4 Weeks to a Stronger Lower Body

Shana Verstegen
by Shana Verstegen
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4 Weeks to a Stronger Lower Body

How do you build a better booty? Any fitness professional will agree it takes lots of hard work, dedication, heavy weights and a great diet. Are you ready for the challenge? Add these exercises into your regular training plan over the next 30 days to see and feel the difference.

Three days a week you will be doing heavy squats and lunges. Ensure you have a proper warmup, are lifting to near-failure and have a spotter for safety. As the reps decrease throughout the four weeks, the weight should increase, provided you can still move with proper form. These heavy lifting days are key for muscular growth and development. On the other days, enjoy some bodyweight and banded exercises to add volume and target all muscles of the posterior.

THE EXERCISES

WEIGHTED SQUATS

With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, drop your hips down and back, being sure to keep your back and shin angle parallel to one another. Place the barbell just beneath your neck so it rests on the “squishy” parts of your shoulders. Choose a depth that is both challenging and safe for your knees and hips. Engage your glutes and drive up from the floor.

WEIGHTED LUNGES

Barbell Split Lunge

For a standard forward lunge, begin in a split stance with your feet a little less than shoulder-width apart. Place the barbell just beneath your neck so it rests on the “squishy” parts of your shoulders. Lead the movement by bending your back knee toward the floor, keeping the front knee tracking forward over the middle toes. Return to standing by engaging your glutes and pressing through your front foot and the ball of your rear foot.

LATERAL BAND WALKS

Begin in a shoulder-width stance and a half squat, with a loop resistance band over your ankles. Maintain the half-squat position as you step into a wider stance with your left foot. Next, bring your right foot back to shoulder-width distance without dragging. Ensure your toes stay pointed forward at all times and your posture remains upright. (Option: Place the band above knees.)

GLUTE BRIDGES

Begin by laying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the ground, so your knees, hips and shoulders are in alignment. Hold for 3 seconds and return to the floor. For an added challenge just use one leg and then switch.

BODYWEIGHT BENCH STEPUPS

Select a step height in which your knee is at a 90-degree angle when your foot is placed on the step. With your right foot centered on the step, press downward into the full foot. Engage the muscles of the right hip and drive your left knee up. Slowly lower down with a soft landing and repeat.

SINGLE-LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS

Begin by holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand from your planted foot. Maintain a neutral spine and a slight bend in the planted leg, hinge forward, with your upper body remaining square to the floor. Once you reach the end range of a flat torso (your body should form a capital T if you have the mobility) lower that leg back to the floor.

THE PROGRAM

About the Author

Shana Verstegen
Shana Verstegen

Shana, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, is a TRX and American Council on exercise master instructor and a six-time world champion lumberjack athlete. She holds a degree in Kinesiology
- Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a certified personal trainer through ACE, NASM and NFPT. An energetic and personable speaker, she is also the National spokesperson for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

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