Lower-Body Exercises for Athletes

Build strength and power in your lower-body with four leg exercises recommended by STACK Expert Allen Langford.

Single-Leg Hip Bridge

Many lower-leg exercises strengthen the lower body. Because lower-body exercises engage more than one muscle group, they are more challenging than upper-body workouts. But focusing only on the upper body will lead to an imbalance in your strength and frame.

Here are some lower-leg exercises to include in your regular routine:

Halfway Squats

Coaching Points:

  • Position your legs shoulder-width apart and keep your chest up
  • Squat down all the way but come back up only halfway
  • Perform 40 reps
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, perform with a barbell across your back

Lunge Jumps

Coaching Points:

  • Stand in a stationary lunge position and jump up and down, alternating legs forward and back
  • Perform for 20 seconds
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, perform with dumbbells

Squat/Forward Lunge/Squat/Backward Lunge

Coaching Points:

  • Place your legs shoulder-width apart
  • Squat down, keeping your chest up
  • As you come up from the squat, lunge forward with your right leg
  • Return to a Squat, and as you come up go into a backward lunge with your right leg
  • That's one rep
  • Perform 15 reps on each side
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, wear a weight vest

Single-Leg Hip Bridges

Coaching Points:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the ground
  • Lift your hips as high as you can, then extend and lift your right leg and hold
  • Move your hips down and then up
  • Perform 20 reps on each side.
  • To increase the intensity of this exercise, elevate your legs onto a 6- to 12-inch box or step

A good training routine includes two or three days of lower-leg exercises. Watch the video below for demonstrations of the exercises described in this article.

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Photo: Bodybuilding.com

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