By: Rocio Ruiz Let's face it, the backside is one of the most difficult areas to whip into shape, but also one of the most important and obsessed-over body parts for any woman, competitor or not. Our glutes are a big muscle group and require attention from all angles. My goals for this year are rounding my glutes and developing a better quadriceps sweep, so I plan to hit legs twice a week. I will be incorporating this superset routine on my glute day. Superset 1: A: 5 x 15 pump Leg Extensions I call these "pump" leg curls and leg extensions because my goal is to circulate blood into the muscle. This superset is done as a warm-up at the start of the workout and the reps are relatively fast and light compared to the other exercises. Superset with B: 5 x 15 pump Leg Curls Just like the Leg Extensions, this is more of a warm-up move to get the blood flowing and lubricate the joints. I¬† don't focus on overload or force repetitions or anything too intense during this superset. Superset 2: A: 5 x 20 Narrow Leg Press I like to put my feet right in the middle of the plate for this exercise. Positioning the feet in a narrow stance helps develop a nice rounded quadriceps sweep. Superset with B: 5 x 15 Barbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts I'll stand on a step so I can get a good stretch at that bottom without the weight hitting the floor. I lower the bar by bending at the hips, keeping my knees slightly bent during the descent and keeping my waist straight. Superset 3: 5 x 15 Single Leg Squat For this exercise, I usually stand in front of the horizontal bar of the Smith machine and hold on to it for self-assistance. My non-working leg will be floating out in front and parallel to the floor as I lower my body down. I raise my body back up until the knee and hip of my supporting leg is straight. Superset with 5 x 15 Weighted Step-Up You can do this holding dumbbells in your hands or a weighted bar across your back. I step up onto a bench and make sure I bring my non-working knee all the way up to waist level at the top of the movement. I get more core activation that way, and it is also a good move for running and overall athletics. Superset 4: 2 x 20 Stationary Jumps (wide) Using a wide stance for this exercise will engage the glutes. I squat as low as I can and then reach upward as my feet leave the floor. I'll use my momentum to jump as high as I can and continue to do so for 20 reps. Superset with 2 x 20 Stationary Jumps (narrow) The narrow foot placement for this exercise will help develop the quadriceps. I position my legs shoulder-width apart and squat down by keeping my hips back, chest up and head facing forward. Just like the wide jumps, I stretch upward with my hands as I leave the floor and use my momentum to jump as high as I can.
The Many Sides of the Backside
By Team XTEND