Bulgarian Split Squat – credit: popsugar.com
Focus on upper legs with bodyweight
I have discussed before how easy it is to put together a program using bodyweight exercises which does not require money or a huge time commitment. My previous post on bodyweight fitness – quick and easy has more information on this as well.
I ran across an article today which I will copy in its entirety as well as link to on some examples of focused bodyweight exercises for the upper legs and glutes which take it to the next level. For some other ideas along this line you can also see my previous posts on why I don’t squat and squats part 2.
3 Great Bodyweight Exercises For Slimmer Thighs
Todd Kuslikis, writing at bodyweightcoach.com, posted the following article:
Crave thinner thighs? Tired of struggling to fit into pants because you’re sporting just a little too much excess fat on your lower body? This is the case for many people, especially females who do tend to store body fat in their lower body more than on their upper body.
Unless you have the right training program, you won’t see results with losing fat from the lower body. The common approach to getting slimmer thighs and losing fat from the lower body is hours and hours of cardio training. Go this route though and you won’t be seeing results and even worse, you could begin to lose lean muscle mass from the lower body, making you appear even less firm in the thigh area.
So what’s the solution? Well, of course… we think it’s bodyweight exercises… 😎
Because bodyweight exercises rely on not only your muscular strength but also have a high requirement for stability, this means that every muscle fiber deep in your thigh is going to have to contract with full force to keep you balanced.
And that means superior reshaping and sculpting of your thighs.
Want to get a kick-start to this type of training today? Try these 3 powerful bodyweight exercises to get the job done.
The Split Squat Bum Builder
Split squats are one of the top movements if you want to really hit your glute muscles, adding more curve to the muscle while also firming them up.
Split squats are going to be ideal for those who also want to strengthen their core muscles because you are balancing most of your weight on your front leg. Your core muscles will have to contract to keep your body balanced.
The key with split squats is going to be your forward foot placement.
Some people make the mistake of placing the foot a little too close to the center point of your body, which means you are going to rely more on your quads to propel you through the movement pattern.
Instead, you want to take a larger step forward so that as you do the exercise, you really feel it in the glutes the entire way through.
If you are not pressing up through the bum, you can rest assured that you are likely calling the quads into play first and foremost.
Another mental trick to ensure you hit the right region is to think of pressing up through the heel rather than the mid-foot or toes.
This will shift the weight back ever so slightly, ensuring you are targeting the right region.
The Pulsing Lunge
The next great exercise for building a killer lower body that turns heads is the pulsing lunge. The lunge is a great exercise for working the hamstrings, quads, glutes, as well as the core. Its just like the split squat except it requires a slightly different pattern of movement.
To do this exercise variation, you want to lower yourself down into the lunge, pausing briefly at the bottom and then pulsing back up so you’re halfway up the movement.
Pause there and then lower back down before coming back up to the start and moving onto the next lunge.
This exercise will really help to take momentum out of the equation, which some people let themselves use a little too much and make it easier to perform the exercise overall.
The less momentum you are using, the more muscular force will be required to propel you through the exercise and keep your body balanced.
Do this exercise in the higher rep range of 20-30 reps per set and you will definitely be feeling it once you’re finished.
If you want to target the obliques while you do this exercise, move down through the pulsing segment of the exercise, twist to one side of the body. Then twist back to center and on the next rep, twist to the other side.
The Jump Squat
Finally, last but not least, make sure you’re doing the jump squat. The jump squat is an excellent way to boost your explosive power, crank up your metabolism, and firm all the muscles in the lower body in a hurry.
It is an exercise that takes a high amount of effort so do it at the start of your session so you can get the best results.
When doing it, really think of jumping up as high as possible as you rebound off the floor and keeping the knees over the toes as you land.
If you want to make this movement even more challenging, you can wear a weighted vest as you do it, which will help add extra force as you launch your way to the top of the movement.
So there you have three excellent bodyweight exercises to get into place in your lower body workout routine if you want to completely reshape your lower body, burn fat faster, and kick your metabolism into high gear.
If you hit the lower body twice per week with these exercises, you should be noticing a difference in no time.
As always, if you need more information about how to correctly do any of these or other exercises I like to use exrx.net as a research resource. With a bodyweight exercise program fitness can be within anyone’s capability to achieve. I encourage you to start, even if you don’t yet feel like an expert. You will get better, I promise.