Lower body strength helps us in many ways, from walking, to running, to building endurance. The primary muscles in the lower body that you should focus on to build your lower body strength are the abductors, or the outer thigh muscles; abductors, or the inner thigh muscles; gastrocnemius, or the calf muscles; gluteus maximus, or the behind; hamstrings, or the muscles in the back, top part of your legs; and the quadriceps, or the thigh muscles. In order to strengthen these muscles, you’ll need to do a number of exercises.
Strengthen the outer and inner thighs. You can use either a weight machine or resistance bands.Weight machine – Sit with your legs inside the machine and your feet resting on the foot rests while pushing the weights out to work your outer thighs. To work your inner thighs, place your legs on the outside of the machine with your feet on the footrest and your legs spread. Bring your legs together, pushing in against the weight. Repeat both of these 8 to 12 times.Resistance bands – Loop the ends around your ankles. Stand so that you can steady yourself against an immobile object and so you have room to move your feet from side to side. To work the outer thigh, keep one leg immobile and swing the other foot out to your side against the resistance. To strengthen your inner thigh, start in the same position but instead of moving your foot out to the side bring it across the body to the other side while working against the resistance. You will need to do this 8 to 12 times for each muscle on each leg.
Use your body weight or free weights to work your calf muscles.Body weight – Stand on an elevated surface with the ball of one foot firmly positioned and the heel hanging over the edge. Slowly lift the other foot off the floor and using the planted leg, push your body up and then back down to your starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times and then switch to the other leg.Free weights – Stand on a level surface with a weight on each shoulder balanced there with your hands. Slowly rise up on your toes and back down. Repeat 8 to 12 times in a set.
Perfect the lunge to strengthen your gluteus maximus. This exercise can be done using your own body weight or with free weights.Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides with or without free weights. Step one foot out in front of you in a large step, while keeping the back foot planted. Once your front foot is in place and steady, bend your knees and lower your body to the floor. Slowly push up and step back into your original position. Repeat this 8 to 12 times on each leg for each set.
Perform squats. Squats is a way to exercise by using your own body weights. Try doing one-legged squats, as it is more difficult and therefore will work quicker and better.