Top 5 Lower Body Exercises of all Time

We have yet to do lower body moves in our top 5 so I thought it would be good to get another debate started. For this one I am going to leave it wide open. Just your top 5 based on the factors that it is more strength oriented and not just a stretching move. Weights or no weights, you decide for your top 5. This proved to be really hard! The 5 I went with I feel are a good mix of moves but I had a list of about 15-20 that I thought deserved to be recognized in this. 

Here are the Top 5 from train2move (in no particular order). Lets see what you come up with!

1. Standing Lungesimg_05381 – Hard to beat this classic move. I like the many athletic factors it incorporates. The balance component is great for training stabilization in our knees and ankles. The flexion of one side of the pelvis with extension of the other make it a great move for anyone that is a runner. This can increase the length and power of your stride. It does a good job of providing equal stimulus to all the major movers of the lower body like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Overall this move has a significant amount of positives and should be a regular on most warm-ups and workouts you do.



img_05392. Deep Squats – This was an easy choice for the benefits to both the lower body and the back. Sadly we are starting to lose our natural ability to accept weight into our hips due to the large amount of sitting we choose to do as a part of our lifestyle. The more we sit the weaker our hips become and the more dependent we become on other areas of our body to support us. This move helps to restore our ability to load into the hips which has many benefits including posture and balance. I also like what These Squats can do to keep your back healthy. There is a good amount of flexion and extension that goes into the back during the move which helps to support proper alignemnt and movement of the spine.

3. Lateral Lunges – I know you guys might give me grief over this one since I usedimg_0540 a lunge earlier but to me it was a great addition to my top 5. Lateral stability in the hips has become a lost art. So much of our training focuses on linear movement as we get older. All the cardio machines we use, the going out for walks and runs, even bike riding. If you are not playing a sport when do you do loaded lateral movement? This move enables you to continue to apply the necessary stimulus to your lower body that enables it to be able to move laterally efficiently. Losing this ability makes you very vulnerable to injury and can wreak havoc on your balance as you get older. For all these reasons, it made my Top 5.



4. Rotational Fire Hydrants – I thought hard about whether or not to put his one in. I wanted there to be a rotational move in my Top 5. I decided on the Fire Hydrant since it provides a more supported position than a standing version of this move. In the all 4’s position you are able to focus on the maximum range of motion without the distraction of balance or stability issues. If you are unfamiliar with this move, from all 4’s you extend one leg behind you and then rotate the leg out to the side, then in front like you would be going over a hurdle. There are a lot of options for this style of move but I like the way this move is able to isolate the rotation of each hip independently. 

img_05415. Wall Sit – The least favorite of so many people. Why? Well because it works, really well as a matter of fact. Like the Deep squats this moves is excellent at teaching your body to load into your hips. So that makes it a great posture move. I also like how it enables better tracking of the bones in the lower body. The Wall Sit help to provide stimulus to muscles in the lower body that are responsible for proper alignment of the femur as it comes out of the pelvis. 


So there is my Top 5. See what you can come up with!

2 Comments on this post


  1. Joe the Trainer said:

    Here are my 5 (in no particular order)

    1.Three Way Lunges- Kill 3 birds with one stone with this exercise
    2.Wall Sit- love it
    3.Weighted Stork Step-ups- feel the burn
    4.Hamstring rollouts- no explanation for this one
    5.Active Shoulder Bridge- too many to choose from

    You were right this was very difficult. There are so many from menus, workouts and camps that it is just hard to choose 5, I guarantee I just plain forgot some since there is such a huge variety. That is one of my favorite parts about this training method, the variety. I never get bored of repetition during any point of my training.

    Keep the top 5 lists coming!

    April 2nd, 2009 at 10:13 pm
  2. coach S said:

    1) elevated weighted lunges – lots of range w/resistance
    2) spread foot glides – just feel good
    3) doorknob squats – good for getting range in lower back
    4) rotational stork walk – always gets hips loose and ready to run
    5) one leg shoulder bridge – just a good variation of shoulder bridge

    most of these are just different variations that i like on common exercises. its hard to pick a list of top five, since most are variations.

    other ones i like are: alternating front to back lunges, big flutter kicks, one leg squats, monkey hops, lateral lunge, high knee run

    April 3rd, 2009 at 12:29 am


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