Yes, healthy legs and glutes look great but don’t be deceived: Strong, healthy legs are not only about aesthetics. Agile, toned legs and glutes play a crucial role in supporting our overall physical well-being and become increasingly important as we age. When working out, beginners quickly come to understand that healthy glutes and legs are the baseline for a great workout routine.
These muscle groups are the baseline powerhouse of the lower body. Anyone who has broken a leg or pulled a glute muscle immediately realizes just how necessary the full functionality of these muscle groups is to our everyday lives and daily activities. Leg and glute exercises without weights are about more than just enhancing physique; working legs and glutes prevents injuries, alleviates back and knee pain, and improves overall posture.
Legs and glute muscles work together to create full-body stability and balance. A strong lower body helps us navigate uneven terrain, stand tall, and catch ourselves.
Knees can be extremely vulnerable joints. Knee pain and issues are common in young people and older individuals alike but strengthened glute and hip muscles help protect them. Weak legs and glutes lead to improper alignment, putting excess stress on the knee joints. Read more about how weak joints and glutes contribute to knee problems at any point in life.
Lower back muscles and glute muscles are closely connected. Weak glutes lead to lower back pain as the spine is less supported. By strengthening your glutes, you can alleviate or even prevent lower back discomfort.
Everyday activities like climbing stairs, lifting objects, or even getting out of a chair rely on leg and glute muscles to get the job done. As we age, focusing on and improving leg and glute strength makes these activities easier and more efficient.
Leg and glute workouts engage large muscle groups, which boosts metabolism. This means more calories are burned, even when you're not working out, aiding in weight management! Take a look at more of the benefits of leg and glute workouts, including lowering stress by managing cortisol levels.
This is my simple yet effective leg and glutes workout that requires no extras to strengthen these muscle groups. I devised this workout plan while on vacation visiting a relative. There was no gym nearby, nor any weights or machines around, so I had to get creative. The series should be repeated 3x after completing a single set of each exercise.
Keep in mind that this is an appropriate workout for the beginners and the experts. You’ll be able to perform these exercises at home or virtually anywhere:
Everyone’s heard of the squat, but have they mastered it? This is the ultimate glutes exercise - no weights, no problem. A great squat is all about correct posture and foot placement.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as if sitting back on a chair, keeping your back straight. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
Another classic yet highly effective movement to strengthen both legs and glutes in tandem!
Take a step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push off the front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg.
If you’re experiencing back discomfort, take it slow. If you experience any sharp pains, do not continue with this movement.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top, and then lower them back down.
Wall sits transport me right back to high school gym class. Don’t worry if you’re a little shaky, these require time and practice to begin to build up strength.
Stand with your back against a wall and lower your body into a seated position, as if you're sitting in an invisible chair. Hold this position, keeping your thighs parallel to the ground.
If you’re experiencing knee pain, start small. If you feel any sharp pains, stop.
Find a sturdy platform or step. Step up with one foot, driving through your heel, and then lower yourself back down slowly for maximum effects.
If this is your first time exercising in a while, remember to take it slow and listen to your body and how you feel. Perform this workout 2-3 times per week, gradually increasing the number of sets or reps as your strength improves. Remember to maintain proper form to avoid injuries.