After years of training, I’ve finally realized that working my legs is not the same as working my glutes. Think about it, when you do squats are you emphasizing your glutes and nothing else? Absolutely not. In fact, you’re probably working your quads more so than any other body part.
As you can see, most of your leg-day routine concentrates on your quads and your hamstrings. Now, I’m not saying that you aren’t working your glutes. What I am saying is that you’re not targeting them as much as you could.
Based on my own personal experience, I recommend that you do two ‘leg-days’ weekly – one that is heavy-weight quads and hammies and the other that is light-weight glutes and plyometrics. By doing two ‘leg-days’ instead of one, you’re able to focus on two muscles instead of an entire area. Also, you’ll find that you have more energy and time to spend on each exercise.
Why do you do plyometrics on leg-day?
Many of you are probably wondering why I’ve incorporated plyometrics into my routine. After all, isn’t plyometrics another way to say that we’re doing cardio? Actually, yes and no.
To clarify, whenever I reference ‘plyometrics’, I’m referring to movements like jump squats, scissors, banded lunges, box-jumps etc. As you can imagine, by doing these types of exercises you’ll be using your body weight to work your legs and increase your heart rate, which is why I incorporate them into my routine. Those exercises have helped to sculpt both my butt and my legs like no other. Most importantly, they’re a great way to get my cardio, as I would much rather do jump-squats than run for half a mile.
Light-weight glutes and plyometrics workout
If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you know that I love to do compound and super sets. That being said, I like to perform a traditional glute exercise followed by a plyometrics move. Why? Well, I simply feel that my body gets that extra burn that I wouldn’t get otherwise. Trust me, you’ll feel the same way once you’ve tried it.
Here is what you’ll need for this workout:
- Resistance bands (get the ones that are meant for your legs not the ones with handles on the sides)
- Enough space to move around
- Box (or anything else you can jump up and down on)
- Couple of dumbbells
Okay, do you have everything you need? If so, let’s begin.
1. Light-weight, barbell sumo deadlift + body-weight Bulgarian split squats (back-to-back) – 15 x 4
When doing the sumo deadlift …
What I mean by ‘light-weight’ is for you to use a weight that you can control. For some of you, that may be 10 lbs while for others that may be 60 lbs. To be clear, I don’t want you to try to max out or show off. Instead, I want you to be able to focus on the muscle and make sure that you’re pushing through your heel and your glutes. I’ve discovered that by doing them elevated on a smith machine, I’m able to control both my form and the movement much better.
P.S. I’ve discovered that by doing the sumo squats elevated on a smith machine, I’m able to control both my form and the movement much better.
Now, for the Bulgarian split squats…
Make sure your knee doesn’t go past your toes. You want to balance yourself on your front leg. I like to add a little hop/jump as I’m doing them (much like doing scissors).
2. Landmine squats + banded monster walks – 15 x 4
Once again, make sure the plate that you’re using for the landmine squat is light enough that you can control but heavy enough to add challenge to the exercise. As soon as you’ve loaded the landmine with the weight that you want to use, you’re going to pick up the bar with both hands, place it in front of you (maybe push it against your chest for balance) and squat. Remember to push through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top.
For the banded monster walks, place the band around your ankles. Personally, I like to use the one with 40 lbs resistance, but you can choose whichever you feel comfortable with. Once you’ve done that, you’ll do monster walks. It’s quite simple and super effective.
3. Courtesy lunges + box jumps – 20 x 4
For the courtesy lunges, I want you to be able to feel the burn. You should feel that the leg that’s in front of you is holding most of your weight.
*With the box jumps, be careful how you land!
4. Cable kickbacks + Scissors – 15 x 4
Okay, so this is a good one!
I always see girls trying to do cable kickbacks with 40 or 50 lbs. Even though that’s quite impressive, most of the time they’re not doing them right. In fact, they tend to feed off the momentum by swinging their leg around. What I recommend is for you to truly lower the weight so you can squeeze your glutes when you kick back and hold the position for a few seconds. Trust me, it will burn!
*Scissors = pretty self-explanatory
5. Kneeling Squats + Box Jumps + Banded squat jumps – 12 x 4
*Self-explanatory (leave me a comment if you want to know more!)
6. Cool-down = 15 min stairs!!!!
This is my own, self-made routine, so I can’t wait for you to try!