Turn up the heat on your lower body sessions and master the barbell with this physique transforming guide to legs workouts for women from Spot Me Girl.
If you’re like us then legs day isn’t done unless you feel the burn as you walk out of the gym. One of the best ways to get in an all-around leg workout that’s sure to bring in the gains is by hitting the bar.
We all know squats are good for you, but there are so many more ways to use this versatile piece of kit to maximize your leg and booty gains. Find out how with these barbell legs workouts for women.
Table of Contents
- Why use the barbell in legs workouts for women?
- Quad workouts
- Hamstring workouts
- Glute workouts
Why use the barbell in legs workouts for women?
Let’s get straight to the point. By using a barbell you can incorporate more compound movements into your routine.
Compound movements work several muscle groups at once, so your body is recruiting a number of muscles at any one time. Therefore, they’re great for developing well-rounded muscular strength.
By working your squats and deadlifts on the bar, you’ll be building more muscles than if you were working isolated movements alone. There’s a reason they’re a staple of most bodybuilding and lifting workout plans.
On top of that, the bar is incredibly versatile and can help you target specific muscle groups in ways machines just can’t. With the right movements and the perfect technique, the barbell could be exactly what you need to take your gym sessions to the next level.
In short, the barbell is a must for legs workouts for women. By incorporating a few of these movements into your normal workout routine you’ll soon be on your way to creating those perfectly sculpted legs.
Barbell legs workouts for women
To help you achieve those perfectly sculpted legs, we’ve created a range of leg workouts for women, designed to help you build different muscles. Whether you’re working on defined quads, hamstrings that pop or that perfectly round butt, we’ve got the barbell workout for you.
Your quadriceps are essential to creating a shapely leg. By drilling this muscle you can achieve that all-important quad swoop, so get to the bar and start working these exercises.
This is an essential exercise to add to your fitness repertoire. The back squat is like the foundation of legs workouts for women. They work just about every part of your legs and they’re a fantastic way to tone up those quads.
How to do a back squat:
- Step under the bar, with it resting on the back of your shoulders.
- Hold it in place with your hands, keep your elbows back and step out of the rack
- Place your feet just outside hip-width apart, flex your knees and break at the hips
- Keeping your chest raised and maintaining a strong arch in the lower back, drop your hips back and down, bending at the knees
- Stop when your hip is just below your knee
- Stand up again by firing through the quads and glutes
Complete five sets of five reps at about 70 percent of your one rep max.
Barbell hack squats
This variation on the squat will really put the focus on growing your quads. By slightly altering the weight distribution of the movement, all the power will come from the front of your thighs. This will give you a killer, quad-sculpting workout.
How to do a barbell hack squat:
- Begin by standing up straight, holding the barbell behind you at arms length
- Your feet should be about a shoulder-width apart
- Keep your head up and your back strong while you squat
- Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor and keep your weight on your heels throughout
- Stand up again by firing through the quads
Complete four sets of 10-12 reps at a challenging rate.
If your booty is your main focus, you should still aim to frame it with strong hamstrings. Working on this muscle is the key to a well-rounded look for your legs.
The humble deadlift is a must if you’re looking to build muscle. As a compound movement, it recruits more muscle than just about anything else you can do in the gym. But when it comes to legs, they’re your go-to for building strong hamstrings.
Before you start, remember to keep your back flat and your shoulders back and tight to protect yourself from any injuries. Whether you’re lifting or placing the bar back down on the floor, always think about keeping your back flat and tight.
How to deadlift:
- Place the bar on the floor and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your feet should be under the bar and when you look down it should be covering the top of your laces.
- Grip the bar about a shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar. Flatten your back and raise your chest so you’re gently pulling on the bar without dropping your butt.
- Keeping your back in the same flat position, complete your first pull by straightening your legs, lifting the bar off the floor. Keep it in contact with your shins and thighs throughout the movement.
- Next, fully stand up by pushing your hips through. Try not to lean back or over-extend.
- Return the weight to the floor by pushing your hips back, keeping your back flat, and bending your knees.
Tip: Throughout this movement aim to keep the bar in contact with your body for a more efficient lift.
Complete five sets of five reps at around 70 percent of your one rep max.
Once you’ve completed your set of deadlifts, move on to good mornings straight away to really get your hamstrings burning. This movement really focusses in on your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. So, you can really target the areas you want to improve.
How to do a good morning:
- Start with the back on your shoulders as if you were going to do a back squat
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and flex your legs slightly, moving your weight onto your heels
- Begin to bend forward whilst moving your hips backward, keeping your weight on your heels
- Stop just before your back is parallel to the floor
- Stand up straight again by firing through the glutes and hamstrings
Tip: Keep your back strong and flat throughout this movement. If you feel your back begin to arch, drop the weight a little and try again.
Complete four sets of 10-12 reps at a challenging weight.
Many of us spend hours in the gym sculpting that perfect peachy booty. To create that well-rounded shape you see on Instagram, you’re gonna need some barbell exercises in your legs workouts for women. Here are a couple of things you should think about including if you really want to feel the burn.
We all do back squats but think about changing it up a little with a booty burning front squat. This slight variation allows you to drop deeper into the movement, putting more pressure on your quads and your glutes. Perfect for sculpting your butt.
How to do a front squat:
- Begin with the bar on the front of your shoulders. Hold it in place by raising your elbows up until they point out in front of you and gently secure the bar against your shoulders with your index and middle fingers.
- Place your feet just slightly wider than hip-width and point your toes about 30 degrees outwards.
- Break at the hips, keeping a strong curve in your back and your chest raised
- Bend your knees whilst moving your weight to your heels
- Push your hips back and down until they drop just below your knees
- From there return to a standing position by firing through the glutes, keeping your chest raised and your elbows up
Complete five sets of five reps at around 70 percent of your one rep max.
We’ll call this one the booty maker. If you’re after a butt-sculpting-burner, look no further. The hip thrust is an excellent way to put your glute strength to the test and get some serious muscle-building, high weight reps on the bar.
How to do a hip thrust:
- Begin with your shoulders and upper back on a bench and your feet flat on the floor. When you extend your hips up and straighten your body, you should achieve a 90-degree angle at the knee joint.
- When in a relaxed position with your butt a few inches off the floor, place the barbell over your hip crease. It’s a good idea to invest in a bar pad, otherwise you could bruise your hip bones
- From this relaxed position, push the bar upward by firing through the glutes.
- Return to your start position by lowering the hips again.
Complete four sets of 12 reps at a challenging weight.
Tip: The trick with this movement is to take it slow and don’t overextend at the hips. This way your glutes will really feel the burn and you’ll get the maximum benefit. If you really want to take it up a notch, put a resistance band around your knees as you perform the movement.
Start transforming your lower body and craft the perfect barbell legs workout for women with the help of this guide. Kick start your workout and get your body in gear to work harder with a high-quality pre-workout. Combine supplement with your new barbell leg exercises and you’ll have that Instagram-worthy physique in no time.
Looking for more workouts? Find them here: