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Five great workouts for a strong lower body

Are you pressed for time and therefore ignoring strengthening your legs? These quick and effective workouts are for you

It's important to train your lower body.
It's important to train your lower body. (Istockphoto)

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Despite people in the gym telling you that it’s not cool “to skip leg day”, wanting to skip leg day is entirely understandable. It is terrifying for a lot of people to lift weights with their lower bodies or work on all muscles with isolation exercises. It’s not the squats that are daunting, it’s almost always the things that come after it: the hamstring curls, the quadricep extensions, the calf raises, and probably the running as well. Then there’s the aftermath: the stretching that reminds you how tight your muscles are, the foam rolling that hurts, and the absolute inability to climb the stairs. 

There are other times when you’re just occupied and (conveniently) have to skip leg day. So it is important to have a backup plan for lower body workouts. Something short and crisp that will give you a boost in case you’re regularly missing lower body workouts. So here are some workouts you can do that not only hits the muscles that a usual leg day would, but also adds some extra moves to keep leg day refreshing. These can be done in the gym or even at home. 

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Daniel PT’s 25 minute Glute and legs: You can do this with or without weights and it is still long and intense enough for a proper burn. Daniel PT likes doing a lot of combination exercises and an example would be the good morning plus reverse lunge pulses. The workout is in a 45 seconds on 15 seconds off format and has a lot of squat-based moves. So if you like your bodyweight squats and want a workout which is based around that, then this one’s for you.

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Alex Crockford’s 30 minute lower body muscle burner: Alex Crockford promises before the video that this workout “will give you defined muscles and make you stronger.” The 30 minutes involves a warm-up, the main circuit, a finisher, and cool-down. Done without weights, it has a good balance of some squat variations and corrective moves like the single leg glute bridge. All in all, this is one of the most well-rounded bodyweight leg workouts.   

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Midas MVMT’s 25-minute light dumbbell leg workout: Doable in the gym with weights of your choice, and on days when you might be sore and not want to risk a heavy leg day, this 25-minute combination leg workout is a real challenger. Midas uses combinations like the Romanian Deadlift followed by a calf raise, and these are the little creative things that can challenge the body from the usual exercises of a regular leg day. 

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Obi Vincent’s perfect leg workout in the gym: The maker of this video has called this the perfect workout, especially if you are targeting the glutes and hamstrings. With a warm-up and a detailed explanation of all the exercises and sets (and some supersets), Vincent’s workout is all about tempo training where you are in the eccentric phase of every exercise for a particular amount of seconds. He says the 1st set should be done at a tempo of two seconds, the 2nd at 3 seconds, and the 3rd set at 4 seconds. Basically he wants you to slow down the moves for longer and better muscle engagement. He ends the workout with some quick conditioning work that includes box step-ups and cycling.  

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Team Grow’s 30-minute lower body HIIT workout: Some people are more comfortable with HIIT workouts over the more traditional weight-lifting way. Team Grow’s 30-minute workout is perfect for them, and also gets the cardio done as an added bonus. With lots of interesting squat variations and old favourites like butt kicks rolled into one, the order of exercises in this video is a roller-coaster and set up very smartly. It also has lots of corrective exercises and not a single move is repeated. However, it is a slightly tough one because you get only 10 seconds rest between every move. If you’re a beginner, it is recommended you increase the rest duration. There is a clock throughout the video so that should make doing donkey kick pulses easier. The burn is unreal.

Pulasta Dhar is a football commentator and writer.

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