Sculpt A Leaner Lower Body

Hit your lower body from all angles with these six exercises that will shape strong, sexy legs.

The Oxygen Team | February 04, 2016

Whether you want to gain size, lose flab or simply tone the hips and quads, this workout will attack the lower body from all angles. All sets are to be done for 12 repetitions. Beginners should do one set of each exercise. All others should do three sets of each movement.

Hamstrings

Stiff-Legged Deadlift Off Bench

Setup: Stand on a sturdy bench and hold a light barbell.

Action: Keeping the legs straight, slowly lower the weight down as far as you can, so that the hamstrings are fully stretched. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Tip: keep the bar as close to your shins as possible.

Leg Curl

Setup: Stand tall and straight with the padding behind your ankle; always start the movement from the straight-leg position.

Action: Bend your knee to curl.

Quads

Leg Extension

Setup: Sit on the leg extension machine with your shins resting against the leg padding.

Action: Straighten and lower the legs, making sure that you obtain the fullest range of motion with each repetition.

Front Squat On Smith Machine

Setup: Hold the Smith machine’s bar in front of your body across your shoulders.

Action: With your feet comfortably apart and toes slightly out, lower into the squat position, taking the thighs parallel to the ground or lower. Rise up and repeat.

Glutes

Kneeling Flat-Bench Low-Cable Kickback

Setup: Kneel on a bench with one knee, holding the sides of the bench for balance.

Action: With an exercise strap attached to a low cable and fastened around the ankle, bring the leg from the starting position in front all the way back as high as possible. Lower and repeat. Attempt to achieve the fullest range of motion possible. Repeat with the other leg.

Tip: To get the most out of each rep, begin with your working leg positioned closer to the weight stack.

Hip Raise (With Pulses)

Setup: Lie faceup on an exercise mat, and hold a weight disc at waist level.

Action: With your feet comfortably apart, bend your knees and bring your feet closer to your glutes as shown. Raise and lower the hips as high as you can. At the end of your full 12 reps, continue to do 12 “pulses” (quick six-inch movements at the top of the move).

Beginners: Ditch the weight and place your arms along your sides.

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The Oxygen Team