For many women (And some men), having good legs and a good bum is one of the main, if not the only reason they go to the gym.
While I as a young male am in full support of women wanting to build up their legs and behinds, as a Personal Trainer I see far too many people spending hours and hours doing exercises that either could be done a lot better, are missing out on a lot of great exercises, or are just not working hard enough.
Well as ever, I am hear to set the record straight.
Don’t be afraid
First of all – don’t be afraid to lift heavy!! No, you won’t get ‘bulky’. No, you won’t look like a man. When women lift weights they create an in shape, curved feminine look – anyone who says otherwise either doesn’t want you to look better than them or knows bugger all about fitness.
Aiming to do 8-15 reps per set and 3-5 sets is the range you generally want to sticking to with the last few reps being quite difficult. And that brings me onto my next point.
Far too many times I see someone doing endless amounts of reps on the leg press with hardly any weight on it while looking at their phone, or squatting while holding 2kg dumbbells while only bending their knees a couple of degrees. Will training that way help me build big biceps? No of course not. And it goes for you building your legs and bum too!
Make sure you lift heavy and those last few reps are really tough and you’ll be hitting to right level of intensity to build those muscles.
In terms of exercises there are a whole host we could go through, but I’m going to list the most effective ones and should be a staple of your legs and bum routine:
Squats – Barbell Back, Barbell Front, Landmine or Box (If your mobility isn’t good)
Deadlifts – Conventional, Sumo, Squat Stance (Is actually a brilliant way of doing deadlifts as the set up is easy for a lot of people and really hits the glutes and hamstrings), landmine
Hip Thrusts/ Glute Bridge – Hip Thrusts, Single Leg Glute Bridge, Glute Bridge Walkout, Glute Bridge March (That one is a killer)
Step Ups – Barbell, Kettlebell/Dumbbell
Lunges – Forward, Reverse, Curtsey, Paused (You’ll thank/hate me later)
It is also good to include sideways movements such as hip abductions (Legs moving sideways) as these will help stabilise your legs when lifting heavy
And there you go, the basic info you need to build a great set of legs and a good bum!