As a boot camp and fitness trainer, I get a lot of commonly asked questions and near the top of the list: “What’s the best exercise to work my legs and butt?” Today I’m going to share the best butt burning, leg sculpting, lower body exercise and a some cool bonus moves you can add to enhance the it’s already amazing effectiveness. It’s called the Rear-Foot Elevated Lunge Variation, or sometimes referred to as the “Bulgarian Split Squat”. Get ready to say bye-bye to “jiggle thighs”…this one is gonna be a homerun!
First, I have to post a disclaimer. I don’t buy into the myth of “spot training” a certain body part. For instance, working your “just” your legs, or “just” your abs. Our boot camp program is designed to burn fat from your “total body”, because we train the upper body, lower body, and the all important core during every single interval-based camp workout. By training the entire body at once, we stimulate lean muscle gain and increase metabolism, that will, as a whole, burn fat from “trouble spots” or “target areas”. Complement this efficient and functional style of training with a proper diet high in lean protein, fiber, green veggies and low in unnatural fats and refined sugars and starches is a must-do if you want to see that muscle definition start to take shape. Ladies, that means sexy, lean curves and for the gentlemen, the man-boobs go away.
So, listen…you can do all the crunches or long, boring cardio that you want…but without proper full body interval-based strength training and proper nutrition, the muffin-top, belly fat and flabby arms are going to hang around for a long time…literally.
OK, so having said that, here’s the breakdown of the Rear-Foot Elevated Lunge. Basically we’re going to elevate the back foot on a chair, bench, box, or any other sturdy foot support, usually about 12-18 inches high. You’ll put your front leg well in front of you in order to make sure that your front knee and ankle are lined up. This is critical so that we can easily keep that knee from sticking out over your foot and causing immense (and unnecessary stress on the knee). Initiate the exercise by loading the front heel and dropping your hips as low as you can in a pain-free range of motion while staying really tall up top with a proud chest and shoulders down and back. Keep good form with no hunching or no rounding of the shoulders. Staying focused with your core tight, finish the rep by explosively driving through your front heel to return to the top of the movement. It would be advisable to start with body weight only, then progress to more advance variations like holding dumbbells, adding a curl and press or even just holding the dumbbells overhead while completing each repetition. This will really challenge your core; increase your balance and strength like none other.
I have yet to find an exercise that hits the legs as hard as this baby does. In particular, it really helps strengthen your vastus medialis muscle, that inner quad muscle that looks like a teardrop, that’s heavily responsible for tracking your patella and keeping your knee caps in line. So if you have a history of overtraining or patella-femoral issues this exercise is phenomenal for keeping your knees as bulletproof as possible.
Also, what’s great about it too is that it provides a very good stretch for the hip flexor of your back leg, an area that is often very tight, especially for guys. Any exercise that allows you to simultaneously stretch and strengthen your body is a real keeper. Don’t waste another moment with the useless adductor machine (a.k.a. the sex machine) and get off your but and crank it with the world’s best lower body exercise today!
Want in on a bonus to this? It will also be a fantastic stretch for your hip flexor muscles, which is an area that can hold a lot of tightness and discomfort.
So stop wasting your valuable time with useless gym machines or single joint movements that give you very little “bang for the buck”. Get up and try the most effect lower body movement on the planet today!