Your leg muscles are the largest groups of muscle fiber in your body. It’s important to train your thighs and booty often.
Exercising those muscle groups – quadricep, hamstring, the booty (gluteus maximus), inner thigh (adductor), outer thigh (abductor), and calf – are the most important part of your entire strength-training regimen.
The following workout uses dumbbells to firm and chisel your leg muscles – helping your thighs and booty to become stronger and healthier.
Refer to the video near the bottom of the article to see how each exercise appears in action. Photos and tips are also provided for each movement.
The workout can be modified to match each person’s unique level of fitness – all genders and ages can participate:
- To make the workout more challenging for your leg muscles, either use heavier dumbbells or do more repetitions of each exercise – or both.
- To make the workout easier on your thighs and booty, use lighter weights and do less reps.
- Another way to make the workout harder (or easier) is to take shorter (or longer) breaks between each exercise.
While exercising your leg muscles, avoid sharp pains – particularly in your knee joints and lower back. You can always modify an exercise to accommodate a previous injury, or simply skip an exercise altogether. Safety first.
There are certain primal, highly functional movements that stimulate a response throughout the entire body. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts target your leg muscles and yet all the muscles in your body can respond positively to these exercises.
Why Training Your Leg Muscles Creates Exponential Results Throughout Your Entire Body
The human body has evolved so that leg muscles are intended to be weight-bearing.
You can walk, run, jump, and balance all day on your legs – but you couldn’t do that on you arms.
Your booty and thighs have a higher number and density of muscle fibers than you torso, so training your leg muscles demands more effort and fuel.
Your body responds to intense thighs-and-booty training by stimulating its own endocrine system and raising its own metabolism to provide the required energy.
Squatting, lunging, and deadlifting end up building the chest and back as well as the leg muscles. They are compound movements. They use everything – including your core muscles (upper abdominals, lower abdominals, obliques, intercostals, serratus, erector spine and the lower back).
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The Thighs & Booty Workout!
This workout is actually a lot of fun – and it produces positive results in your physique.
Do each exercise 3 times:
- Beginners do 12 repetitions each set.
- Intermediates do 16 reps.
- Advanced-level athletes can do 20 reps.
Use your phone to time the rest periods between sets:
- Beginners take 1-minute rest between sets.
- Intermediates do 45 seconds rest.
- Advanced-level athletes take 30-second rest periods.
When you’ve completed three sets of a particular exercise, the rest period you take (before beginning an entirely new exercise) can be slightly longer: 2 minutes. You’ll need that extra time to catch your breath and prepare mentally for the next exercise. Form is important. Poor form produces injury, but excellent form ensures leg muscles are getting the most benefit from each movement.
To help prime your body for strenuous exercise, you might want to try this Foam Roller Routine first.
Squat with a Pulse Finish
Since this is the first exercise in the workout, it’s a good idea to warm-up gradually. Use light dumbbells, or even just keep your hands on your hips without any dumbbells at all. The idea is to gradually lubricate your knees and raise the temperature in your hips.
The genius of ending an exercise with a pulse finish (see video below), is that you create time-under-tension in the leg muscles. Your body interprets this as an indication that leg muscles must be made stronger to accommodate this new way of moving.
Jump Squat for Thighs
The higher you jump, the harder it is.
Imagine being light on your feet. It’s better for your feet and knees if you direct your energy upward toward the sky instead of dumping all of your bodyweight into your ankles as you land. You do this, in part, by pulling your navel in tightly and keeping your pelvis centered.
Sumo with Pulse Finish
A key point to doing the sumo exercise effectively is to turn your legs open from the hips (instead of just turning the feet out).
Torso alignment is important. Set your scapula (by brining your shoulder blades together a bit, and down) and create lots of space between the top of your shoulders and your ear lobes. Head up.
Alternating Plyometric Lunge for the Booty
Front Squat with Pulse Finish
Front squats are among the most beneficial exercises for your leg muscles. Make the most of this one.
The Good-Mornings Exercise
If you’re new to the good mornings exercise, use lighter dumbbells (or even, no dumbbells at all – simply place your hands behind your head).
Please remember – while doing good mornings – to keep your lower abdominal muscles and booty muscles activated throughout the entire exercise. Don’t relax your abs or glutes even for a second, because if you do, the lower vertebrae of your spine will have to absorb the weight your core muscles surrendered – and that can lead to injury.
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Reverse Lunges for the Booty
Reverse lunges are a fantastic exercise, in part because they keep bodyweight distributed toward the back – away from your front knee cap. This means you can really hit the booty and thighs without compromising your knee joint.
Deadlift with Dumbbells
With deadlifts, you want your weight to move back so that your knees are directly over your toes. (Unlike with squats, in which your knees can move in front of your toes a bit.)
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• strategic nutrition and exercise plan
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• for all levels and body types
• provides sequenced action steps
• includes specific lifestyle protocols
• get sculpted muscle
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• increase stamina
The foundation of the coursebook is taking action steps toward adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, particularly in regards to diet. (It’s not just about fitness.) Basically, it involve tracking calories, macros, and inflammation (in a strategic sequence) as well as removing particular anti-inflammatory foods (again, in a specific sequence). Once you achieve your target weight, you can experiment with implementing a once-a-week Cheat Day, during which you can have your favorite “offending” foods.
In “Silver and Strong: Getting Fit After Age 50,” I explain exactly how to craft a Fitness Comeback Plan that specifically meets the needs of your unique body and lifestyle.
It’s important how you position your feet during a deadlift. If you roll too much of your bodyweight along one side of the foot or the other, you are no longer grounded and so your lower back has to try to pick up the slack and stabilize you. Instead, try to feel the entire sole of your foot making contact with the ground. This is your base of support.
Back Squat for Thighs
It’s helpful to keep your top rib compressed while back squatting. This prevents an over-arch in the lower back.
Alternating Heel Raise and Toe Raise with Dumbbells
This calf exercise looks easy in the video, but you’ll feel it – especially if you concentrate on exaggerating the range of motion.
This particular leg-muscles workout is a companion to the dumbbell torso workout, which you might like to try later this week to round-out your muscle groups.
For Exponential Results, Combine This Thighs and Booty Workout with an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
In my coursebook, I guide you through this diet in a series of sequenced action steps.
You’re not trying to go full-on keto (which would be 25 grams of carbs a day, which is intensely low), but you are trying to dance on the edge of keto (at approximately 100 grams of carbs a day, mostly from vegetables).
The idea is to see if this reduces inflammation (it probably will).
Once you reach your target weight, you can always add back in a once-a-week cheat day when you enjoy your favorite grains and foods (in moderation) to see how that makes your body feel.
I encourage you to do the action steps in the exact sequence they are prescribed in the coursebook. You’ll have the best chance of success that way.
Remember, you might drop a lot of water weight in the beginning, so stay hydrated with electrolytes (so you don’t get “keto flu” symptoms).
When, one day, you begin to experiment with grains again, you might consider using an InstantPot to make them, as pressure-cooking is effective at removing some of the lectins (irritants) from grains.
By eating this way, you will improve muscle tone, get lean strength, a tight waistline and your joints will feel better – even brain fog dissipates.
I encourage you to let me know how this workout felt on your leg muscles (the best way to reach me is simply to reply to my weekly email update).