Want bigger, stronger, more powerful legs? We know, silly question really.
We caught up with fitness influencer and AYBL Athlete, Bethy Red, to shine a light on the best lower body exercises to try, how often you should train legs and how she stays consistent.
Describing herself as a ‘voice for plus size’, we feel incredibly lucky to be working with Bethy, who has a combined following of 971k followers across Instagram and TikTok.
As you know we’re all for creating an inclusive space within the fitness industry and we are committed to our mission to empower all women, regardless of race, sexuality, physical ability, shape or size. If, like us, you love fitness, then welcome to the family!
So, without any further ado, it’s time to change into your favourite AYBL ‘fit and get to work with Bethy.
THANKS FOR JOINING US, BETHY! TELL US, WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
I workout Monday to Friday, splitting the days into three lower body days and two upper body days.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I work lower body and abs, Tuesdays are for back and cardio and Thursdays are my upper body days. On Thursdays, I usually focus on chest, shoulder and cardio.
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR LOWER BODY WORKOUT, WHAT EXERCISES DO YOU RECOMMEND?
You want to start with some heavy compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts and RDLs, then the remainder really depends on what your focus is for the rest of your workout.
This is one of my favourite glute-focused workouts:
STEP 1: HIP THRUSTS
For hips thrusts, I go all out.
Try 10 to 12 reps (10 for a heavier load and 12 for a lighter load), then superset with pulse. By not going all the way down, you contract the muscles at the top and can feel that extra burn.
For a final challenge, hold the weight at the top of the movement and hold here for as long as you can.
STEP 2: DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS
I try to go heavy on these.
You may want to use lifting straps, but if you don’t have any, I’d only lift as heavy as your arms can endure without losing proper form. If you do decide to lift heavy, keep it between eight and 10 reps.
If opting for a lighter load, try between 10 and 12 reps for four sets.
STEP 3: BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS
Okay, you’re gonna hate me now, but love me later.
For Bulgarian split squats, I personally go for a mid-weight just because the exercise is already hard as it is. However, if you can go heavy, go for it, but I’d suggest keeping it to around eight reps.
If, like me, you want to go for a light or middle-weight, try four sets of 10 reps.
STEP 4: DUMBBELL SQUATS
By this point, you’re going to be very tired, but if you want to push yourself, we’re doing dumbbell squats. All you need is one heavy dumbbell for four lots of 10 reps.
If you’re too tired, you can skip this exercise and move onto the next.
STEP 5: HYPEREXTENSIONS
To finish off, we’re going to do hyperextensions with a glute-focus.
Grab a plate that is manageable for you and try four lots of 10 reps, followed by a drop set without the plate for an additional 10 reps.
Trust me, girls, this will be a killer glute workout.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN YOUR LOWER BODY?
I typically train my lower body three times a week. This consists of two glute-focused workouts and one full leg workout.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRAIN YOUR LOWER BODY?
Well, like any workout, it’s beneficial for your health. Working out your lower body helps to build stronger bones, reduce the risk of injuries and build your overall strength, which makes completing everyday tasks easier.
Not forgetting, the main reason we all work our lower body is to grow that booty, of course… 😉
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING OUT AND HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
For the first one or two hours when I’m in the gym, I kind of forget about my problems and it’s just a great stress relief for me overall.
I love working out, especially my legs, because I can see how strong my body is.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO WORK OUT OR HOW DO YOU STAY CONSISTENT?
In all honesty, I don’t, because if it was motivation alone that kept me going, I would have quit a long time ago.
Consistency is key. You have to push yourself to go - showing up is the hardest part. What I found the most helpful for me is to do it after work. I’m already up and about, so I may as well go to the gym. Plus, it means I can't make excuses related to being at home.
If you don’t work, it works the same way. Get yourself out of the house, that way it's easier to show up.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE OUR FEMALE COMMUNITY TO HELP THEM ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS?
The two most important things to remember are consistency and patience. It didn’t take your body one month to gain 50 pounds or lose the 10 pounds you gained, so don’t try to lose or gain that same amount of weight in such a short amount of time.
If you take it slow, work hard, keep at it and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged, you’ll see great results.
Also, you need to remember that staying active is an achievement in itself. Your overall health will improve so much just by keeping active.
There you have it, girls, a full-blown lower body workout to get your blood pumping and those muscles working. But don’t thank us, thank Bethy!
Looking for more workout inspo? Discover The Benefits Of Endurance Training With Lexie Herod.