4 Elite Lower-Body Exercises You've Never Seen

These four leg exercises will help you rejuvenate your stale workout program.

Although it's best to stick to the basics in your training, it's also good to try new exercises so your body can adapt and improve. These leg exercises will help you do both—and rejuvenate your stale workout program. They will challenge more than your legs. Your grip and core will also get involved.

Dumbbell Jump Squat

This will help your vertical leap and develop your quads and glutes.

  • Stand with a pair of dumbbells at your sides.
  • Squat down as you would in a traditional Squat until the top of your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • Once you go to stand back up, use as much force as you can to jump as high as possible with the dumbbells.
  • When you land, stop at the standing position and re-position yourself before squatting again.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

RELATED: The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

Front Barbell Platform Lunge

The Lunge is a classic for overall leg development, but this twist also challenges the core and stabilizers in the legs.

  • Stand behind a platform about mid-shin height.
  • Hold a barbell as you would for a Front Squat.
  • Keeping the barbell as stable as possible, lift one foot and place it on the platform.
  • Push your knee forward until it is over your toes.
  • Push off the platform and return that foot to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the other foot.
  • Start with only a barbell until you're comfortable enough to use extra weight.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

RELATED: The 5 Best Lunge Variations for Single-Leg Strength

Standing Calf Raise with a Board

This one is like the classic Standing Calf Raise on a machine, but it's more challenging with free weights than it is with the fixed pattern of a machine.

  • Inside a squat rack with the pins set high, stand on a 2x4 board with your heels off the board. You should feel a stretch in your calves when you lower your heels.
  • Take a barbell and hold it as you would for a Squat.
  • Raise your heels and contract your calves. Hold this position for a second before lowering your heels back down.
  • Let your calves stretch for a second with your heels lowered before repeating.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Jefferson Deadlift

You will feel this in your glutes as well as your inner and outer thighs with the split stance. This helps with explosiveness and balance.

  • Straddle a barbell with weight that is positioned on the floor.
  • Lower yourself as you would for a traditional Deadlift and take a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Once you're comfortable with your grip, hold the weight and use force in your legs to stand back up.
  • Once you're standing tall with the weight, slowly lower the bar back to the floor.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and switch your stance so your feet are opposite what they were when you started.
  • Repeat for the same number of reps.

RELATED: 10 Highly Effective Deadlift Variations

Add these exercises to your routine one at a time to add variety and challenge to your workouts. If you want to try all four of them, perform three sets of 15-20 reps of each exercise with two minutes rest between sets.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: SQUAT | LOWER BODY | STRETCHING | LUNGE | DEADLIFT | EXERCISES | WORKOUTS | DUMBBELLS | BARBELL | LIFTS | STANCE | HEELS | JUMPING | RAISES