Lower Body

Pretty much our entire society is obsessed with everything below the female’s waist. No really, think about it. Men want to stare at all aspects of it, and women want to make sure it’s pleasing to the eye. And while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, the truth is that it puts a lot of pressure on us.

After all, the majority of us hold our weight where? If you said hips, thighs, or butt–bingo. How messed up is it that where everyone’s staring is where we tend to store the most fat?

Luckily, you don’t have to be a victim of your genetics any longer.

Lower Body Workouts for Women Need Cardio AND Strength Exercises

To slim out the trouble spots and make the curves pop just right, you’ve got to have a lower body workout that does includes both cardio and strength. Why? Well, cardio alone will melt the fat off your trouble spots, but it won’t give you the sexy curves you’re looking for (want a flat butt? Me neither). On the other hand, strength training without cardio will help get rid of some fat, but mostly it’s going to just make the muscles underneath larger. And if you already have big thighs, well, you get the drift. That said, let’s break it down into both categories.

1. Cardio Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Lower Body Workout

If you’re looking to tone below the waist, keep these tips in mind as you start your cardio.

  • Choose the treadmill over the stationary bike. According to a study performed by Dublin City University and  published in a 2001 issue of “Medicine and Science in Sports and Medicine,” people typically burn more calories when they hit the treadmill than when on an indoor bike.
  • Set the treadmill to incline. Walking, jogging, running…they’re all going to be great for your lower half. However, by setting the treadmill to a steep incline, you’re going to do more good for your butt and calves.
  • Invest in a jump rope. Jumping rope isn’t just a kid’s game. Have you tried it since you became an adult? If not, you’re in for a little surprise. Even a short jump rope workout can cause your heart rate to shoot through the roof. And increased heart rate means fat burn. On top of that, you can modify your manner of jumping to focus on different muscles. For example, you can spread your legs shoulder width apart and jump in a half squat to burn those quads and glutes.

2. Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Strength Exercises for Your Lower Half

Traditionally, women and strength training don’t typically mix. Well, you know what I say to that? Screw tradition. It’s time to get strong.

dumbbells

  • Don’t fear the free weights. It seems like most girls are afraid to walk into the weight room. Instead, we tend to stick to the machines or body weight exercises. Not that there’s anything with either of those, but there are advantages to adding free weights into the mix. Not only does the weight help tone muscle faster, but it also forces you to tense your core and get a full body workout.
  • You don’t have to stick to the little pink dumbbells. Look, lifting heavy isn’t going to turn you into a body builder. To bulk up, you’re going to have to eat like a horse. Doing a million reps with low weight has some benefit I suppose, but to really accentuate those curves, you need to lift harder.
  • Squats are KING. If you do no other strength exercise for your lower body, do the squat. Warm up using body weight alone, perhaps with 25 reps. Then do two sets of 10-15 with heavy dumbbells. Finish it off with 25 more body weight only squats. I promise you, these will do more than any exercise to bubble that butt and tone those legs.  

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Lunge Image courtesy of Marin / freedigitalphotos.net, Treadmill Image courtesy of photostock / freedigitalphotos.net, Dumbbell Image courtesy of feelart / freedigitalphotos.net