The Best Leg Exercises For Stronger Glutes And Quads

The Best Leg Exercises For Stronger Glutes And Quads

If you’re involved in the fitness world, you must be familiar with the recent obsession with glute workouts. Influencers and fitness enthusiasts on Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube have increased the focus on lower body workouts. Some people post short workout tutorials, while others talk about routines and post flattering “leg day” pictures. Stronger glutes don’t simply make for great social media pictures, though. 

The gluteus muscles are some of the most powerful muscles in the human body. They belong to the posterior chain, which consists of the hamstrings, calves, and back muscles. This muscle group generates the most force for human movements. While deadlifts, box jumps, heavy squats, and power cleans all work this muscle group, so do the smaller, lower impact exercises in this article. Form firmer glutes with the following exercises, but make sure to incorporate cardiovascular activities and other exercises into your workout regimen for optimal tone.  

Bodyweight Squats:

You knew this exercise was going to be on the list. Bodyweight squats are the best because they target the glutes, quadriceps, hips, calves, and core. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees and lower into a squat, keeping your knees behind your toes. Imagine sitting back into an imaginary chair. Keep your back straight and once your thighs are parallel to the ground, press through your heels, engage your glutes, and return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10-12 reps. 

Alternating Lateral Lunges:

This is an excellent exercise that works the glutes and hip abductors, which sit around the side of the hip. Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart and step your right leg out to the right side. Bend your knee as you plant your foot and sit back into a lunge, hinging at the hips. Keep the majority of your weight over your right leg and don’t let the knee extend beyond your toes. Squeeze your inner thighs, glutes, and hamstrings to push off the right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the left leg to complete one rep. complete three sets of 12 reps.

Step-Ups:

Not only does this exercise target your glutes, but it also works your quadriceps and calves. When you select a platform, make sure you choose one that is high enough that your knee achieves a 90-degree angle when you step on it. If that is unfeasible, use a lower step or platform. Stand up straight in front of the step or platform and place your right foot firmly on the step. Engage your glutes and drive through your right heel, simultaneously pressing off the ball of your left foot. As you step up, bring your left foot to touch the platform. Step your left foot back down to the ground and bend your right knee to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 reps per leg. 

Reverse Lunge:

Reverse lunges are another thigh-burning, glute-stimulating workout. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot back directly behind you and lower your hips, bending your right knee so that it just kisses the ground. Your right heel should be lifted off the ground and your left leg should be bent, making sure not to extend the knee beyond your toes. Keep your back straight and your gaze straight ahead. Engage all of your leg muscles to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 12 reps per leg. 

Calf Raises:

You can’t have good looking glutes and neglect your calf muscles, folks. It’s all about balancing and working various muscles! Stand on the edge of a stair and hold the railing or wall for support. The balls of your feet should be on the edge of the stair and your heels should hang off. Allow your heels to fall bellow the step and then use your calf muscles to press up onto the balls of your feet. Pause at the stop, squeezing your glutes and calves, and then lower back down slowly. Complete three sets of 15 reps. 

Sidestep Squats:

Get ready to feel the burn! This exercise requires a resistance band with medium-light tension, and it aims to work the gluteus medius and minimus. Most of the other exercises on this list target the gluteus maximus. Step your feet on the resistance band and widen your stance so that your feet are beyond shoulder-width. With each hand, grab the top of the resistance band just above your knees, holding it taught. Keep your back straight, lower into a squat, engage your glutes, and take a wide step out with your right leg. You’ll now be in a deeper squat and the band will resist the step. Step your left foot in to return to the original wide squat stance. Continue sidestepping across the room, or as far as you can. Complete three sets of about 10-12 steps. 

Sources:

https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/20-best-glute-exercises-build-butt/1-barbell-hip-thrust/
https://www.verywellfit.com/best-butt-exercises-1230773
https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/best-leg-exercises-for-stronger-glutes-quads-and-hamstrings/

2021-05-04T09:22:30-07:00

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