There’s just something about lower-body day that feels so good. For me, it definitely has something to do with the fact that my lower body is much stronger than my upper—so I feel really powerful when I’m challenging those muscles. I can lift heavier weights when I’m doing squats and lunges that I can when I’m doing chest presses or biceps curls. Yes, showing all your muscle groups some love is important for having a balanced, healthy body and avoiding injury. But sometimes, you just want to do a workout that makes you feel strong.
This butt and thigh circuit workout will help you do just that. Even if leg day isn’t your favorite, strengthening your butt and legs will help you move more efficiently in other workouts (and life in general). “Strong legs and a strong butt are the foundation on which the rest of your day stands (literally!),” Melody Scharff, a NASM-certified personal trainer at the Fhitting Room in New York City, tells SELF.
“Training your glutes will support your hips and lower back, keeping everything aligned and pain free.” Simply put, when these big muscles are stronger, they can handle more force and take the pressure off weaker spots like your hips, back, and knees.
To help you work these important muscle groups, Scharff put together the below circuit workout, which includes both weighted and bodyweight moves. “Move slowly and with control through the weighted moves, and then explode with energy in the bodyweight and plyometric exercises,” she instructs.
The exercises she selected for the workout are also compound exercises. Working the lower body with compound exercises—moves that require multiple large muscle groups to engage—is a great way to maximize your workout time because you’re targeting more muscles in just a few moves. And the more muscles you have working at once, the more intense the exercise will feel, so your heart will get a nice challenge, too.
Here’s how to do the workout:
- Alternating Kneeling Lunges — 1 minute
- Reverse Lunge to Hop — 30 seconds each side (1 minute total)
- Dumbbell Lateral Lunge to Balance — 30 seconds each side (1 minute total)
- Dumbbell Weighted Hip Bridges — 1 minute
- Dumbbell Squat Thrusts — 1 minute
- Rest for about 20 seconds in between in each.
- Do this circuit five times.
If this is your main workout for the day, do five rounds. If you want to add this onto another workout, just do two or three rounds along with whatever else you’re doing, Scharff recommends.