8 Leg Workouts That Are Better Than Squats

8 Leg Workouts That Are Better Than Squats

Nowadays, everyone wants a bigger booty. But in order to achieve this, you need to work two muscles: your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, hence glutes. We have all heard that squats are the key to success, but with a combination of these kick A$$ leg moves, you can actually activate your entire behind without fighting for that squat rack. Hey, squats are overrated anyway.

Hip Thrusters

Equipment needed: Barbell or Smith machine

How to: Start with a barbell over your legs. Roll the bar directly over your hips, then bring your shoulders to the edge/top of the bench. Driving through your heels, thrust your butt up in the air as far as you can, then slowly bring it down.

How many? 4 sets of 12-15 reps

#SpoonTip: If the weight is too heavy, put a pad between the barbell and your hips.

Glute Bridge

Equipment: None

How to: Lie down on the ground with your hands by your side, your feet flat and shoulder width apart. Putting the weight in your heels, push your booty up. Squeeze your glutes at the top, pause for one second, then slowly bring your butt back down.

How many? 4 sets of 15-20 reps each leg

#SpoonTip: If you want to get ~fancy~ with it, try lifting one leg at a time.

Curtsy Lunges

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettle-bell, or plate (optional)

How to: Hold one dumbbell in each hand or one heavy kettle-bell in both hands, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. While keeping your torso straight, lift your left leg and take a large side step, placing it behind your right leg. Lower your left knee slowly into a lunge position. Then, driving through your heels, push back up.

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How many? 3-4 sets of 15-20 each side

#SpoonTip: Do one leg at a time instead of alternating for a real booty burn.

Weighted Box Step Ups

Equipment: Dumbbells or plates (optional), and a bench or box

How To: Hold one dumbbell or plate in each hand. Put one foot on the bench or box, and push through your heels to push yourself up. To make it harder, raise the opposite knee to your chest and squeeze. Then slowly bring your leg down.

How many? 4 sets of 15-20 per leg

#SpoonTip: Make sure you stand all the way up for maximum efficiency.

Glute Kickbacks

Equipment: Dumbbells (optional)

How to: Put your hands and knees on the ground in a pushup position. Bend your knee so there is a 90° angle between your hamstrings and glutes and push your leg out, squeezing your butt at the top for a second, then return to your original position. Repeat on each leg.

How many? 4 sets of 20 per leg

#SpoonTip: If you choose to use weight, balance it carefully on the leg that you are moving up and down.

Cable Pull Throughs

Equipment: Cable with rope

How To: Adjust the pulley rope so it is low to the ground. Stand a few feet in front of it with your feet wide, straddling the cable. Keeping your arms straight, reach through your legs as far back as possible, then thrust your hips straight up squeezing at the top.

How many? 4 sets of 15-20

#SpoonTip: Make sure all of the weight is being pulled by your hips rather then using your shoulders.

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Stiff Legged Dumbell Deadlifts

Equipment: Dumbbells or kettle-bells

How to: Hold a dumbbell in each hand or a kettle-bell. Keep your legs about shoulder width apart or a little narrower (do what feels best to you) with your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, lower slowly forward until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings, then go slowly back up, once again squeezing at the top.

How many? 4 sets of 12-15

#SpoonTip: Think of it kind of like a “bend and snap.” Make sure you don’t arch your back and try to keep it as straight as possible.

Glute Ham Raise

Equipment: Back extension machine and plate or weight (optional)

How to: On a back extension machine, slowly lower down, then slowly come up to where you are parallel with the bench. Don’t come up further or you will be working your lower back instead.

How many? 3-4 sets of 15-20

#SpoonTip: If using weight, hold the plate with your hands crossed like you’re hugging the plate.

Extra #SpoonTips…
Make sure to squeeze your butt throughout all these movements to really activate your glutes.
Focus on the muscle you are working. If you don’t feel it in the right place, stop and don’t perform the exercise.
Go heavy, but not TOO heavy. Make sure to choose a weight that will challenge you (your last five reps should be a struggle), but not too challenging to the point where you can’t maintain proper form.
Switch it up. Try out new movements to keep your body guessing what’s next.
Happy Leg Day, y’all.

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