Lower Body Workout Routine for Beginners
Lower Body Workout Routine for Beginners
Maximo Pascual here, and before we get started, I just really wanted to thank Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for their amazing commitment in promoting health education, and also for allowing me this opportunity to help share these valuable fitness tips with you.
Now, today, I wanted to go over a simple lower body workout routine that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Now, the good thing about this routine is, we won’t need that much space, and there’s no equipment necessary, since we will be using only our body weight.
Now, I want you guys to think of your body as a house, and your lower body as the base and foundation of that house.
If you have a weak foundation and base, chances are your house will be very unstable and it might crumble.
So it’s the same thing for your body. We must make sure that we have a very strong foundation and base so that the rest of our body remains strong.
All right, guys. Let’s start it off with the first exercise.
For jumping jacks, we’re going to have our feet together and our arms at our sides. As I open up my legs, I’m also going to open up my arms, and then I’m going back to that standing position.
So legs together, arms together, legs separated, arms separated. Once you get back down then you can start doing it faster.
For calf raises we’re going to stand tall, our chest out, shoulders back. We want to have our feet slightly apart and feet facing forward.
Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to rock back on the ankle and come up and hold this top position on our big toe.
Get back down to the floor, rock back, and come back up on the big toe.
This is going to require some balance, so if you have a wall next to you, you could definitely use the wall. Let me show you from the side view, and I’ll use the wall here.
I’m going to rock back, so I’m lifting up the upper part of my feet, and then I’m going up on the big toe ball of my foot.
Back down to the floor and rock back, all the way up. From the back view, I’m rocking back, and then all the way up on that big toe.
Okay, for the bodyweight squat we want to get into a shoulder width apart stance with the feet.
We want to make sure that the feet are either pointing forward or slightly outward - not too much out, just slightly outward.
And I’m going to stick my hip out first. I’m keeping my legs straight, and as I’m sticking out my hip, my thighs will get wider as I’m squatting all the way down.
And I’m sticking my hands out for counterbalance. Once I get to the bottom I’m going to push the floor away to stand up.
Now, what’s very important here is that you stick out your hip first. If I just initiate the squat, notice what happens to my knees.
Right away you’ll see that my knees are passing my toes, and this might put some strain on my knees here.
So to avoid that, I’m going to stick my hip out first, I’m going to make believe I’m sitting on an imaginary chair that’s about a foot away from me.
So hips out first, and I’m squatting down. Now I start to bend the knee, and I’m trying to keep my hips and knees as back as possible while opening up my thighs.
I’m going to get as low as I can, and now I’m going to use my whole foot to press the floor away to stand back up.
What’s very important here is that you keep your whole foot on the floor, especially your heel. Never lift up your heel.
So once again, hips out, knees back, thighs wide, hands out for counterbalancing as long as you can, and then press the floor away to stand back up.
For the stationary lunge, we want to make sure that we start off about shoulder width apart with this space in between both feet.
I’m going to grab one leg and I’m going to put it in front of me while still maintaining this gap. That way, I’m properly balanced.
If I do not maintain this gap and I put the leg in front of this leg, I’m already going to be off balance. So again, start off with this gap, put this leg in front, as long as you possibly can comfortably.
And now we’re going to lunge down and come all the way back up and lock out both legs. Now, I want to concentrate mostly on this front leg. The back leg is more of a base.
But I still have to bring this leg down, so as soon as I initiate the movement, both legs start to bend.
And I’m trying to get as low as I can and see if I can lightly tap the floor with the leg that’s behind and then stand back up.
From the side view, again, I want to put one leg in front, I want to have a long stance. If I have too much of a short stance, similar to the squats, my knee is going to start to pass my toes - it’s going to put a lot of strain on my knee.
So I need to make sure again I have the space here, and I do a long stride, stick out my hand for a counterbalance, and I’m going to bend both legs at the same time.
I’m going to try to lightly tap the floor with the leg that’s behind me, then come all the way back up.
Similar to the squat, I want to make sure that my whole foot is pressing the floor away, especially my heel. So try not to lift up your heel. Do not do that. That’s going to put strain on your knees as well.
Hands out, lean back a little bit, try to have your upper body going down the center. Lightly tap the floor, then come all the way back up.
If you cannot go all the way down, then just go as low as you can for right now. Eventually as you get stronger, you’ll be able to get down lower and lower and lower, until you can lightly tap the floor and stand back up.
For the sumo squat, we’re going to start off in a wide base. These are very similar to the regular squats. The only difference is, since we’re on a wide base we’re going to feel it more in our inner thigh area.
So we’re going to stick our hands out for counterbalance, and we’re going to stick our hips out back first. We want to make believe like we’re sitting in a chair that’s behind us.
So I stick out my hips. Now I start to squat. As I’m squatting I’m really emphasizing pushing my legs out, so I can really get at the inside part of my leg.
You’re going to squat down as low as you can, and then you’re going to push up off the ground using your whole foot, especially the heel.
Hips out, thighs wide, get as low as you can, and back up. Now from the side view again, wide base, hands out for counterbalance, I’m sticking out my hip, cause I’m going to sit on the imaginary chair behind me.
Thighs get wide. I’m squatting down as low as I can, and back up.
For the leg curl, you should feel it in the back of the leg near the hamstring. In order to do this, we could definitely use the wall as balance, and we’re going to put both of our legs together.
And you’re going to take one leg - in this case my right leg - and I’m going to bring it slightly back.
Both of my legs are still touching together, so from the front view, my legs are together. I have my right leg completely locked out and I’m going to shift it back. So you can see there’s no space in between my legs. They’re still together here.
I’m pulling onto the wall. I shift back. Now, this upper part of my leg, it has to stay in this position. Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to bring my heel up towards my glute, and come all the way back down. So we’re simply just curling the leg.
If I’m too much in a straight position, I’m not going to feel it as much in my hamstring, so I have to make sure that I kind of stick out this leg close to this leg.
And then I’m in this hinged position and I’m going to bring my heel all the way up, all the way down, nice and controlled to create that resistance.
Now for this exercise we’re going to feel it in the inner thigh. We’re going to lay down flat on the floor, and we’re going to lift our legs up at an angle like this.
Now we’re going to actually use our hands as resistance. So I’m going to put my hands on the inside of my knee, and what I’m going to do is I’m going to push my legs out.
But as I’m pushing out, I’m not going to let my arms between my legs. I’m actually going to create resistance.
So I’m pushing my legs in as I’m pushing my legs out with my arms. They’re going to create resistance for my inner thigh.
And the same thing, as I’m coming in, I’m pushing my legs away, even though I’m bringing my knees back in together.
By doing this, this is going to create a lot of resistance inside of your inner thigh. Let me show you from this angle here.
Laying down flat, I’m lifting up my legs. I’m putting my hands on the inner part of my knees, and now I’m pushing my legs away from me, and at the same time I’m actually pushing in with my legs to create that resistance.
Now I’m bringing my legs in, and I’m pushing my legs out using my hands.
For glute bridges, we’re going to be flat on the floor, and we’re going to raise our legs up and make sure that we’re making full contact with the foot, especially the heel.
And what we want to do is we want to raise our hips up as high as possible, squeeze the glutes, and then come back down.
Right before you touch the floor you come all the way back up, hold about one second, and then come back down.
So your hips are never really touching the floor. The only thing making contact with the floor is the foot, your upper back and your arms.
For glute kickbacks, we’re going to be on our forearms, and on our knees, and we want to make sure that the foot is pointing towards our knee.
So we don’t want to have the toes away from us but actually towards us. And now you want to make believe like you’re going to push up a platform using your heel towards the ceiling.
So from my knee being right underneath my bellybutton, I’m bringing the heel straight up and locking out my leg, straight up to the ceiling.
Now I’m going to bring the knee back down. I’m never touching the floor, but I do want to tuck in my knee towards my bellybutton, and then again angle that heel straight up to the ceiling and hold.
Come back down very slowly. It’s very important that you just don’t drop the leg down, because then you will lose control and resistance in the glute muscle.
So we want to make sure we go up, hold it, and nicely, slow and controlled, bring it back down.
From the front view, you’re going to be on your forearms, your knees are going to be by your bellybutton.
Remember, the foot is towards you, and you’re pushing up the imaginary platform using your heel, straight up to the ceiling.
You want to make sure you don’t go straight towards the wall - it has to be at an angle going all the way up to the ceiling. Hold, and come back down slow.
We just went over each and every exercise of this routine, and I’m pretty sure you’re feeling a lot more confident about doing this routine alone at home.
Now, one big tip I can give you is, remember, you are a beginner, so you might not be able to master each and every exercise on Day 1.
But I promise you, if you’re consistent enough, eventually you will get stronger, more mobile, more agile, more flexible, and you will be able to master each one of these exercises.
All right guys. Till next time.