7-Day Leg Workout For a Stronger Lower Body

Shana Verstegen
by Shana Verstegen
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Walking, running, jumping, kicking, dancing … your legs do it all and need to be trained for life and sport by movement in all directions, at various speeds and intensities. This program takes you through a week of leg workouts by cycling through three different movement patterns: squatting, hinging and lunging.

All workouts should be performed after a dynamic warmup, and we recommend a mobility routine and foam-rolling upon completion of each session.

7-Day Leg Workout For a Stronger Lower Body

THE MOVES

TRX SQUATS

Adjust the straps to mid-length. Hold the TRX handles and stand facing the anchor point with your hands out in front of you and elbows slightly bent. Sink your hips straight down and back, avoid “falling backward” by holding onto the straps; lightly grip the handles to avoid this. Press into the floor with your feet, and return to standing.

BARBELL BACK SQUATS

Place a barbell on the upper back so it rests on the “meaty” part of your rear shoulder muscles. With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, drop your hips down and back, being sure to keep your back angle and shin angle parallel to one another. Choose a depth that is both challenging and safe for your knees and hips. Engage your glutes, and drive up from the floor as you return to a stand.

TRX HAMSTRING CURLS

Adjust the straps to mid-calf length. Lie on the ground facing the anchor point and place your heels into the foot cradles. Pulling your toes back toward your shins, lift your hips off of the ground. Drag your heels toward your backside, and then return, keeping your hips off of the ground the whole time. If a lower intensity is needed, the same exercise can be completed with your hips on the floor.

STABILITY BALL KNEE TUCKS

Place a stability ball at your shins with your hands on the floor, and press up into a strong, straight plank position. Ensure your hips never sag, as this can lead to back pain. While simultaneously pressing into the floor with your hands and onto the ball with your shins, tuck both knees into your chest and return to the plank position. Hips should elevate slightly during this movement.

The closer the ball is to your feet, the harder the exercise is. For an even greater challenge, this move can be done with only one leg.

SINGLE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGES

Bridges-with-Leg-Extension

Begin by lying flat on your back with one foot flat on the floor and the other leg hovering in the air. Squeeze your glutes by pressing your planted foot firmly into the floor and lift your hips off of the ground, so your knees, hips and shoulders are in alignment. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the floor. Perform reps on both sides.

KETTLEBELL SWINGS

Select a medium-to-heavy kettlebell weight. Hold the handle of the bell with both hands and an overhand grip. While keeping a neutral spine, hinge the hips back, then squeeze your glutes and press your hips forward with speed and power. The kettlebell should “float” out directly in front of your body. Return in a controlled manner to the hinge position, and repeat.

SINGLE-LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS

Begin with one foot planted flat on the floor and the other lifted slightly behind you. Hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand of the planted foot. Keep a neutral spine and only a slight bend in the planted leg as you hinge forward, keeping square with the ground. Once the end range of a flat torso is reached, lower that leg back to the ground. Keep a neutral spine throughout the entire movement. Perform reps on both sides.

BARBELL DEADLIFTS

Barbell Deadlift

Stand with your midfoot under the barbell. Bend over and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip. Sink your hips down and back as low as you can safely go, and assume a tall posture with your chest lifted and spine neutral. Brace your core, drive your feet into the floor and stand tall, pressing your hips forward. Reverse the movement to return to the start position.

STEP-BACK (REVERSE) LUNGES 

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step back with the left leg and lower that knee toward the ground, stopping about 2 inches off of the floor. In this position, both knees should be bent to 90 degrees. Press through the floor with both feet and step the left foot back to the starting position. Maintain an upright posture and make sure the front knee is in line with your middle toes throughout the movement. Perform reps on both sides.

PLYO (JUMP) LUNGES 

Begin in a lunge position with the right leg in front. Squeeze the glutes, keep the front knee aligned over the middle toes, drive your arms upward, jump and switch legs, landing with the left leg in front. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

BARBELL LUNGES 

Place a barbell on the upper back so it rests on the “meaty” part of your rear shoulder muscles. Begin in a split stance with about a foot of space between your left and right foot and maintain a strong, solid posture. Bend both knees to 90 degrees as you lower your body, then engage the glutes and drive through the floor to return to the starting position.

LATERAL LUNGES 

Begin with your feet together, standing upright. Step wider than hip-width apart with your right leg, keeping the toes of your right foot pointed forward as you land. Immediately upon coming in contact with the floor, bend at the right knee and sink your right hip down and back. Drive through the floor to come back to the starting position. Perform reps on both sides.

Dumbbells can be added to increase the intensity and load if desired.

For more inspiration, check out “Workout Routines” in the app to discover and log a wide variety of routines by performance specialists. Or build your own routine with exercises that fit your goals. 

About the Author

Shana Verstegen
Shana Verstegen

Shana is a TRX and American Council on exercise master instructor and a six-time world champion lumberjack athlete. She holds a degree in Kinesiology
- Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a certified personal trainer through ACE, NASM and NFPT. An energetic and personable speaker, she is also the National spokesperson for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

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