Lee Walker Personal Training
Lee Walker Personal Training

Legs and Glutes

From compound exercises such as Squats to isolation of the Quads and Hamstrings, whatever your goals these leg exercises will tone, build and sculpt your legs and bottom. All exercises are designed for all ability levels and can be further adapted to negate poor ranges of movement and historic injuries.

The base and foundation. It all starts from the ground up!

 

 

Abductor Machine

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedAbductors

Other MusclesGlutes

Equipment: Machine

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

ForcePush

 

  1. To begin, sit down on the abductor machine and select a weight you are comfortable with. When your legs are positioned properly, grip the handles on each side. Your entire upper body (from the waist up) should be stationary. This is the starting position.
  2. Slowly press against the machine with your legs to move them away from each other while exhaling.
  3. Feel the contraction for a second and begin to move your legs back to the starting position while breathing in. Note: Remember to keep your upper body stationary to prevent any injuries from occurring.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

Fire Hydrant

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle Worked: Abductors

Other MusclesGlutes

Equipment: Body Only

Mechanics TypeIsolation

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

Force: Push

 

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping the knee in a bent position, abduct the femur, moving your knee away from the midline of the body.
  3. Pause at the top of the motion, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

 

Lateral Band Walk

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle Worked: Abductors

Other Muscles: GlutesQuadriceps

Equipment: Bands

Mechanics TypeCompound

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

ForcePush

 

  1. Position a band around your lower legs. The resistance can be applied closer to the knees for an easier movement or around the ankles or feet for a more advanced movement.
  2. With the band in place, assume an athletic standing position, with the knees and hips slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and the head and chest up. This will be your starting position.
  3. Staying low, take a slow, lateral step. Keep your toes pointed forward and stay low. After completing the step, follow with the opposite leg. Step slowly, resisting the band. Keep the feet at least shoulder width apart to maintain band tension.
  4. Continue to laterally step in this manner to complete the set for the desired number of repetitions before switching to walk in the opposite direction.

Band Hip Adduction

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle Worked: Adductors

EquipmentBands

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

ForcePull

 

  1. Anchor a band around a solid post or other object.
  2. Stand with your left side to the post, and put your right foot through the band, getting it around the ankle.
  3. Stand up straight and hold onto the post if needed. This will be your starting position.
  4. Keeping the knee straight, raise your right legs out to the side as far as you can.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired rep count.
  6. Switch sides.

 

Adductor

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStretching

Main Muscle WorkedAdductors

EquipmentFoam Roll

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelIntermediate

Sport: No

Force: Static

 

  1. Lie face down with one leg on a foam roll.
  2. Rotate the leg so that the foam roll contacts against your inner thigh. Shift as much weight onto the foam roll as can be tolerated.
  3. While trying to relax the muscles if the inner thigh, roll over the foam between your hip and knee, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

 

Groiners

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Stretching

Main Muscle WorkedAdductors

Equipment: Body Only

Mechanics Type: Compound

Level: Intermediate

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. Begin in a pushup position on the floor. This will be your starting position.
  2. Using both legs, jump forward landing with your feet next to your hands. Keep your head up as you do so.
  3. Return to the starting position and immediately repeat the movement, continuing for 10-20 repetitions.

 

Thigh Adductor

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Adductors
Other Muscles: Glutes, Hamstrings
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Isolation
Level: Beginner
Sport: No
Force: Pull

 

  1. To begin, sit down on the adductor machine and select a weight you are comfortable with. When your legs are positioned properly on the leg pads of the machine, grip the handles on each side. Your entire upper body (from the waist up) should be stationary. This is the starting position.
  2. Slowly press against the machine with your legs to move them towards each other while exhaling.
  3. Feel the contraction for a second and begin to move your legs back to the starting position while breathing in. Note: Remember to keep your upper body stationary and avoid fast jerking motions in order to prevent any injuries from occurring.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

Barbell Glute Bridge

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypePowerlifting

Main Muscle WorkedGlutes

Other MusclesCalvesHamstrings

EquipmentBarbell

Mechanics TypeCompound

LevelIntermediate

SportNo

ForcePush

 

  1. Begin seated on the ground with a loaded barbell over your legs. Using a fat bar or having a pad on the bar can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise. Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lay down flat on the floor.
  2. Begin the movement by driving through with your heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet.
  3. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

 

Butt Lift Bridge

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedGlutes

Other MusclesHamstrings

EquipmentBody Only

Mechanics Type: Isolation

Level: Beginner

SportNo

Force: Push

 

  1. Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  2. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
  3. Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.

Variations: You can perform this exercise one leg at a time.

 

Flutter Kicks

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Glutes

Other MusclesHamstrings

EquipmentBody Only

Mechanics Type: Compound

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

Force: Pull

 

  1. On a flat bench lie facedown with the hips on the edge of the bench, the legs straight with toes high off the floor and with the arms on top of the bench holding on to the front edge.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and straighten the legs until they are level with the hips. This will be your starting position.
  3. Start the movement by lifting the left leg higher than the right leg.
  4. Then lower the left leg as you lift the right leg.
  5. Continue alternating in this manner (as though you are doing a flutter kick in water) until you have done the recommended amount of repetitions for each leg. Make sure that you keep a controlled movement at all times. Tip: You will breathe normally as you perform this movement.

Variations: As you get more advanced you can use ankle weights.

 

Glute Kickback

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Glutes

Other MusclesHamstrings

EquipmentBody Only

Mechanics TypeCompound

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Push

  1. Kneel on the floor or an exercise mat and bend at the waist with your arms extended in front of you (perpendicular to the torso) in order to get into a kneeling push-up position but with the arms spaced at shoulder width. Your head should be looking forward and the bend of the knees should create a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves. This will be your starting position.
  2. As you exhale, lift up your right leg until the hamstrings are in line with the back while maintaining the 90-degree angle bend. Contract the glutes throughout this movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: At the end of the movement the upper leg should be parallel to the floor while the calf should be perpendicular to it.
  3. Go back to the initial position as you inhale and now repeat with the left leg.
  4. Continue to alternate legs until all of the recommended repetitions have been performed.

Variations: For this exercise you can also perform all of the repetitions with one leg first and then the other one. Additionally, you can also add ankle weights.

 

Barbell Squat

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedQuadriceps

Other Muscles: CalvesGlutes,HamstringsLower Back

EquipmentBarbell

Mechanics TypeCompound

LevelIntermediate

Sport: Yes

Force: Push

 

  1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack just above shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  2. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder-width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position.
  4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and sitting back with your hips as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your hamstrings are on your calves. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel or middle of your foot as you straighten the legs and extend the hips to go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

This type of squat allows a greater range of motion, and allows the trunk to maintain a more vertical position than other types of squats, due to foot position and the higher bar position.

 

Seated Leg Press

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedQuadriceps

Other MusclesCalvesGlutes,Hamstrings

EquipmentMachine

Mechanics TypeCompound

Level: Beginner

SportNo

Force: Push

 

  1. Adjust the bottom position of the machine and seat yourself.
  2. Select an appropriate load for your training, and then plant your feet a little wider than shoulder width on the platform. Grasp the handles, maintaining good spinal position with your chest up and your head looking forward. This will be your starting position.
  3. Driving through the heels of your feet, extend through the hips and knees to push the sled upward. Do not lock out your knees.
  4. After holding the top position for a movement, return to the starting position without fully returning the weight to the stack.

 

Dumbell Walking Lunge

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedQuadriceps

Other Muscles: CalvesGlutes,Hamstrings

EquipmentDumbbell

Mechanics TypeCompound

Level: Beginner

SportNo

ForcePush

 

  1. Begin standing with your feet about hip-width apart and holding dumbbells in your hands down by your side. This will be your starting position.
  2. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should be in line with your front foot. Do not allow your front knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint.
  3. Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
  4. Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.

 

Barbell Deadlift

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedHamstrings

Other Muscles: CalvesGlutesLower Back

EquipmentBarbell

Mechanics Type: Compound

LevelIntermediate

SportNo

ForcePull

 

  1. Approach the bar so that it is centred over your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder-width allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an alternating grip.
  2. With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head. Keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  3. After the bar passes the knees aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  4. Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.

 

Stiff Legged Dumbell Deadlift

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Other Muscles: GlutesLower Back

Equipment: Barbell

Mechanics TypeCompound

Level: Intermediate

Sport: No

ForcePull

 

  1. Grasp a couple of dumbbells holding them by your side at arm's length.
  2. Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  3. Keeping the knees stationary, lower the dumbbells to over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Exhale as you perform this movement
  4. Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips and waist until you are back at the starting position. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems. Also, it needs to be treated with the utmost respect paying special attention not to round the back forward as you move the torso down; the back should always be straight. Finally, jerking motions or doing too much weight can injure your back.

Variations: The exercise can also be performed with a barbell also.

 

Seated Leg Curl

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedHamstrings

Equipment: Machine

Mechanics Type: Isolation

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

ForcePull

 

  1. Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and sit on the machine with your back against the back support pad.
  2. Place the back of lower leg on top of padded lever (just a few inches under the calves) and secure the lap pad against your thighs, just above the knees. Then grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances) and ensure that the legs are fully straight right in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you exhale, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs by flexing at the knees. Keep your torso stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Do not ever use so much weight on the exercise that you start using swinging and jerking as you can risk both lower back injury and also a hamstring tear.

Variations: Since you have three foot positions you have in reality three exercises.

 

Calf Press Using Leg Press Machine

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Calves

Equipment: Machine

Mechanics Type: Isolation

LevelBeginner

SportNo

ForcePush

 

  1. Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
  2. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you without locking your knees. (Note: In some leg press units you can leave the safety bars on for increased safety. If your leg press unit allows for this, then this is the preferred method of performing the exercise.) Your torso and the legs should make perfect 90-degree angle. Now carefully place your toes and balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform with the heels extending off. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
  3. Press on the platform by raising your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  4. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Be very cautious as you place the feet in the bottom part of the platform as if you slip and the safety bars are not locked then you could suffer a serious accident.

Variations: You can perform this exercise one leg at a time.

 

Smith Machine Calf Raise

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedCalves

Equipment: Machine

Mechanics TypeIsolation

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Push

 

  1. Place a block or weight plate below the bar on the Smith machine. Set the bar to a position that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step onto the plates with the balls of your feet and place the bar on the back of your shoulders.
  2. Take the bar with both hands facing forward. Rotate the bar to unrack it. This will be your starting position.
  3. Raise your heels as high as possible by pushing off of the balls of your feet, flexing your calf at the top of the contraction. Your knees should remain extended. Hold the contracted position for a second before you start to go back down.
  4. Return slowly to the starting position as you breathe in while lowering your heels.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

Standing Dumbell Calf Raise

 

Start Position

Finish Position

  1. Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Place the ball of the foot on a sturdy and stable wooden board (that is around 2-3 inches tall) while your heels extend off and touch the floor. This will be your starting position.
  2. With the toes pointing either straight (to hit all parts equally), inwards (for emphasis on the outer head) or outwards (for emphasis on the inner head), raise the heels off the floor as you exhale by contracting the calves. Hold the top contraction for a second.
  3. As you inhale, go back to the starting position by slowly lowering the heels.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Note: As you become stronger you may need to use wrist wraps to avoid having the dumbbells slip out of your hands.

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedCalves

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics Type: Isolation

Level: Intermediate

SportNo

Force: Push

 

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