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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

8 Leg And Butt Workouts To Reshape Your Lower Body

8 Leg And Butt Workouts To Reshape Your Lower Body

Having strong muscles in the butt and legs is essential for your overall health and ability to exercise efficiently. Unless we have active jobs, the threat of sitting down for hours at a time has a huge detrimental effect on these areas; muscles slack and become less defined if not used properly, circulation is dramatically reduced and so blood isn’t able to reach muscles as well as it should, cellulite can form and tone is decreased.

Working out your butt and leg muscles will not only shape and tone them, but will help towards efficiency in other exercises such as running, cycling and swimming. Here you will be taken through 8 leg and butt workouts that will help towards getting the shape and tone that you want.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

1. Squats

This is an absolute essential exercise if you want to target your legs and butt. It works the thighs, butt and hips as well as pulling through your core and lower back muscles. If you want a sculptured backside then squats are your best friend.

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Air-Squats
    image via rockwallrectech.com
    1. Start with feet hip-width apart, keeping your back straight with shoulders pulled back, straighten your arms out in front of you.
    2. Slowly bend your knees and push your butt out and down as though you’re about to sit down on a chair.
    3. Lower yourself so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, your knees are positioned slightly over your ankles and your head and shoulders aligned over your knees.
    4. Using your leg and butt muscles, slowly push up keeping your weight evenly distributed throughout and come back to standing position.
    5. Beginner: start off with a repetition of 3 sets of 10 squats and increase the amount of squats in each set by 1 squat each day.
    6. Advanced: To make this move more difficult, add handheld weights, keeping them at your side throughout the exercise. Increase weights for more intensity.

    2. Lunges

    Leg and butt workouts are not complete without lunges as they help work the muscles in both areas.

    alternating-lunge
      image via mystrengthtraining.com
      1. Start with legs shoulder-width apart and hands resting on your hips.
      2. Extend your right leg out in front of you and lower your hips toward the floor until both knees are at 90-degree angles. Make sure your front knee does not extend over your whole foot and keep your body straight pulling through your core.
      3. Push up on your extended front leg to return to your your original position. Repeat this with the left leg.
      4. Beginner: Repeat 10 lunges on each leg, increasing by 1 for each separate workout.
      5. Advanced: To make this more challenging hold weights in both hands or wear a heavy backpack. Alternatively, try side lunges that add a bit more of a challenge.

      3. Bridges

      Bridges really work your butt muscles and are good for both shaping and toning.

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      Bridge-Exercise
        image via fitndiets.com
        1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
        2. Keeping your arms relaxed on each side, lift your glutes off the floor pushing through your heels.
        3. Hold and squeeze your glute muscles in this position and then slowly lower your butt back down to the floor.
        4. Beginner: Try 10 reps, 3 times increasing slowly with each workout.
        5. Advanced: To make this move more difficult, add a stable weight to your stomach area or try a Unilateral Bridge by raising one knee to your chest or extend it all the way out, then start lifting your glutes off the floor as with a basic bridge.

        4. Plank

        Planks are ultimately great for your core but they also engage your glutes and leg muscles if done correctly. This is a great exercise as you can adjust the challenge by adding seconds to each plank.

        Planks
          image via womenshealthmag.com
          1. Lie on your front and gently raise your body onto your elbows, making sure elbows are shoulder-width apart.
          2. Slowly raise yourself onto your tip toes and hold.
          3. Beginner: Try holding a plank for as long as possible. Aim for 30 seconds to a minute and increase this over each workout.
          4. Advanced: Once you’ve mastered a basic plank, try a Knee Pull Plank which will work your legs and butt more. This involves pulling one knee in towards your stomach and extending it back.

          5. Deadlifts

          Deadlifts are amazing for targeting hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It’s really important that you maintain good form while performing deadlifts so try and do them in front of a mirror so that you can make sure you are doing them correctly.

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          c3358a7f_deadlift-main.xxxlarge_2x
            image via popsugar.com
            1. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms shoulder-width apart, hanging straight down and making sure feet are shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent.
            2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together in back and keep your chest high. It is very important to keep your upper body in this position throughout the entire exercise.
            3. Slowly bend forward from the hips, pushing your butt back, keeping your shoulder blades retracted, and chin tucked in.
            4. Lower the dumbbells down your legs and bend down as far as you can until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
            5. Hold for a second and then squeeze your glutes and return to starting position.
            6. Make sure you do this exercise slowly and keep your back and posture straight.
            7. Beginner: Repeat 10 times in a set of 3.
            8. Advanced: Increase your weights to make this more difficult and challenging.

            6. Hamstring Curls

            These are really great for your legs and will strengthen your hamstrings.

            leg-exercises-tb-hamstring-curl-dumbbell-3
              image via howstuffworks.com
              1. Lie on the floor face down with your arms linked in front of you.
              2. Place a weight in between your feet and grip tightly.
              3. Slowly lift both legs up at the knee until they are at a 90 degree angle from the floor.
              4. Slowly lower your legs back down again, aiming to keep the feet off the floor at all times.
              5. Beginner: Repeat 10 times in a set of 3.
              6. Advanced: Increase the weight to add more challenge.

              7. Calf Raises

              This move is specific in toning and strengthening your legs to give you shaped and defined leg muscles.

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              Calf-Raises
                image via top.me
                1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
                2. Slowly balance onto your toes and lift up your heels as far as you can.
                3. Make sure you push evenly your entire foot; don’t allow the weight to push over to your big toe or to the outside of your foot. Keep the push central.
                4. Slowly lower your heel to the ground.
                5. Beginner: Repeat 10 times for 3 sets. You can hold weights in your hand to add further intensity.
                6. Advanced: Try sumo squat calf raises for an extra challenge.

                8. Wall Sits

                These are fantastic for your glutes, calves and thighs and will test your endurance.

                Wall-Sit
                  image via popsugar.com
                  1. With your back straight against the wall, stand with your feet slightly apart and a small distance away from the wall.
                  2. Slowly bend your knees so that your thighs are at a 90 degree angle from the floor.
                  3. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute (or as long as you can)
                  4. Slowly use your leg muscles to bring yourself up to a standing position.
                  5. Beginner: Start with 30 seconds to 1 minute increasing the time by a few seconds each day.
                  6. Advanced: Try a one-legged wall squat by extending one leg out in front of you. This will work the butt and leg muscles more intensely. Change legs once your primary leg cannot sustain the 90 degree angle any longer.

                  Tips for Leg and Butt Workouts

                  • Remember when doing toning exercises, the key is to do the movements slowly and focus on squeezing the muscles as much as possible. It’s also important to remember that quality is better than quantity. It’s much more effective to increase intensity with each exercise than just doing more of the same exercise at the same level of intensity. This way the muscle is being challenged and will tone up much more quickly.
                  • Write down a schedule of your workouts as this will help you to keep motivation. Start with a weekly or monthly timetable of each daily workout you do. Make sure you show exactly how many reps you will do for each exercise and show a progression throughout the week or month by adding weights and intensity.
                  • Wear sensible, stable shoes that support your feet well to avoid injuries to your ankles.
                  • Be aware of your limits – don’t try using heavy weights straight away. Start small and work your way up as this will make the workouts a lot more beneficial and will avoid injuries.
                  • Always drink plenty of water when doing workouts as you can get easily dehydrated.
                  • Talk with your doctor if you suffer from back pain or are pregnant as these exercises may not be suitable.
                  • Remember to eat a healthy diet as eating foods high in saturated fats and sugar will only counteract the good work you’re putting in!

                  Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

                  More by this author

                  Samantha Aloysius

                  Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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                  Last Updated on January 26, 2021

                  The Ultimate 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

                  The Ultimate 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

                  Men, it seems, are not the only ones who enjoy lifting weights. Nowadays, you’re just as likely to see women in the gym, squatting, benching, and deadlifting. The ‘Girls that lift’ movement is now very much established, and we think that’s awesome.

                  Years ago, if you walked into a gym, more often than not, the sight you would be greeted with would be a weight room full of men, and a cardio room full of women. Women were generally advised to stay away from weights as it was wrongly believed that lifting weights would turn them into hulking she-beasts.

                  As research was conducted, and as common sense began to prevail, people found that lifting weights as a woman would not cause you to add 50 pounds of muscle to your frame overnight. In fact, it was found that resistance training provided a shapelier, curvier, leaner, more defined physique than one which could be attained through cardio alone.

                  That’s why today, we are going to be looking at a 5 day workout routine for women to get strong and toned.

                  If you’re a woman who is looking to get bigger, stronger, and more toned, the following routine is perfect.

                  Warming Up

                  Before you commit to any form of workout routine, it is absolutely vital that you take the time to properly warm up before training.

                  Warming up before training is important because it helps improve your flexibility and mobility, and helps reduce the risk of injury. By stretching the muscles before training, you help to increase muscle fiber elasticity. This is important because it means that the muscle fibers are far less-likely to rip and tear.

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                  A good warm up will also increase your core body temperature and will potentially improve your athletic performance. Warming up boosts circulation, which in turn means more blood flows around the body. This ensures that more oxygen and nutrients can be carried around the body and be fed to the awaiting muscle cells. The more energy they have, the harder the muscles can work when you’re training.

                  Simply doing a few reps with just the bar, or a very light set of dumbbells, does not constitute as an effective warmup.

                  Sample Warm Up Routine

                  Let’s look at how you can warm up properly to get the most from your training.

                  A sample warmup routine could consist of the following exercises and movements:

                  1. 1 minute of knee lifts
                  2. 1 minute of heel digs
                  3. 2 sets of 10 shoulder rolls per arm
                  4. 10 knee bends
                  5. 20 head rotations
                  6. 10 hip rotations

                  5 Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

                  Now let’s take a look at the ultimate 5-day workout routine for women to get strong and toned. If followed correctly, you should start seeing and feeling noticeable improvements on a weekly basis.

                  The idea here is to build lean muscle while keeping calorie expenditure high to melt away stubborn body fat in the process

                  Monday – Chest and Arms

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                    1. Flat bench barbell press – 4 sets of 8 reps
                    2. Push ups – 4 sets of 10 reps
                    3. Cable crossovers – 3 sets of 15 reps
                    4. Incline dumbbell flyes – 4 sets of 12 reps
                    5. Barbell biceps curls – 3 sets of 15 reps
                    6. Alternate arm hammer curls – 4 sets of 12 reps per arm
                    7. Triceps rope overhead extensions – 3 sets of 20 reps
                    8. Triceps dips – 3 sets of 15 reps
                    9. 10 minutes on the elliptical machine

                    Tuesday – Shoulders and Back

                      1. Standing barbell military press – 4 sets of 10 reps
                      2. Dumbbell lateral raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
                      3. EZ bar upright rows – 3 sets of 15 reps
                      4. Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets of 10 reps
                      5. Dumbbell shrugs – 4 sets of 10 reps
                      6. Close-grip lat pulldowns – 4 sets of 12 reps
                      7. Dumbbell bent over rows – 4 sets of 12 reps per arm
                      8. T-Bar rows – 4 sets of 10 reps
                      9. 10 minutes on the stationary bike

                      Wednesday – Cardio Circuit

                        1. 10 burpees
                        2. 10 push ups
                        3. 15 crunches
                        4. 20 squat thrusts
                        5. 3 sets of 10 hanging leg raises
                        6. 3 x 1-minute rounds of plank
                        7. 20 minutes low intensity cardio on the treadmill

                        Thursday – Strength day

                          1. Incline dumbbell press – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          2. Flat bench barbell press – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          3. Deadlifts – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          4. Barbell clean and press – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          5. Barbell bent-over rows – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          6. Barbell snatch – 5 sets of 5 reps
                          7. 10 minutes on the stationary bike

                          Friday – Legs

                            1. Barbell squats – 4 sets of 8 reps
                            2. Leg press machine – 3 sets of 12 reps
                            3. Leg extensions – 3 sets of 15 reps
                            4. Hamstring curls – 3 sets of 15 reps
                            5. Walking lunges – 4 sets of 10 reps per leg
                            6. Seated or standing calf raises – 4 sets of 20 reps per leg
                            7. 10 minutes on the elliptical machine

                            Diet and Nutrition

                            It doesn’t matter how hard you are training in the gym, if you aren’t eating the right foods at the right time, all of your efforts will have been in vain. You can’t out-train a bad diet, which is why we’re going to share a few diet and nutritional secrets with you before leaving.

                            Remember, we’re looking at the ultimate 5-day workout routine for women to get strong and toned, and if you’re not eating right, you will become neither strong, nor toned.

                            Here are some tried and tested methods proven to give great results.

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                            1. Drink enough water

                            When it comes to exercise and health in general, adequate hydration is crucial.

                            Water makes up close to 80% of our bodies, and we need it to perform even the most basic of physiological processes. Without adequate amounts of water in our bodies, we run the risk of dehydrating, which can affect athletic performance, and our health in general.

                            When we exercise, we perspire and can lose important electrolytes via our sweat. This is why it’s important to stay well hydrated during exercise, to help replenish the fluids, minerals, and electrolytes we lost through training.

                            Aim for 2.5 litres of mineral water per day. Failing that, filtered water is still very good for you.

                            2. Get plenty of healthy protein

                            Protein is vital for muscle growth and repair. If you want to become strong and/or toned, you need to make sure you are taking enough protein in each day.

                            Aim for around 0.6 – 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and be sure to spread it out evenly throughout the day. Look for lean and healthy sources like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, and grass-fed red meat.

                            3. Invest in a good quality whey protein

                            Providing you can consume whey, whey protein is a supplement you will need to invest in if you wish to build muscle and burn fat.

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                            Whey protein shakes are perfect because one shake provides around 30 or more grams of protein per serving. They’re easy to make, convenient, they taste great, and they’re full of other nutrients that the muscles thrive upon.

                            4. Don’t forget your veggies

                            As well as protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, you will also need to make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables.

                            Vegetables are full of digestive-friendly dietary fiber, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they help to give your meals extra texture and flavour.

                            Don’t rely on vitamin supplements alone when it comes to nutrient intakes, instead, make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables each day.

                            More Resources for Women Getting in Shape

                            • Adam Evans — BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in health and fitness
                            • Candace Rhodes — A fitness coach to help women achieve amazing toned bodies
                            • Richard Adefioye — A writer with an unquenchable passion for healthy living and productivity

                            Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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