Quick Fix for Butt, Hips & Thighs
The great thing about lower body exercises is that they almost always work more than one muscle group. For example:
- Squats - Target the quadriceps (front of leg) but also work the hamstrings, glutes and calves
- Lunges - Target both the hamstring/glute of the front leg and the quads/hip flexors of the back leg
- Deadlifts - Target the hamstrings, glutes and lower back
This makes working the lower body naturally efficient. But, if you're short on time, it may be difficult to fatigue those larger muscles with traditional training. For quick lower body results, try these ideas.
Work Opposing Muscle Groups
As in the Upper Body Workout, working opposing muscle groups cuts out the rest time between sets, so you get your workout done in less time. Pairing exercises (such as Squats/Deadlifts) will shorten your workouts since you won't have to rest in between sets.
Slow Things Down
One way to add intensity and cut workout time is by increasing the amount of time under tension. This means slowing down your reps so that you engage your muscles for a longer period of time, which means you'll do less repetitions. Below are some ways you can increase your time under tension:
- Make the eccentric motion (the lowering phase of the exercise) longer than the concentric (lifting portion) phase. Example: Lower into a squat in 4 counts, raise back up in 2 counts.
- Add pulses that fall somewhere within your full range of motion. Example, perform 12 squats. For the last 4 reps, lower into a squat and slowly pulse up and down a few inches 4 times before standing.
- Slow down. Slowing the movement down removes momentum and increases intensity. Example: During a lunge, lower 4 counts down and then 4 counts up.
Work One Leg at a Time
One of the best ways to target the butt, hips & thighs is to do traditional moves on one leg. You'll increase intensity when you put all the focus on one leg and, plus, you get to work on your balance at the same time. For ideas on unilateral moves, check out my Quick Fix Lower Body Workout.
However you decide to pump up your workouts, don't forget you should be working ALL your muscle groups to keep everything balanced. For more info on setting up a complete program, visit my Beginner's Corner.