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Barbells are the most effective and diverse piece of equipment for the lower body
Figuring out the best equipment to use to target your legs and butt can be tricky. There are so many machines and free weights in most gyms that picking the best ones seems overwhelming. However, there are just a small selection that are really going to give you the best results. These are the pieces of equipment that create compound movements -- movements that require multiple joints and multiple muscles. These give you the best "bang for your buck" instead of the isolation movements, which only target a single muscle at a time.
Barbells Are Best
Barbell training is highly effective for strengthening all the muscles in your legs and butt. You can use a barbell to do squats, deadlifts, lunges, calf raises, single leg deadlifts, and step ups. You can use the barbell to do these exercises in sets, aiming to complete a fixed number of repetitions per exercise. Or you can pick a selection of barbell movements and do a complex: choosing weights that allow you to complete your weakest exercise correctly, rotate through the exercises without resting or putting the barbell down until you've completed one full rotation. Both methods of barbell training are very effective for sculpting your legs and glutes.
Dumbbells Come Next
Dumbbells can also be used extensively when targeting the legs and glutes. The most effective exercises include goblet squats, single leg squats, all the lunge variations (walking, reverse, lateral and static lunges), calf raises, contralateral loaded step-ups, swing -throughs, stiff-legged deadlifts and hamstring curls. Dumbbells have the added advantage of being easily stored in your home, removing the need for a gym membership or a complex home set-up.
Vive La Leg Press & Curl
If gym is full of people hogging the barbells and dumbbells, you can still get great results with the leg press and leg curl machines. The movements you can use them for are much more limited, but they target all the same muscles used by barbell and dumbbell movements: the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and glutes. They also have the added benefits of taking some of the pressure off your lower back, so if you have back issues then the leg press and leg curl are an effective and safe option for you.
Bikes Do The Rest
A stationary bike for sprint cycles is the final best piece of equipment for your legs and butt. Cycling requires a significant amount of power to be exerted from the hip and then carried all the way down through the leg. Your glutes and quadriceps are under a lot of pressure during cycling, which causes them to develop and strengthen. Using bikes for sprinting (as opposed to medium intensity, steady pace cycling) also spikes the impact: your body has to produce higher levels of energy and hormones to keep up with the high-intensity activity, which also causes greater development.