If you think lower-body strength exercises will bulk you up, you don’t know squats. “Not only have studies shown that basics like squats, lunges, and calf raises work the leg muscles best, but women don’t tend to build big muscles thanks to a lack of testosterone,”. “This workout is greater than the sum of its parts, because each move is hitting different fibers in the legs that you are probably overlooking,”. Do the routine three times a week on nonconsecutive days, resting for around 30 seconds between sets. (All you’ll need is a chair, a 5-pound dumbbell, and a towel.)
Targets butt and quads
- Stand with back facing a chair (about 2 feet away), hands on hips, and bend left leg behind you to place top of foot on chair seat.
- Squat, bending right leg 90 degrees with knee over ankle. Make it harder: After each full squat, do a half squat, bending just 45 degrees.
- Do 15 to 20 reps. Switch legs and repeat. Do 2 to 3 sets.