5 Quick Moves for Stronger Legs

Shane Barnard, JD
by Shane Barnard, JD
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5 Quick Moves for Stronger Legs

If you’re short on time but want to squeeze in an effective lower-body strength workout, try my quick and effective five-move leg workout.

The key to working your lower body is to target all of your major muscle groups: quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings and calves. These five exercises are a great place to start for a balanced lower body workout.

When working your lower body (legs), you want to work the front, back and sides. Your quadricep(s) complex is made up of four muscles, and are located on the front of your upper leg. Your gluteal, hamstring and calf muscles are located on the back of your leg.

You also want to work through different ranges of motion (ROM), such as sitting to standing, stepping or lunging forward and back as well as side to side. Working through various ROM will help create balance, symmetry and an even distribution of strength.

Dynamic Warm-up

Start with a lower body dynamic warm-up, completing 5-8 repetitions of each exercise, moving through full ROM.

Warm-up Exercises:

  • Squats
  • Leg Swings (front to back and abduction and adduction)
  • Knee Tucks
  • Bottom Kickers
  • Frankensteins

Workout: Complete one set of 8-10 repetitions each, working your way up to 3 sets.
Use: bodyweight or dumbbells for each exercise

  1. Squat with Heel Raise option
    Muscles targeted: quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings, calves
  2. Reverse and Forward Lunges
    Muscles targeted: quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings
  3. Lateral Lunges
    Muscles targeted: quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings, abductors, adductors
  4. Deadlifts
    Muscles targeted: gluteals, hamstrings
  5. Single-leg Deadlifts
    Muscles targeted: gluteals, hamstrings

About the Author

Shane Barnard, JD
Shane Barnard, JD

Shane is NASM, ACE, AFAA and USATF certified and the creator and founder of the Urbankick format and instructor certifications, co-founder of Urbanplay, a non-profit health and fitness education program for youth, and a business partner at Studio360. With over 20 years of fitness experience, she is a nationally recognized presenter and currently teaches at Crunch, Fitness SF, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she is a health coach. Shane is a CEC provider for ACE and AFFA and an honored ambassador for lululemon. You can work out with Shane and Urbankick anytime, anywhere at BooyaFitness.com.


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