IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT 3 VARIATIONS OF SQUATS WILL GIVE YOU THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK, THEN YOU WANT TO READ THIS ARTICLE.
There’s a good chance if you’re reading this, you’re in the market to tone your “trouble areas” … aka that upper portion of your thighs that seems to hold onto every calorie you consume.
Trust me, if there was actually a quick-fix, we would have found it ages ago.
Regardless of your body fat, if you’re like most women, this is an area that can make you avoid dressing rooms left and right.
So if there’s no loophole, magic pill, or secret method to toning that specific stubborn area, what can you do?
I’ve got 3 recommendations for exercises that will get blood into the muscles and increase circulation – therefore reducing stagnation and build up of lipids.
Let’s get started!
Sumo Dumbbell Squat
Benefits: This variation of squats allows you to yield the absolute most glute activation while being able to pull some serious weight
- Keep a neutral spine
- Widen your stance and externally rotate your feet for increased glute activation
- Keep a strong back. Refrain from letting the weight pull you forward
- Push out with your knees to prevent any kind of internal rotation. If you struggle with this aspect, warm up your abductors properly by performing lateral band walks or high rep weighted abductors.
Rep Range: Start with 15 reps to gauge the difficulty of the weight you’re using. Aim to use a weight that’s challenging but will allow you to maintain good form! Complete 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Make it harder:
- Take advantage of the shortened ROM by pushing the weight you use. Start with 35-45lbs and see how heavy you can go while maintaining proper form.
- Hold the top of each rep for 3 as you squeeze your glutes for a killer isometric hold.
Although looked at like a strength-only exercise, don’t be fooled. Barbell Squats can be utilized no matter what your goal is!
Benefits: They’re really hard and require your full body to master. That alone makes them an exercise you should be doing if your goal is to burn as many calories as possible while in the gym.
Tips: Master your form first. As a competitive movement, these are designed to challenge you. Without proper form, you’ll find yourself with nagging pains days after if not injured. Check your ego and get comfortable learning the movement first.
Rep Range: Work up to your heavy sets by starting with just the bar for 20 reps. Increase the weight per side by 5-25lbs depending on your experience. Keep working up and increasing the weight until you hit an intensity that’s appropriate(RPE 7-8).
Make it harder: If you’re really looking to get the most bang for your buck with these, slow down each rep. Make each rep take 5-10 seconds. Sounds easy? Your legs might disagree.
Reverse Hack Squat
Somewhere between a squat and a leg press some might say. If done correctly, you can target all parts of your hamstrings and glutes!
Benefits: You reduce the risk of injury by performing this machine exercise leaving your focus on the intensity. Not only can you do more sets, you can push yourself to failure safely.
Tips: Keep a neutral spine. Don’t allow your head to pop up off the pad. No ceiling gazing. Widen your stance and point those toes out. This will bring your glutes into play on every rep.
Rep Range: Start with 15 reps with a challenging weight. Complete one set then see if you can hit 20 reps on your next set. Still want an extra challenge? Aim for 25 on your final set.
Make it harder: This exercise can be modified in a number of ways to increase activation. Burn out your hammies by finishing with some unilateral reps.
The Bottom Line
No amount of exercise will account for a crappy diet. If you’re serious about wanting to shed those extra pounds, getting your nutrition in order is going to help much more than simply following a training program.
For the best results (and the quickest), both your diet and training need to compliment your goals. There’s really no way around that.
Add in these 3 gems to your lower body routine and get your DOM care package ready.
For more information on which foods you should be eating and which you should be foregoing, read this article: 10 healthy foods that are making you fat.
Want that extra boost? Want to not only feel your muscles working but see them too? Add in our TC1 gel for a competitive edge so your next workout is one for the books.