Great Glutes and Legs Workout - Oxygen Magazine

Great Glutes and Legs Workout

Including one of these simple moves in your lower-body workout just may be the key to getting the hips and thighs you've always wanted.
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 Body-Bar Adductor Lift

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Set Up: Lie on your side: With right hip against the floor, support your torso with your right arm and extend your right leg, while bending your left leg behind it, placing your left foot firmly on the floor behind your right knee for balance. Position a Body Bar along the length of your extended leg, putting one end across your foot while grasping the other end with your free hand for stability.

Action: Flex your toes toward you shin, and slowly lift your right leg toward the ceiling, feeling the tension in your adductors, the inner thigh muscles. For maximum benefit, your leg should cross the midline of the body. Hold briefly, and then slowly lower the leg back to the floor, controlling the weight on your return to the start position. Repeat. After completing the required number of reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.

Tip: Do not jerk the bar upward as you begin to fatigue. Also, keep your toes pointing toward your shin and your ankle locked in position throughout each rep.

Option: If you don't have a Body Bar, you can try using an unloaded barbell. Avoid using the large Olympic-sized barbell, since it may be much too heavy. Instead, use the lightest one you can find.

Doorway Resistance-Band Adductor Pull

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Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely between a door and the doorjamb. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot closest to the door, and then step away from the door enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance a bit.

Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot across the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your inner thigh, then slowly return to the start position. Repeat. After completing the required number of reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.

Tip: To protect your lumbar spine, maintain a vertical posture throughout the range of exercise. Do not rotate your torso when you begin to fatigue. When you can no longer use proper form, stop the set.

Tip: Stabilize yourself by holding on to the doorknob, and keep your body vertical throughout each set. Also, flex your toes toward your shin.

Option: You can also do this move in the gym using the low-pulley cable apparatus (of a crossover machine, for instance) attached to an ankle cuff.

Plie Squat, option 1

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Set Up: With feet spread wide and toes angled slightly outward, stand erect and hold a single dumbbell (in vertical position) with both hands at arm's length.

Action: Keeping your torso erect, squat downward, allowing your knees to travel toward your feet. As you squat, keep your arms extended, allowing the dumbbell to move between your thighs toward the floor. Stop when your hamstrings are parallel to the floor, pause briefly at the bottom and then drive upward (through your heels) until you are erect again.

Note: This type of squat and its assorted options targets primarily the quadriceps, but because your stance is wide, it also enlists the adductor muscle group. When you use this exercise as part of your routine, do only two additional sets of another adductor exercise (for 10 reps per set per leg) at the end of your lower-body workout.

Plie Squat, option 1 and 2

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Two-Dumbbell Plie Squat (variation one): In order to alter your balance and increase the intensity, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Your arms should be extended and the dumbbells should rest against the base of the pelvic girdle. As you squat, allow the dumbbells to travel between your inner thighs, close to the body. Make sure to keep your torso as upright as possible throughout the range of motion. Return to the start position.

Two-Dumbbell Plie Squat (variation two): By moving the weight (the dumbbells) into a higher plane, you can effectively reduce the stress on your lumbar spine, work your abs and core more intensely and involve more quadriceps than glutes muscles. In the start position hold the dumbbells palms facing each other, at shoulder height. Your elbows should be forward, slightly away from the torso to allow for greater exercise stability and control of the weights as you descend. Your feet should be set wide, toes pointing outward, in the plie position. Then squat as if you were doing a standard plie.

Plie Squat, option 3

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Body Bar (or barbell) plie squat (variation 3): With feet in the plie position, hold a bar across your traps and shoulders, and position your elbows directly beneath the bar, keeping them below it throughout the squat. Maintaining a natural arch in your lower back and keeping your shoulders back to aid your form, squat until the hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Pause, drive back up to the erect position, and repeat. Avoid leaning forward as much as possible throughout the range of motion.

Add any of the following at the end of your lower-body workout, either before or after you've done your adductor move, going for three to four sets of 10 reps per leg per set.

Supine Resistance-Band Abductor Pull

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Set Up: Lying on an exercise mat, bend your left knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Extend your right leg directly over your hip girdle, and, while holding one end of the exercise band with your left hand (positioned at your abdominal area), loop the band around your foot (as shown), grasping the other end of the band with your right hand, which is then extended out to the side of the body. Adjust the tension in the band by looping it as necessary around your hands.

Action: Slowly move your leg out to the side perpendicular to the body as far as possible. Pause briefly, and then return to the start position. After completing 10 reps, switch legs.

Note: Your supporting leg may drift outward a bit to allow for greater stability and balance.

Doorway Resistance-Band Abductor Pull

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Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely between a door and the doorjamb. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot furthest away from the door, and then step away from the door enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance a bit.

Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot away from the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your outer thigh, then slowly return to the start position. Repeat. After completing the required number of reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.

Tip: You can also do this at a low-pulley cable station using an ankle strap

Body-Bar (or barbell) Abductor Lift


Set Up: Lie on your side: With right hip against the floor, support your torso with your right arm and extend your right leg, while bending your left leg underneath. Position a Body Bar along the length of your extended leg, putting one end across your foot while grasping the other end with your free hand for stability.

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Action: Flex your toes toward you shin, and slowly lift your right leg toward the ceiling, feeling the tension in your abductors, the outer thigh muscles. Hold briefly, and then slowly lower the leg back to the floor, controlling the weight on your return to the start position. Repeat. After completing the required number of reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.

Resistance-Band Abductor Lift


Set Up: Lie on your right side, perched on your right arm with a resistance band looped around both your ankles, feet stacked one on top of the other.

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Action: Raise your right leg toward the ceiling, feeling the resistance in the outer thigh. Hold briefly, and return to the start position under control.

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