Today I’m discussing how to build a better booty and sculpt your legs all from the comfort of your home.
I love a good leg day workout at the gym. However, since having a baby, I just can’t always get to the gym. I wanted to share my favorite at home leg day workout that I did on maternity leave and also when I can’t make it to the gym. Pre-pregnancy I was lifting pretty heavy in the gym and I’m slowly getting back to that. For this workout you can use dumbells, but you can do them without as well, especially if you are just starting out. Once you master the moves, you can add weight to progress the exercises. I like to use a weight that challenges me so that the last few repetitions are very difficult to perform. My leg workouts always focus on booty building because I was just not blessed with one naturally. Thanks mom! Also, the stronger your gluteal muscles are, the better off your back is! Building glute and core strength is a great way to help and prevent low back pain, which I had towards the end of my pregnancy. I did this workout before during and after my pregnancy but always discuss with your doctor first before you begin any exercise program!
I always begin my leg day workouts with some stretches, especially for the hip flexors ( the muscles in the front of your hip). If you have tight hip flexors, it is very difficult to properly activate your gluteal muscles because it will limit your range of motion.
- Hip flexor stretch: Start in a high lunge position making sure you have good alignment: your front knee should not extend over your big toe when your lunge and your back leg should be straight, back heel up. Engage your core by pulling your navel in towards your spine and raise your arms up overhead lowering further down into your lunge until a stretch is felt in the front of your hip and thigh of the back leg. Hold 30 seconds x3 each side
- Goblet squats: I love goblet squats because they work multiple muscle groups and when done correctly really target the booty! How to: Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes just slightly turned out. Hold your dumbbell or kettlebell ( in this case baby) vertically in front of you at chest height. Keeping your heels down, tighten your core muscles and squat down so that your hips drop below your knees (this targets your glute muscles more). Press up through your heels back to a standing position and squeeze your glutes at the top of the motion. Keep your chest up and your back nice and straight. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps
- Sumo squats. Sumo squats are another one of my favorite lower body exercises, especially for targeting the booty and inner thighs. Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart toes turned out. You can hold a dumbbell or kettlebell if available, in front of you vertically. Engage your core muscles and squat down so that your hips drop below your knees. Press up through your heels back to a starting position and squeeze your glutes at the top. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Single leg dead lift. This is a great exercise for toning your legs as well as strengthening your core and lower back. It’s really important to have good form with this exercise so you do not feel a strain in your lower back. To start, stand on one leg and hold your dumbbell or kettlebell in the same hand. Keeping a slight bend in your knee, hinge forward at your hips and lower your weight down until you are parallel to the floor, extending your opposite leg behind you. Make sure your core muscles are engaged and your back remains nice and straight. You should feel your hamstring and glute muscles engage ( in the back of your leg) as your return to start position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
- Lunges: I love to do alternating walking lunges if I’m at the gym, but I don’t always have the space to do these at home. If you’re limited in space, instead of walking lunges, you can do posterior stationary lunges. Holding a dumbbell in each hand ( or baby) and keeping your core engaged, take a big step backwards with one leg, enough so that when you lunge your front knee does not extend over your toes. Press up through your front heel on the way up to activate your glutes and return to start. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
- Curtsey lunges: Stand with your feet hip width apart, take a big step in back of you with one leg; bend your knees and lower your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Press through your front heel on the way up and return to starting position. Always keep your core engaged and your chest up throughout the entire movement.
- Bulgarian split squats: This is one of my favorites for toning my legs! Standing on one leg ( you can hold a dumbbell in each hand), place your back leg on a step stool, ottoman or couch so that you are focusing on your front leg. Make sure your front leg is far enough in front of you so that when you squat your knee is never extending over your toes ( this is bad for your knees). Engage your core and squat down, keeping your weight through your heel, focusing on engaging your glute muscles. Press up through your heel ( this helps to engage the glutes more) and return to starting positon. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
- Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core and lift your hips up off the table ( pressing through your heels) , keeping your back in a straight line and squeezing your glutes at the top of the motion. Slowly lower back down to start position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps. To make this exercise more challenging, you can perform a single leg bridge. Repeat the entire sequence as outlined above, keeping one leg straight up in the air so are forced to work the glutes and hamstrings of the leg that is on the ground.
- Donkey kicks: Begin on hands and knees. Keeping your knee bent, foot flexed and core tight, lift one leg straight up behind you until your thigh is parallel to the floor and focus on squeezing your butt. Bring leg back to start position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
- Hip abduction: Standing with your feet together, abs engaged lift one leg out to the side while keeping your back straight and hips facing forward. Repeat 3 sets of 15 on each side. I like to add a resistance band around my ankles to make this exercise more challenging.
These are my favorite exercises for toning my legs, especially my glutes! Over the years I have tried many different exercises and have found these to be the most effective for me, even during my pregnancy.
I hope you enjoy these exercises!
Happy booty building and leg sculpting!
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