Happy Workout Wednesday! Today’s workout post is all about strengthening and toning your legs and butt! I could probably do a post per week just on lower body exercises, but this week I am highlighting my 6 favorite. These exercises will for sure hit your hamstrings, glutes, and inner and outer thighs. Try to do this lower body workout twice a week for strong, sexy legs!!
What you need: weight of your choice (dumbbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, etc)
Warmup: To get your lower body warm and your heart rate up, do some jumping jacks and mountain climbers. If you have time, go for a light jog or run. Warm up for 10 minutes or more.
Squats: Probably the best and most basic exercise for your lower body. It hits all the muscles in your lower body and even your core. There are many variations of a squat…you can do them fast, slow, or with a jump. Do these with a weight. Squat down and do a front raise with your weight. Remember to squeeze your butt when you get to standing position!
4 Rounds for 30 seconds
Lunges: I LOVE lunges…particularly jumping lunges or split lunges. If you’re feeling savage, go right ahead and do these jumping, otherwise, grab your weight, and do front stepping lunges with an overhead front raise. Alternate legs stepping forward.
4 rounds for 30-45 seconds
Skater Hops: So, you want a nice butt? Do some skater hops! These get your heart rate up while firing your glute muscles. Hop back and forth laterally, and touch your toe with your opposite hand. To really get those muscles firing, make sure to explode off those feet and stick your landing.
4 rounds for 30 seconds
Plie squats: Grab your weight for these! This exercise will definitely hit your glutes and inner thighs. I can’t guarantee a thigh gap…but I promise you will love these! With your legs wide and toes pointed out, squat down while holding your weight. When you come back up to standing position, be sure to squeeze your butt.
4 rounds for 30-45 seconds
Single leg deadlift: These are great for your hamstrings! If you’re a runner, or just want sexy, strong legs, you should be doing deadlifts! Balance on one leg, keep that knee slightly bent, perform a stiff-legged deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering the dumbbell (weight of your choosing) until you are parallel to the ground, and then return to the upright position.
Do each leg, 2 rounds for 30 seconds. (total of 4 rounds)
Curtsy lunges: This exercise hits the upper, outer portion of your butt…for that well rounded tush! Start in a neutral standing position while holding your weight. Step back and to the side as in performing a curtsy while maintaining the weight in a contracted curl position for the duration as you alternate legs.
Do 4 rounds for 30 seconds
**Kate Britt Boesch is a certified personal trainer with American Council on Exercise. **