Natural Fitness Studio

Lower Body

Your muscles below the waist need exercise too! These two exercises will keep your lower half in shape.
by Joseph A. de Silva

Exercising the lower body is critical to any strength-training regimen. And since some of your largest muscles are in the lower
body, giving them a good workout will burn lots of calories.

Body Weight Squat

Body Weight SquatThis exercise targets the front and lower part of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings) as well as the buttocks. Start by standing
with your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes straight ahead and your hands by your side. Inhale and start to lower your body down
as if you were sitting in a chair. If you cannot visualize this, literally take a chair and place it behind you while performing this
exercise. You want to keep most of your weight on your heels and not your toes. Lower yourself down until you feel a stretch in your
buttocks, going no lower than your hips slightly above your knees.

As you lower down, raise your arms to the front of your body to balance yourself. Once you feel the stretch, rise back up and
exhale squeezing your buttocks. Repeat 12 to 15 times. For added resistance you can hold a weight with both hands to intensify
the exercise.

Note: If you feel discomfort in the knees, you may have your weight on your toes and need to shift it back to the heels, or you may
not be sitting back on your buttocks. If the discomfort persists with this or any exercise, stop and get help from a fitness professional.

Body Weight Calf Raise

Body Weight Calf RaiseThis exercise develops muscles in the calves and lower leg. Place both feet on the first step of a flight of stairs, with your knees
straight. The edge of the stair should be at about the middle to the front of both feet leaving the heels off. Next, raise your heels
above your toes and exhale, then inhale and lower the heels below the toes in order to stretch the calves. As you raise your heels
up, you should feel pressure on the big toe to the little toe. If you do not, reposition your feet until you do. Perform 12 to 15
repetitions. For added resistance you can hold a weight while performing the exercise.

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