The Best Butt and Leg Exercises

If you incorporate the following exercises and drills into your routine, yoleanlegsu’ll burn fat, shape your legs and butt and get stronger which means you’ll look better, go faster, jump higher and move more quickly. What’s not to like?

Kettlebell Swings.

One of my absolute favourites. Swings are like a combined strength, cardio exercise in one. Don’t use your arms or shoulders to move the weight, the movement comes from your hips and butt. Keep you back in neutral  at all times and switch on your abs to protect your lower back. Don’t lean backwards at the top, but instead, squeeze your glutes to get the most from this drillOnce you have the technique right, nothing beats this for tighter and stronger glutes and hamstrings.

Lunges

Another favourite. Performed correctly these really target your glutes while also working your quads and calves too. My favourite version are walking lunges performed for high reps with or without weight. At FitterFaster, we use a mix of BodyWeight, high rep lunges or lower rep weighted lunges.  Some clients also do split jumps and other advanced lunge drills  Other great versions are alternating legs with or without weights, reverse lunges and also the dragon walk.

Step Ups

Again, another move that can be tweaked as a strength or a metabolic session. Use a higher or lower step, keep one leg on the top, alternate legs, do all reps on one leg first, speed it up, add weight or do them laterally. All great to work your glutes and legs while you put the focus on cardiovascular or muscular strength improvements or both. Focusing on pushing your weight through your heel on top of the step will incorporate your glutes and hamstrings into the movement more effectively as well as working all the other muscles in your legs as well.

Squats

Another super glute and leg exercise that can be varied in any number of ways. Different speeds, number of reps, weights used and depth of squats. Done properly, these are also safe for your knees and will really target the glute (or butt) muscles. You can vary these to work more on muscle building or endurance or a combination. Great in metabolic circuits with relatively lighter weights and high reps.   Other varieties include single leg versions and thrusters.

Hip Bridges/Extensions

Another great one that really targets the glutes and hamstrings. If done correctly, you shouldnt feel these in your back at all, but will get a real ‘burn’ in the target muscles. Again, push them out for reps, do holds, pulses or weight them up and really challenge the muscles to move. A great one for those with butt amnesia to get the feeling of using the glutes.  Alternate versions include putting  your feet on a bench or step.  Keeping bent or straight legs, popping your shoulders on the bench and feet on the floor and many more.  Single leg hip bridges are one of my favourite drills too.

glutesStiff Legged Deadlifts (or Romanian Deadlifts RDL)

This one is guaranteed to leave you with a sore butt the next day if performed properly. Use fairly heavy weights for this one and always watch your form. A neutral or even slightly arched back at the bottom will ensure that it’s safe for your back. Squeeze your butt at the top but don’t lean backwards.  Make sure you bring your hips to full extension at the top but stand tall.

If you’re not sure what any of these drills and exercises are, come along to FitterFaster and I can show you how effective they are and the correct technique to perform them to get the most out of each one.

These are all regularly used at both FitForce and during PeakFit Personal Training Sessions

 

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