Butt Workout( Beginners/Advanced)
Out of countless articles of butt workouts you are wondering why listen to me? Well, I have had close to 11 years of experience in working out intensively from track workouts, football workouts, coaching, personal training and weight lifting . What does this mean? That I have gathered knowledge on the subject of matter and would like to teach others and answer questions. So lets get started on my top exercises for those glutes.This is a guide to give you pointers on each exercise and will not be going into detail unless you want me to. I feel that visual content plus pointers gives a reader a better understanding. All I did was get the pictures from bodybuilding.com since it has a variety of workout pictures that I find beneficial, but had my own detail instructions because some other sites leave out small details that people learn later on the hard way.
My top leg workouts
Overall Leg Workouts( Hamstring and Quadriceps)
- Squats (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Leg Press
- Lunges (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Hack Squat
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Hamstring Curls (Seated/Laying Down/Standing)
- Floor Glute Hamstring raise
- Front Squat (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Leg Extension
- Step Ups ( Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Seated Calf raises
- Standing Smith Machine Calf Raises
- Standing Body weight Calf Raises (Inner, Middle,Outer)
Sets/Reps and resting periods
What is your goal? To Tone up? Build Muscle mass or just Strength? Your body works in mysterious ways and through a process of trial and error, there are certain reps you could do and amount of sets that lead to your desired goal. Generally this is the amount of reps you need for specific results and below is a table to show how many reps and sets you need to achieve them.
Percent- Take your one rep max (How much you can do fro one time) and do the amount specified.
Reps Per set- Every set ( # of times you do a cycle of an exercise ) consist of reps (# of repetitions or times you do each cycle).
Optimal # Of Reps- The average amount of reps that are done . For example in bodybuilding you will have 4x10 workout. Or 4 sets by 10 repetitions making the standard 40 repetitions.
Total Range Of Reps- The range is the amount of repetitions you will hit to achieve the wanted goal.
Total Resting Period- Amount of time you will rest in between sets, NOT reps.
Reps per Set
Optimal # Of Reps
Total Range Of Reps
Total Resting Period
Strength- 80-90 %
THE most beneficial workout for leg day will be squats. No, they do not make your knees weak and works on your overall legs which includes the hamstring and your quadriceps. Now, just like any other exercise, if you're a egoistic character; stop it now! Do not hurt yourself doing something that you simply can't do and start off with a warm up! Please!!! So here are my top pointers and you can view the pictures below to help you understand what to do:
- Before getting under the bar, position your hands even across the bar to have equal positioning and ensuring proper balance. Most bars have rings across to determine the distance you like.
- Next, get under the bar and be in the middle as good as possible and begin to step back or front of the squat rack (Unless its under a smith machine).
- Your feet should be shoulder with apart with toes slightly pointing outward to ensure knees don't bend in as you squat down.
- As you squat down, there are several things you have to make sure you achieve like: Keeping your head up, chest up, tighten body , and feet flat on the ground. All these steps are very important to ensure proper technique and to keep your back from doing all the work and letting your legs drive up.
- Finally, make sure you go low to the point of achieving a 90 degree and with your knees if not lower and explode back up to starting position.*NOTE* hold your breath as you go down and exhale as you push up.
Another overall leg workout that lets you perform the same function, but in a different angle. Once again, before going into detail, I can't stress enough the idea of going at your own pace whether it is for strength, bodybuilding or toning. The proper tips and steps to take are as follows:
- First position you chair to the desired leg distance and incline.
- Then get off and load on the amount of weight you desire to do
- Get back on and position your feet shoulder with apart with toes pointing slightly out just like squats and begin going down or pushing outward ( depending on machine set up). The distance down/out should be pushing out until your legs almost lock out completely but do not lockout completely so it wont put too much strain on your knees.
- In a leg press machine that required you to lay down, it is bet for your knees to go about 90 degrees as well and push righ back. *NOTE* hold your breath as you go down and exhale as you push up.
As I mentioned on the exercise list above , some exercises can be done with a barbell, body weight or dumbbell equipment. Lunges are very frowned upon as leg day is, but nobody wants chicken legs and you should never skip leg day ... NEVER! So lunges is the last exercise that is recommended for overall leg work and work wonders when it comes to balance, strength and stretching. My top pointers for this are:
- Pick up dumbbells or load up the bar with the proper amount of weight that you can handle, remember that this exercise is for balance and gather up strength so focus more on the balance part.
- Feet should be shoulder with apart just like many other exercises and should keep chest up high,head up and back stabilized as you step with one foot forward.
- In the picture you can see that the foot is flat on the ground and has a 90 degree angle .
- Push back up with the front foot and resume back to the original position. Alternate feet and repeat as many repetitions as you are aiming towards.
*NOTE* If you are doing walking lunges, once you take your first step, you proceed to alternate right away into the second foot as if you were walking . Some beginners might want to take a step, then resume to original position follow up by another step.
Now we have the hack squat that requires your whole lower body and most hack squats help you out with stability since it provides a much simpler way to stabilize your body due to the padding in the machine and the handles most hack squat machines have. The picture below provides one type of hack squat machine that is slightly on an incline and could vary depending on your gym, but most follow the same concept, if not all. These are my top tips:
- Just like my previous squatting exercises, the hack squat requires the same logic; which is to choose weight, keep feet shoulder with apart with toes pointing slightly out and chest high up with head slightly tilting up and begin squatting.
- Squat down until you hit parallel or 90 degrees or lower. Remember that the lower you go, the more you activate your hamstrings and overall leg muscles and more activation=more growth.
- Hold breath as you squat down and explode up while breathing out to complete a rep. Also it is important to focus on your breathing as you do your exercises as it is quite beneficial for your body to tighten up as you do a rep and explode while exhaling.
*Note* DO NOT lock your legs on every rep. As I mentioned before, you do not want to place too much strain on your joints and keeping your legs at a point right before locking out ensures a good proper form.
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Now we move on to the hamstrings. This exercise really helps the separation in your hamstrings and is basically a great toning exercise that doesn't really require you to go heavy and does require a focused mindset to hit the hamstrings properly. These are my tips:
- Begin with your desired dumbbell weight or barbell weight.
- You will begin with the weight in front of you as if you were picking up something from the ground. Remember to keep chest up and head up with back low as you pick up as if you were squatting.
- This exercise does require to keep the feed a little more closer than shoulder with as you want to focus the tension on the hamstrings and lower back. Even though you are bending forward with the weight, you still have to keep that chest up, back slightly arched to be stabled .
- The picture below gives you a visual image and a very important note is to not lock your legs back as you bend down with the weight . Its called stiff leg deadlift for a reason, so please focus on this part to slightly ...very slightly bend your knees and begin going down with the weight as the weight stays close to your body.
- Lift up with the weight close to your body back to position and repeat.
Hamstring curl machines have different ways to be set up, some are standing up and others require to be laying down but they all should be done equally the same. These are my tips :
- Adjust seat according to comfort, this is mostly subjective but if you need help most have a small picture as to how you want to set up your machine. Load up the weight.
- For optimum results, curl the weight and contract the muscle for a split second at the most the machine or your legs could bend. Do not just keep bouncing the weight around as you loose the main purpose of contracting and stretching . Just basically keep in mind that you have to extend as much as possible without relaxing the weight and contract your hamstring .
Glute Ham Raise
Many gyms do not really have this machine and if you do, you're in luck. It can be done with a partner and I recommend doing some research on it but in my opinion, this is a great exercise. My tips are:
- Set up machine to preference, proceed to get on and keep your body on the floor or on your knees depending if you're using the machine or partner.
- For the machine, you need to extend downward as your hamstring pulls forward and roll back to position. It is quite painful but that stretch is incredible.
- While using a partner, you simply lay down as if you were doing a push up; have someone hold your feet from the back ; lastly, lift up as if you were rising from the dead and repeat the motion.
Next, we head over to the quadriceps and focus more on them individually. The front squat is an amazing start to the quads. Since the weight is basically on the front part of your body, it all gets transferred to your quads and forces you to work on pushing off with the quads. My tips are:
- You guessed it. Get under the bar and let it be centered to the front of your clavicle and properly adjust it where you can lift it up without it hurting your shoulders .
- Then here is the two options you can choose from. Either (1) you cross your arms and stay tight while keeping the elbows up as it is done in the picture or (2) Do an Olympic lift where you have an underhand placement on the bar as you lift up.
- Make sure as you lift up the bar, you keep in mind to keep those elbows up, head up, back stabled and stay shoulder with apart with toes slightly pointing out.
- As you go down, make sure your knees hit a 90 degree angle and proceed to push up with your quads as your feet stay flat on the ground and force those elbows to stay up.
- Go back to regular position and repeat. Remember to focus on your breathing.
Just like the leg curls, this exercise is required to hit that one body part and isolate it; in this case, your quads. My tips are similar to the leg curl machines and exercises:
- Begin with adjusting your seat at your comfort, following up with the amount of weight you can handle.
- Get on it and make sure you look at the pictures if you need help on adjustment.
- Get on and begin extending your leg as far as possible and before letting the weight rest, extend right back up. Remember that just like any other exercise, you want that contraction and extending point. Repeat.
One of the most simple workouts you can do that are very simple and effective to my knowledge. Great for balance and really works the quads as the majority of the work is transferred to the area (like walking up the stairs). These are my tips:
- Grab dumbbells, a bar or even your body weight and basically step up into a height where it requires you to do work but not enough to struggle on the second step.
- Chest up and really focus on being even as this really helps out with balance.
- Step up with one foot and follow up with the other, step down with the same foot and then switch it up by doing the same with the other.
Seated/Standing/Body Calf Raises
This is the thing that most people want/need. Calf muscles; a muscle that is hard for most people to add muscle mass and see results . What do you do? Treat it like any other muscle and do reps, power reps and many different exercises to hit different angles. There aren't many tips to add, but they all meet the same criteria. Such as:
Seated Calf Raises:
- Load up the weight and sit down while placing your feet in an outer, inner, or middle position.
- Make sure your feet hang off a little off the machine ( do not use your whole foot or feet to push up ). Using the middle of your feet places more weight on the calf.
- Raise up and squeeze then down and repeat the motion.
Standing (weightless or weighted)
- Get under the bar as if you were getting into a squat position (see above position from the squat exercise). Or just lean up on a wall if you're doing body calf raises.
- Adjust feet with inner, outer or middle position.
- Raise up and squeeze then down and repeat the motion.
*Note* Placing a step over under the smith machine for leverage allows for a better expansion on your calf.