If you’re looking for guidance on a killer lower body workout then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re wanting to lower your body fat or build muscle, progressive resistance training or weightlifting can be a great way to do both. Fitness expert Jamie Boyce (@jamieliftsandeats) talks to The Skinny Food Co about his favourite lower body workouts.
Like any workout, it is important to stretch and warm up properly to not incur an injury. Jamie explains that, although everyone finds it a bit boring, it is vital to warm up properly! He then shows us his favourite exercises to hit the lower body. These include:
A deadlift is a compound movement.
Compound movements target more than one muscle at a time. They strengthen muscles and can be hugely beneficial for numerous reasons. Firstly they are super efficient, because they target more than one muscle, they can save a lot of time in the gym. They also allow you to lift heavy and progressively add more weight, which can be really beneficial when toning or building muscle.
Squats are also a compound movement. Adding to the benefits above, a huge benefit of compound movements like squats and deadlifts is that they burn more calories. By exerting a lot more effort around the body, heart rate increases and thus, you burn more calories.
This exercise targets the glutes. However, it also incorporates more than one muscle. Cable pullthroughs can be really beneficial, like squats and deadlifts, in improving your coordination and mobility. Exercises like these can take years to master and so there is always room for improvement. This is great for progression and always having goals.
Unilateral Leg Press
After explaining the benefits of compound movements, why not complicate things a bit more and tell you why isolated, unilateral movements are also really important?
So, we all have a dominant side of our bodies. Even if you think you don’t, you do. These imbalances are more prominent in athletes who focus a lot of their lives on sprinting off of one foot, playing tennis with a racket in one hand, dribbling with one arm etc. However, we all still have them. This is where unilateral movements can really come in handy.
Unilateral Leg Curl
So you now know why unilateral movements are important, but what about isolated movements? These are exercises that focus on targeting one specific muscle. Although they do not use as much energy, they are great for targeting specific areas, especially those areas that are difficult to target through compound movements. If you are just starting out weightlifting it is definitely recommended that you try compound movements before concentrating certain areas with isolated movements.
Probably one that you’ve not thought of as much, but calf extensions and raises can be really beneficial to supporting your ankle. Exercising this muscle can help with overall stability and balance which in turn can help with other exercises, both compound and isolated.
Find Jamie’s video here: