New year, new you! Everybody’s over here talking about dieting and losing weight but how about we focus on building muscle and getting strong?!
I’m all about growing that booty and over the past eight months, I have worked really hard on my lower body to see changes. It takes a lot of work, I’m not gonna lie, and I had to completely switch up my workout routine.
Before I was doing no weight or very light weight with lots of reps and a lot of bar. Now don’t get me wrong, that toned me up and gave me some muscle definition, but I was looking to really grow my backside and quads as well.
The first thing that had to change what is the amount of reps. Instead of doing a lot of reps with light weight, I aim for 8 to 12 reps at a heavy weight. Depending on how much you really want to grow, go heavier and do 6 to 8. Because of my older back injuries. this was just a little bit too much for me, so I chose a moderately heavy weight and did usually around 10 reps.
Here are my favorite moves for really making your backside more rounded and lifted. (Oh, and that last rep, you’ll feel like you aren’t going to be able to do it! Trust me, you got this!)
One tip for straight leg deadlifts is to keep a slight bend in your knee and a flat back. Go down slow with control and pause for a second when you get the weight past your knees. As you come up, do it slowly and controlled. And make sure you squeeze that booty hard at the top.
WEIGHTED HIP THRUSTER
Weighted hip thrusters are a must if you want to see growth. It’s awesome to see how much you can do over the weeks. Even since taking these photos, I am up to 90 pounds. I’m not gonna lie, it makes me feel like a bad ass. A good tip here is to hold at the top for a count to really feel the burn.
A great way to challenge yourself with step ups instead of just doing more reps is to increase the weights or increase the height of the step. There’s also tons of variations that you can do. For example, you can do a step up with a knee drive or you can do a lateral step up.
Walking lunges are a move that is sure to leave your legs feeling like Jell-O every time. As you step, make sure you knee is not coming past your toe. Try to increase your weight over the weeks and keep a steady pace. I personally like to do one move, bring my feet together, and then step with the next leg. I feel like it gives me balance and control. Some people do it without the break in the middle – it’s all about form and what you can do. Don’t rush the move, good form is key.
SMITH MACHINE SQUAT OR GOBLET SQUAT
If you’re not at a gym and only have access to weights, the goblet squat is a great move. Choose a heavy weight, stand with your feet a little more than hip width apart and squat, getting lower than 90° if your knees are in good shape.
ELEVATED SPLIT SQUAT LUNGE
The elevated split squat lunge is brutal! Your legs will be on fire since you’re primarily targeting one at a time. Even though I’ve done these for so long, every morning I wake up after doing them hurts, which is a good thing! Make sure your back is in a comfortable position. Also, really be sure to be aware that the knee is not coming over the toe on the front foot. You will most likely need to go lower on these than you do with your reverse or walking lunges.
For a reverse lunge, same as all the other moves, the key tip is to always keep your core tight and do the moves with control. If you’re aiming for 10 reps but at 8 you start to lose form, stop there.
Finally, we have to work all angles of that booty, so don’t forget your side lunges. You can do them holding one weight down to the side or even a barbell on your back. You’ll want to add these in to really see definition from all angles.
BANDED SIDE SQUATS WITH WEIGHTS
I love adding a band to squats because the added tension gives you a better work out by forcing your legs to have to push outwards more, which really helps to target the abductors and glutes! When doing this exercise, be sure to always push your knees outward. If you’re a beginner, skip the weight. And if you’re advanced, go heavier. Make sure you’re getting down low and keeping your core engaged the whole time. Trust me, you’ll feel this one in the morning!
Continue to work hard and I promise you will start to see results!
For more of my tips on staying fit and eating healthy, scroll through my Fitness section here on the blog.
Let me know what other areas you’d like to help with!