perform 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest between each one. Remember to squeeze your glutes! You can wear ankle weights for this exercise as well.
Squats: Stand with legs about should width apart. While tightening your glute muscles, slowly bend your knees to about 90 degrees. Make sure you keep your back as straight as possible, and focus on keeping your weight in the heels of your feet – not your toes. Stand back up straight. Perform 3 sets of 20, with 30 seconds of rest between sets.
Squat Holds: Get into the squat position with legs about shoulder width apart. Bend your knees to approximately 90 degrees. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 times with a 10 second break in between. Your legs may start shaking, just work through the pain! It will get easier the more you do this.
Glute Bridges: Lie flat on your back with knees bent. While keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor, lift your hips up off of the ground. Arms should be by your side on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and abs! Lower back down to the floor. Repeat 20 times and perform 3 sets with 30 seconds between each set.
Standing Glute Kickbacks: Stand up straight and place hands on hips or onto a wall for balance. While keeping the leg straight and squeezing your glute muscles, kick one leg back. Bring the leg back down and repeat this motion 20 times per leg. Perform 3 sets per leg, with 30 seconds between each set.
If you are just starting out, you can modify these exercises by doing fewer repetitions. If you are more advanced, then try adding weight. When my daughter is home, I let her sit on my shoulders while I do squats – she thinks it’s a fun game! Just be sure to maintain a correct posture when adding weight. Doing something is better than ignoring exercise altogether, so if you can’t make it to the gym try some of these out! Treat your body right and you will see such an improvement in just about every aspect of life. I hope these exercises work to help you live a healthier, and happier life!
With Love, Jeni