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Too many men ignore lower-body exercises altogether and only focus on the upper body. This is a huge mistake. It is very important to work out the lower body, as it includes some of the largest muscle groups in your body. You are getting only half the effects of weight training if you only exercise your upper body
1. Bent-Leg Dead Lifts
- These are very powerful lifts that stimulate large amounts of muscle all at once. Reach over to pick up the weight with your knees bent as in the illustration above. Be sure to bend your knees you back almost flat except for a small natural curve at the lower back. Just lift the weight by going from a squatting to a standing position using the power of your legs.
- Note: Straight-leg dead lifts are okay if you have a strong back. Go easy with this one and slowly build up. Be very careful if you have back problems.
2. High Pulls
- Begin slightly bent over with your legs straight. Hold a barbell at knee height. Pull up the barbell as high as you can to chest level or to the nipple line. Do what feels most comfortable at first.
3. Lunge Squats or Lunge Walking
- Spread your legs in a walking position with a large stride as in the illustration above, with a barbell in each hand. Move your legs to a standing position while keeping your back straight.
- These are great for working the leg muscles. You may want to begin with plain squats without any lunges at all when first starting your program. Do a dry run without weights first if you are a beginner or have knee or lower extremity problems. If you are okay with that, then do some lunge squatting or walking holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- In general, do not squat at an angle of the high to the leg that is greater than 90 degrees. If you have knee problems, then do “partial squats” or just squat to a level that feels comfortable.