If you were to ask yourself what your problem areas are on your body, as far as the areas that you are least pleased with, what would the answer be? For many people, that’s their abs. That just seems to be where fat collects the most, and that belly fat is also some of the most stubborn body fat to get rid of. A lot of people are not very happy with their abs and often use exercise programs that are designed to specifically work on that body part.
For those who have been in lockdown due to coronavirus restrictions recently, the legs are probably an underworked area of the body. Your thighs could easily go from defined to saggy after months in lockdown, if the gyms are closed down in your area. It may be tough to get out and exercise when you don’t feel safe leaving your home.
Is there a workout that targets the abs and legs specifically? I would like to share with you some exercises for abs and legs that can help you develop these areas, getting them into shape and giving you the kind of physicality that you’ll love.
Let’s start this list off with my favorite exercises for abs, legs, and arms. That would be squats, and what I love about them is how you can do so many different variations and get tons of benefits out of even the most basic form of squats.
Squats work your gluteus maximus, quadriceps, your calves, and your abdominals. That’s with your typical squat, which is essentially a stooping or sitting down position held in the air. Most people can do a squat or two, but it takes some serious physical fitness to pull off set of 20 squats in a row. I love the burn they give, and you can feel your muscles developing and your body exerting as you do this exercise. It can definitely be a high-intensity exercise, depending on what variation you’re using and how long you keep it up.
These are great beginner weight exercises for abs and legs, as you can use a weighted vest or ankle weights to add extra weight to these parts of the body. That adds an extra level of challenge to the exercise and makes them more effective at burning fat and building muscle.
How are squats used to build up your arms? The variation I like to use that works a lot of your body at once and is especially good for your arms is the dumbbell squat. Just hold a dumbbell in each hand and do a squat like normal. You can make this even more effective by holding the dumbbells out or lifting them up over your head as you squat. Just as regular squats really work your legs and abs, weighted squats with dumbbells will really work your arms and shoulders.
Jumping Jack Legs and Ollie Shuffle
I think wherever you are can become a great place to work out. That’s why I wanted to provide some ideas for pool exercises for abs and legs. This is a quick little workout you can do in the pool, as long as the water is up to your waste. It works just as well in the ocean or a creek.
You can start with either one of these exercises, and the jumping jack legs is simply a regular jumping jack without the arms involved. You want to keep your pace quick as you do this in the pool, so you’re working your legs, particularly your quadriceps and abs. Go through the jumping jack motion for your lower body for about 30 seconds and then switch over to the Ollie shuffle.
The shuffle is similar to the jumping jack, but your leg motion is in a different direction. I would suggest looking up a video for good exercises for abs and legs like this to where you can make sure your form is correct. That way, you’ll get the most benefits from the exercise. For the shuffle, you alternate between your left and right legs, moving back and forth and twisting as you switch legs. This works not just the legs but the abs as well. As with the jumping jack legs, the shuffle can be done for about 30 seconds. You can switch between the two exercises back and forth to get a great workout in the pool that only involves your lower body. This is an excellent way to build up lower leg strength and help with your kicking strength when swimming.
I think the lunge is one of the best all-around exercises, as it works a lot of your body at once. I like variations on lower body exercises that bring your upper body into it, providing benefits for more than just the legs. So, when I do lunges and I want extra benefits from them from upper body, I’ll add some dumbbells too.
Dumbbell lunges are some excellent exercises for abs and legs at home. You don’t need a lot of space or a bunch of expensive equipment. You simply do a normal lunge, stepping forward and bending your knees, all while holding dumbbells down at your sides. You want to have a dumbbell in each hand to balance out your body and make sure both arms are getting benefits. Once you do the forward lunge motion, you can return back to the starting position.
You can also do walking lunges, if you want. This takes more space, so it’s not something you might be able to do at home. I like the benefits that the regular lunge offers, because as you return to your normal position, the back of your legs get some benefit. This works some muscles that wouldn’t otherwise be worked very well with the walking lunge.
Supine Flutter Kicks
Kicking is an excellent way to work your glutes and build up your leg strength. However, not everybody has a balance to make kicking an effective part of their workout. If that’s you, I suggest taking this down to the ground floor exercises for abs and legs. Supine flutter kicks are excellent beginner exercises because you can do them while lying on the floor. That’s good for people who have back or knee problems and don’t want to make those worse as they work out.
To do this exercise, you want to lie flat on the floor or preferably a mat. Keep your hands down at your sides with your palms flat down on the mat. You can use them to help provide support and to push your lower body down more. Lift your legs up and down, alternating legs. So, you’re just working one leg at a time, lifting it up above the height of your chest, and then lower it back down. Then, you switch to the next leg and do the same thing. You’re doing this quick and smoothly, in a kicking motion, but trying to avoid jerky movements.
Your entire body should be lying flat in the starting position for this exercise. You don’t need to curve or arch your back at all or lift your head off the mat. Keeping this straight posture helps your overall posture and helps to reduce strain on your neck and spine.
So, now you have few different options for exercises that work your abs and legs. You can make some of these more challenging for yourself, turning them into resistance band exercises for abs and legs if you want to. Some of them can be made more challenging by adding weights as well.
Doing these variations ads that extra level of challenge and requires more exertion. They are a great way to get more benefits from the exercises. If you want to increase your gains or move past development plateaus, then adding weights or resistance bands to your exercise is an excellent way to do that.