Are you on the booty-building train?
It’s hard not to be these days, especially if you follow fitness influencers on social media. One of the most popular fitness trends right now are glute workouts.
While a lot of exercises can tone your legs and booty, proper form is important for your body and to see results. A simple tweak you can make to your existing routine is to introduce single-leg exercises.
Why Do Single-Leg Exercises?
Glutes aside, there are plenty of reasons to include single leg exercises into your routine. Single leg exercises isolate your muscles more than unilateral exercises. When you’re using both legs at the same time to perform a movement, it’s easier for your dominant muscle groups to compensate for weaker areas and carry more of the load. You might not even notice this happening.
By switching to single-leg exercises, you improve activation of your quads, hamstrings or glutes, depending on the exercise. You’ll also recruit all of your stabilizing muscles (think core!) because you’ll be adding balance into the mix.
You might not be thinking about muscle imbalances, but single-leg exercises can help correct them. This happens in every body, we overuse our dominant muscles, which leads to imbalances in strength from one side to the other, or even within different muscles on the same side of the body. Switching up your exercises will ensure you use both sides of your body equally.
How to get started
Start with bodyweight or assisted variations of the exercises you usually do so you can establish proper from. Try single-leg squats, deadlifts or standing kickbacks with just your body weight before you add dumbbells or cables. Expect more of a challenge here. You might have to lower the number of reps (and weight eventually) as your muscles will fatigue faster when they’re isolated.
Some moves to get you started are single-leg squats and single-leg Romanian deadlifts. Both require your hips and core to stay stabilized since one foot is lifted off the ground. If you’re having trouble at first, adjust your stance and distribute some of the weight to your non-active leg. For deadlifts, you’d place just the toes of your inactive leg on the ground and keep your heel up.
There you have it! A simple trick that’s guaranteed to increase the booty burn in your next workout. Try these exercises and let us know how you find them. Tag us in your workout pic on Instagram at @movecollective.co.