Like many of us, you’ve probably fantasized about having toned legs and that bubble butt everyone’s after. You might’ve also checked out countless Instagram accounts with crazy tips on how to “sexify” your glutes, be it through impossible diets or exercise routines that don’t really work, or are impossible to maintain. What makes these four exercises any different? They are practical, effective, and they come with a complete instructions manual courtesy of us. Interested? Let’s get started.
Lunges are a highly effective workout when it comes to tone your glutes (butt), hamstrings (posterior muscle group between the butt and the knee), and abs.
First, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart (where your legs fall naturally after you hop a few times). Then, step forward with one foot and be sure to keep it flat on the ground. Bend knees to a 90-degree angle as you lower yourself until your back knee is as close to the ground as possible. Don’t forget to keep your upper body straight as you lower yourself. Once you’ve reached the lowest point, push yourself up and back into your starting position with your front foot. Remember to alternate feet in order to work out both legs. As for the recommended sets x reps, start with three sets of 10 lunges (per leg).
2. Banded Squats
Squats are an amazing workout, but without a doubt, you’ve tried them before and are currently looking for something more intense. There are several banded squats exercises out there, with varying degrees of difficulty depending on your specific needs. Keep in mind, the word banded refers to resistance bands that can be used to increase your gains per rep.
This variation is a simple twist on the standard squat. First, step inside the band and lift it up to just above your knees, then assume the starting position of a regular squat – feet hip-width apart, and get going. Keep your back straight as you go down, hold the position for 2 seconds, then slowly come up. Repeat this for three sets of 15 squats and you’ll start noticing the gains sooner than you expect.
3. Plié Squats
Plié is a French term commonly used in ballet. This squat variation is named after the pose because of the resemblance between the two.
To do a plié squat, stand with your legs slightly wider than your shoulders and each of your feet pointed at 45-degree angles. Then, squat as you normally would while making sure your glutes and abs are engaged. We recommend you get started with three sets of 15 squats.
4. Calf Raises
A very common mistake that most people make in their quest for toning their leg muscles is that they focus entirely on their thighs. While a tight butt is a dream, when striving for lean legs, you can’t forget about your calves.
Calf raises are simple. First, stand on the ground with your feet hip-width apart. Then, straighten your body and use the balls of your feet to push yourself up. Start by lifting your ankles, then the rest of your foot until your weight is completely resting on the balls of your feet. When you reach the peak of your lift, lower yourself slowly. Start with three sets, 15 repetitions each.
The keys to sculpting your legs are persistence. As humans, we tend to gravitate towards what makes us comfortable which naturally disqualifies workouts, especially tiring ones. When you feel yourself wanting to quit, push through. If you want to skip a day or take a break, do so, but set a date to continue the work. Remember, all you need are three/four workouts a week.