We all admire athletes and bodybuilders with great physiques. From the cover of ESPN Body Issue, TV, movies, and in comics. Their excellent physiques can display strength and confidence. The commitment and hard work can be overlooked by an outsider by it’s due to genetics. But it is more than genetics.

It takes a time commitment in the gym and meal prep to reach the physique you desire. Just focusing on upper body exercises is not going to cut it. To reach the physique you want, you cannot skip lower body exercises.

I often read from social media post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram “Ugh just got through leg day”. “Just survived leg day”. Nothing kills a physique than someone who has a developed upper body and under develops lower body. In the gym scene they often are labeled as having “chicken legs”.


It has been proven that by doing squats and deadlifts, one can release Growth Hormone (GH) and Testosterone. These key hormones are needed for muscle development. Athletes use growth hormone to gain an advantage from their competition. It makes them recover faster from a workout or between games.

Having fully recovered between workouts gives athletes an advantage because it allows them to workout harder without a dip in performance. Testosterone is referred as the male sex hormone. Testosterone is what gives men their masculine traits.

It gives men more vitality, muscle mass and stronger sex drive. Test supplements claim that a healthy testosterone levels are critical for guys who want to build more muscle mass, boost strength, and decrease body fat.

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So you are asking how do I release growth hormone and testosterone naturally to get the physique you desire. You first start by focusing on compound movements that recruit large muscle groups such as your legs by doing squats and deadlifts. Pick a weight where you can do 8-12 repetitions and keep the rest period between sets less than 60 seconds. Keep the workout no longer than 60 minutes.

The lower body exercises you should focus are squats, lunges, and deadlifts. These are compound movements that you start first in your leg workout. Then you can select isolation movements such as the leg curl and leg extension.

The type of weight you select can be barbell, dumbbells, and kettlebells, or your own bodyweight. For the purpose of this article I decided to use the barbell squat as an example on how you modify the workout.

First decide the stance by picking single leg, sumo, or shoulder width a part stance. Then you can decide where to load the barbell either front of you or behind your back. Then there is the option on adding chains or bands on the barbell is another way to change the load.

By doing high intensity workout that includes lower body exercise it can stimulate the release of growth hormone and testosterone. Testosterone and growth hormone are anabolic hormones that help you build muscle.

The temporary release of these two hormones produces anabolic effects on physique. Having a balance physique can give you self-confidence and a positive image of yourself. With some word of advice do not skip out on leg day.

Here are the 8 lower body strength exercises that will work wonders for you

1. Jump Squat are great for devolving explosive power in your lower body. Start by standing upright then go into a squat position. Then explode up by landing softly into the Plyo box.

2. Dumbbell Step-ups are use to develop the Quadraceps, Hamstrings, and Glutes. First, find a box or bench about knee height. Then grab a pair of dumbbells by your side while remaining upright. Lastly, step on foot on the box as raise your body.

3. Dumbbell Walking Lunges start in upright position. First step one leg forward. Then lower the front leg to 90 degrees. Then push with your heels back to starting position.

4. Sumo Deadlift focuses on the hamstring and glutes. The range of motion is shorter due to the widen stance. Spread the feet apart as you drive you drive to the floor. Extend through the hip and knees.

5. Goblet Squat teaches you how to properly squat. You can do this by holding the kettlebell in front of your chest. Then squat down till your elbows push out to your knees.

6. Pistol Squat is a single leg exercise that strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Keep one strait and hip flexed while one leg is knee flexed lowered till the butt almost touches the ground. Then push with your heal as you go back up to starting position. If you cant do a pistol squat use a pole or TRX to assist yourself back up.

7. Single Leg RDL is a great alternative to a deadlift. Hold the dumbbell collaterally to the opposite leg. Keep the knee slightly bent and bend forward with your waist. As you go down keep the free leg extended for balance.

8. Barbell Hip Thrust are great to target your glutes. Place your upper body on top of the bench as you roll the barbell in front of your hips. Place a pad to reduce the pain on your hips. Then press through the floor with your heels as your hips move vertically to hip extension. Then lower hips to starting position.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans