Lower Body Strength Is More Important Than You Think

While it can be tempting to focus on the aesthetics of a toned upper body, no one should underestimate the importance of a strong lower body. There are many benefits to having a lower body that is strong and well-conditioned. From picking up groceries to chasing after a bus, many of the activities we do on a daily basis require some level of lower body strength. Having strong legs and a stable core can help make these common tasks less of a chore (via Livestrong). If you're struggling with simple movements like getting out of a chair or climbing stairs, it's time to focus on strengthening your lower body.

Athletes who have strong lower bodies are also able to generate more power and force. This can lead to better performance in sports that require sprinting, jumping, or changing direction quickly. If you're looking to take your athletic ability to the next level, start with exercises that target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Even if you aren't an athlete, a strong lower body is essential for improving your overall fitness level.

Other benefits of a strong lower body

A strong lower body also reduces your risk of injuries, which often occur when muscles are weak or imbalanced. By strengthening the muscles in your lower body, you can help create a more balanced and stable foundation (via Hoag Orthopedic Institute). This can in turn reduce your risk of injury, whether you're playing sports or simply going about your everyday life. People with lower back pain should also think about focusing on leg day more often. Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, but weak muscles in the lower body are often to blame. When your hips and legs are weak, they put additional strain on your back. According to Healthline, this can lead to pain, stiffness, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Exercises that focus on the lower body can help take the pressure off of your back and alleviate pain.

A strong lower body can also help with posture and alignment. Poor posture often leads to pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. When your lower body muscles are weak, it's harder to maintain good posture. This is because these muscles are responsible for keeping your spine stable. While you don't need to work your lower body every day, you should be incorporating leg and glute exercises into your routine at least once or twice per week.

Exercises to strengthen your lower body

There are a number of different exercises that can help to strengthen the muscles in your lower body, including squats, reverse lunges, and deadlifts (via BarBend). To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your hips down like you're sitting in a chair. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, return to your starting position. You can perform squats with only your bodyweight or use dumbbells for added difficulty. To perform a reverse lunge, start by standing with your feet together. Then, take a large step backward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Deadlifts are another great exercise for strengthening the muscles in your lower body. To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell in front of you with an overhand grip with your palms facing down. Bend your knees and lower the barbell down towards your shins. Once the barbell reaches your shins, raise it back up to the starting position. If you are unsure how to perform any of these exercises, schedule a session with a personal trainer for help.