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If you love going heavy on compound movements to work your lower body, you’re not alone. “Many women love to get stronger, so heavy strength moves like barbell deadlifts and squats aid in that,” says strength coach and fitness expert Julia Ladewski, C.S.C.S., “But higher-rep hypertrophy work also helps build muscle while increasing your caloric expenditure.”
To build shapely quads, hamstrings, and glutes, you should shake up your routine on the regular. Try the following five moves to blast your legs and sculpt your muscles:
Jump Squat: With feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until thighs are parallel to the floor and then explode up until feet leave the ground.
(3 x 10 reps)
Barbell Back Squat: Keeping your core tight and chest up, squat down with a loaded barbell on your traps.
(4 x 5-10 reps)
Single-Leg Deadlift: Hold a dumbbell in one hand, feet shoulder-width apart, and lift the foot opposite of the hand holding the dumbbell off the door. Hinge at your hips until dumbbell is at midshin level.
(3 x 3-10 reps per leg)
Overhead Plate Walking Lunge: Lunge forward with one leg until both legs are bent at 90 degrees while holding a plate overhead.
(3 x 8-12 reps per leg)
Ball Leg Curl: Lie on back with feet on a Swiss ball and lift hips off the door. Curl heels toward butt.
(4 x 10-15 reps)