12 Best Legs and Glutes Workouts For Building Muscle and Strength

12. THIGHS: Squat

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Starting Position:

Hold a weight in each hand and stand with your back straight, head in line with your spine, and feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor.

The Exercise:

Inhale, and take two counts to bend your legs, squatting low. Exhale, and take two seconds to straighten out of the squat. Make sure when you squat that your knees do not go over your toes. Focus on placing your weight over your heels and on really sitting back (like you are about to sit in a chair) to get the form right! Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

11. THIGHS: Leg Press

Starting Position:

Sit on a leg press machine with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to extend your legs. Inhale, and take two counts to bend them back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

Keep your back straight and up against the seat pad. Only your legs should move in this exercise.

10. THIGHS: Lunge

Starting Position:

Stand with your back straight, feet together, and head in line with your spine. Hold a weight in each hand.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to step forward with one leg, bending both knees at the same time so that each leg makes a 90-degree angle. Inhale, and take two counts to rise up from the lunge, bringing the front leg back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

Form is tricky here, as you are working some balance with the lunge. Make sure you keep you back straight and front foot flat on the floor when you lunge. Avoid lunging so far that your knees go over your toes.

9. HAMSTRINGS / GLUTES: Deadlift

Starting Position:

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, holding a bar or two weights. Keep your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Bend over from the waist so that the bar or weights are lower than your knees.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to lift the bar or weights up to your waist as you straighten your body. Inhale, and take two counts to bend back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

Make sure you keep your neck straight at all times and concentrate on pulling your stomach muscles in to protect your lower back. Never around the back.

8. HAMSTRINGS / GLUTES: Close Leg Elevated Squat

Starting Position:

Keep your knees, legs, and toes together and your heels elevated, either on a round weight or a low platform. Your back should be straight, your head in line with your spine. Holding a weight in each hand, sit into a squat position.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to lift out of the squat position. Inhale, and take two counts to bend back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

This is a great focused exercise that really gets the muscles in your butt and hamstrings working. Focus on keeping your knees, toes, and thighs touching.

7. HAMSTRINGS / GLUTES: Butt Blaster

Starting Position:

Get on your forearms and knees, with an ankle weight on your working leg (the working leg should be bent). Look down and keep your back straight with your abs pulled in tight.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to push your heel up to the ceiling as you squeeze your butt. Inhale, and take two counts to lower back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

Make sure your body is balanced during this exercise. If you feel you are leaning over to one side, adjust your form.

6. HAMSTRINGS / GLUTES: Standing Hamstring Curl

Starting Position:

Stand at a cable machine with a cable pad above the ankle of one leg. Hold onto the machine for support.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to extend your leg out behind you, making sure you push straight back. Inhale, and take two counts to return the leg to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program. Switch legs.

5. OUTER THIGH: Abductor Machine

Starting Position:

Stand at an abductor machine, facing the side, with the pad positioned against the outside of your working leg.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to raise your leg, extending it out to the side. Inhale, and take two counts to return the leg to starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program. Switch legs.

4. INNER THIGH: Abductor Machine

Starting Position:

Stand at an abductor machine, facing the side, with the inside of your working leg – your inner thigh – against the pad. Hold onto the machine for support.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to press the pad toward the  midline of your body (so that it crosses your waist). Inhale, and take two counts to return the leg to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

3. QUAD: Seated Leg Extension

Starting Position:

Sit on a leg extension machine with your legs bent under the knee pad, positioning the pad so that it rests on the front of your thighs.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take counts to straighten your legs. Inhale, and take two counts to bend back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

2. QUAD: Lying Leg Extension

Starting Position:

Lie on a mat, with an ankle weight on each leg and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold your thighs with your hands for support / balance.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and take two counts to extend your legs. Inhale, and take two counts to bend back to the starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

1. QUAD: Step Ups

Starting Position:

Stand with your back straight, your head in line with your spine, and your right foot and a step or bench, holding a weight in each hand.

The Exercise:

Exhale, and lift your left leg up over the bench. Inhale and return to starting position. Repeat for the number of repetitions / sets indicated in your strength-training workout program.

Make sure when you step up that both of your heels come up onto the bench. No hanging heels.