Today, I want to present a solid leg and butt workout that calls on the leg and butt muscles in many different ways and that guaranteed leads to strong and defined legs. I do not want to say anything like its getting summer – we have to get our legs ready for the bikini. I am against doing sport because society’s beauty ideals tell us to. I believe in doing sport because I want to and because I personally prefer my body in a trained shape, but I think everybody should do as he/she likes. Anyway, this workout is successfully tested, because I have gotten the exercises from a good friend who has incredibly strong and defined legs. Indeed, her legs are so strikingly beautiful legs that I have instantly asked for her leg and butt exercises and found myself in the gym to try them out just a couple of minutes later.
I do not want to withhold this workout from you. The exercises in this workout will not surprise you, but the right mix always makes the difference. My friend and I have put eight exercises together for you, which you can complete in about an hour. I for one have limped for the next three days and had powerful muscles aches in the most exotic locations.
So be prepared to sweat and to tire off your muscles and have a lot of fun with this great leg workout. I recommend repeating each exercise in three sets à 15 repetitions.
Yes, the good old Squats. The simple truth is: If you want to have strong, defined legs, you need to do squats.
Position your legs approximately in a hip wide distance and point your feet slightly outward. Contract the muscles of your stomach and buttocks. Maintain this contraction during each squat. Now, push your buttocks back and do the first squat until your butt is deeper than your knees. Do not stop the squat in a higher position, otherwise the shear forces will put largest pressure on your knees and you will have an increased risk of injury. The weight rests on your heels. From there, you squeeze your butt muscles even a little stronger and push yourself up again. Be aware to use your hamstrings for the push-up. Caution: The knees should never point over your toes. The distance of your feet may vary depending on the anatomy of your hip. It is also up to you whether your toes point outwards or not. Try out your best squat position. In general, however, the legs should be as narrow as possible (not narrower than hip width). The knees pull outwards during the squat. Avoid a collapsing of the knees inwards. Also, do not come up like a jackknife, meaning avoid pushing up your butt first and then straightening the back. Many try to compensate for their weak leg muscles by coming up like this. Keep your back straight and always push up only by the strength of your leg and butt muscles. An optimal training success is only guaranteed when you perform the squat clean and correct.
Caution: The knees should never point over your toes. The distance of your feet may vary depending on the anatomy of your hip. It is also up to you whether your toes point outwards or not. Try out your best squat position. In general, however, the legs should be as narrow as possible (not narrower than hip width). The knees pull outwards during the squat. Avoid a collapsing of the knees inwards. Also, do not come up like a jackknife, meaning avoid pushing up your butt first and then straightening the back. Many try to compensate for their weak leg muscles by coming up like this. Keep your back straight and always push up only by the strength of your leg and butt muscles. An optimal training success is only guaranteed when you perform the squat clean and correct.
If you are still feeling a little insecure about squatting, have a look at this video which provides a great visual example.
2. Sumo Squat
The Sumo Squat is a squat variation. The difference is that you start in a wider leg position. The legs are now a little further apart than shoulder distance and the toes point outwards in about a 45 degrees angle. Contract your abdomen, buttocks and thighs again. Start your first squat. The upper body stays as upright as possible; the legs bend until they are in a 90-degree angle. From here, push yourself up and again be aware to accomplish the movement by your leg and butt muscles. Caution: Again, the knees should never point over your toes. The knees pull outward and do not collapse inwards.
Caution: Again, the knees should never point over your toes. The knees pull outward and do not collapse inwards.
3. Deep lunge
The Deep lunge focuses once more on the anterior thigh and buttocks.
Do a lunge and bend your back leg as deep as possible into a 90-degree angle. Your front knee must not point over your toes, but should bend in a 90-degree angle, too. Your upper body is upright.
I prefer to do static Deep Lunges, meaning I do all repetitions on one leg first and then change to the other. At this, I feel that I can best control the execution of my movement. Yet, there are several variations of the Deep lunge you can do.
Variation 1: You start in a standing position (legs closed), make a lunge forward, do a deep lunge and push yourself back up powerfully. You end in a standing position (legs closed). Repeat the movement starting with the other leg.
Variation 2: This variation is identical to variation 1, but you do the lunge backward.
Variation 3: Side Lunge. Here you do the lunge to the side.
A video of a correct Deep Lunge execution might be helpful again.
The Bridge, also called butt lift, gets your butt and hamstrings to really burn.
Lie down on your back and this position your heels as close to your butt as possible. With a clear emphasis on the upward movement, push your hips towards the ceiling. Your back is off your mat and your thighs, pelvis, and upper body form a straight line. Contract the lower back and butt muscles at all times. Either stay in this upward position statically or repeat the movement rhythmically.
A variation is (as shown in the picture), the one-legged Bridge. Here you must ensure that your knees always remain parallel and your hips are parallel to the floor. Do not let one side sag.
5. Leg Lift
The Leg Lift specifically targets your inner thigh muscles.
Lie down on one side, angle your upper leg and place it in front of your body. Stretch out the lower leg and move it rhythmically up and down. You can put down your head, support it on one arm or you can lift your whole torso, as I am doing on the picture.
Caution: The hip bones must remain on top of each other. Contract the abdomen and thigh muscles.
I honestly have no idea how this exercise is really called. My friend referred to it as ‘frog’ and I think that’s quite a fitting name. To anyone who knows the correct name: Please enlighten me.
Lay down on your stomach. Bend your legs in a 90-degree angle, the heels press together and flex your feet. The hamstrings pull and move up the legs, as if you would want to push the ceiling further up. Engage your back muscles throughout the whole exercise to protect your spinal discs.
And finally, the Plank, which, of course, such as the squats, has to appear in every workout.
Come on all fours. Your shoulders are above your wrists. Stretch your legs backward and hold the position for as long as you can. There is no better full-body exercise than the Plank.
Caution: A plank is challenging, yet do not forget to actively engage all your muscles. You butt should not be too high, but it should also not sag too low.
Variation 1: When the normal plank is too easy try raising one leg. You can hold your leg or rhythmically move it up and down.
Variation 2: If you have problems with your wrists, try the forearm stand. Pay attention to put your hands flat on the floor. Any other arm posture takes pressure from your upper body and transfers it to your biceps (which of course we do not want – abs, yeah!).
Have a look at this video for more advice on how to do a correct plank.
I’m curious about your experiences with this workout. How do you feel? Write me if you have any general questions or about one of the exercises.