PNBA Natural Olympia Champ Derek Joe’s Top 3 Lower Body Bodybuilding Exercises

PNBA Derek Joe's training update
Image via Instagram @djoe.hype

PNBA Natural Olympia Classic Physique Champ Derek Joe Performs His Top 3 Lower Body Exercises a week out from Natural Universe. 

The reigning Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Natural Olympia Classic Physique champ Derek Joe crushes lower body exercises a week out from Natural Universe. Pro/Am Natural Universe takes place in Tampa, FL, on September 2-3, 2022. Derek Joe shared a physique update with us a couple of weeks ago to show how his preparation for the show’s been going. And recently, he may have performed his final leg workout and lower body exercises before this huge natural bodybuilding event. 

Iron Man Magazine uploaded a clip of Derek Joe performing his top 3 exercises a couple of days ago. Iron Man Magazine’s social media post said:

“Here are the top three exercises of raining PNBA Natural Olympia Classic Physique Champion @djoe.hype 

Squats: compound movement, strengthens core, and burns a lot of calories, develops glutes and legs. 

RDL with a toe lift: it create a little bit more instability by lifting the toes versus having them flat on the floor, but it does allow you to sit back into your hips and maintain a proper hip hinge movement and is a good exercise for a beginner learning how to dead lift.

The Bulgarian split squat: Single leg functional movement done with the rear leg up on a bench. It’s a great alternative to doing a squat if you have a lower back injury. Since you are using one leg at a time the overload on the legs will be much less, but still as effective.

This will more than likely be his final leg workout before the @inbapnbaglobal_official Natural Universe in one week!?”

You can see Derek Joe doing these movements below. 


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A post shared by Iron Man Magazine (@ironmanmagazine)

Top 3 Exercises 

To build a physique like Joe, the lower body exercises he makes a regular part of his routine are paramount. Derek Joe’s top 3 exercises are the squat, Romanian deadlift (RDL), and Bulgarian split squat


It’s no surprise that the exercise regarded by many (other than deadlifts) ranks as one of Joe’s top exercises. Squats let you place a heavy load on your back to strengthen and build muscle in your entire lower bodyglutes, quads, and hamstrings. Because this movement allows you to use a heavy weight and target all the muscles in your lower body, it’s one of the best exercises you can do to build a muscular physique. 

Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

The RDL develops your posterior chain muscles (back, hamstrings, glutes). Compared to the conventional deadlift, this movement’s decreased range of motion–starting with weight held in front of hips– will place less strain on your back and engage your hamstrings more. 

Bulgarian Split Squat

This unilateral (single-limb) leg movement improves your balance, core, knee, and hip stability. Plus, since it’s a unilateral movement, it will give you a better mind-muscle connection and help you fix lagging muscles. The Bulgarian split squat will target all the muscles in your legs like standard squats, but it will put your core into overdrive. 

Lower Body Exercises  

  • Squat: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • RDL: 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squat: 4 sets x 8-12 reps

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.