I rarely post fitness related pictures on my Instagram but working out is a big part of my life! Lifting weights is therapeutic for me, it’s a way for me to get in the zone and concentrate on myself.
To start off my first ever blog post, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite exercises to build muscle and tone your legs and glutes. These were designed for a small condominium gym but are easy adaptable for those who workout at home. Switch out the smith machine for a pair or dumbbells or you can do all these exercises with just your own body weight.
Remember, the key is mind muscle connection!! For example, if you are aiming for a firmer and bigger butt, concentrate on keeping tension in your butt while doing the exercise.
Bulgarian split squat – Find a bench or chair and grab a pair of dumbbells. Place one leg on the bench. Make sure that the leg in front is not too far out. Bend down and ensure your front knee does not go past your toe. Lower yourself and you will feel the tension in the front leg. Come up and squeeze your butt!
Stiff Legged Dumbbell Deadlift – Stand with your feet approximately hip width apart. Point toes forward and keep knees slightly bent. Lower yourself while keeping your back STRAIGHT (do not curve your back). As you lower yourself, keep the dumbbells close to your legs and just slide them downwards to your ankles. You should really feel it in your hamstrings in the back of your legs.
Curtsy Lunge – Similar to a traditional lunge, but instead of stepping backwards you are stepping diagonally. Try to go as low as possible while keeping your front knee behind your toe. You will feel it in the inner and outer thighs.
Narrow Stance Squat – This can be done on a smith machine (show below) or by holding 2 dumbbells on either side of you. Stand with feet side by side and facing forward. Lower yourself into a squat position. Come up and squeeze your butt. Remember to look forward and tighten the core! You will feel it in your outer thighs.
Standing in Place Lunges – This can be done on the smith machine or by holding a dumbbell at each side. Start with feet together, then lunge 1 leg backwards. Remember that the front knee should not go past the toe. Do the lunge motion with 1 leg for 10 reps then move onto the other leg. This will ensure a great burn!
Sumo Squat – Stand with your legs wide apart, kind of like a sumo wrestler! Hold the dumbbell with both hands as shown below and lower yourself into a squat position. Try to go as low as possible; until the dumbbell touches the ground. Come up and squeeze your butt. You should feel the burn in your inner thighs and butt.
Bulgarian split squats (4 sets x 10 reps each leg)
Stiff legged dumbbell deadlift (4 sets x 15 reps)
Curtsy lunge (4 sets x 10 reps each leg)
Narrow stance squat (4 sets x 12 reps)
Standing in place lunges (4 sets x 10 reps each leg)
Sumo squat (4 sets x 10 reps)
Have fun & sweat lots! Your legs will definitely be sore the next day.