Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes

Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

A set of tight, toned legs and shapely glutes is always on our wish list. To help us achieve this goal, we’ve recruited IFBB Bikini Pro Courtney King— along with her award-winning legs— to show us an effective routine that only requires a bench and dumbbells!

This workout was created with both gym newbies and veterans in mind. Have you always wanted to sexy, toned legs but are intimidated by the gym? Then this routine is perfect for you! OR are you a gym veteran who needs a change of pace? We’ve got you covered! No matter what category you fall into, this workout will challenge you because it works. With this guide, you can create those sleek, lean legs that look great in jeans or in shorty shorts.

“Remember we all start somewhere!” said Courtney. “Don’t feel intimidated by what others think. You should embrace your fitness journey and feel proud of getting in the gym, regardless if you’re a ‘newbie’ or gym veteran.”

THE WORKOUT

You can perform the workout twice a week, in addition to your other training. “This workout is both efficient and effective because it hits the major muscle groups of your legs and glutes,” said Courtney. “With a clean-eating regimen, an exercise routine and consistency, you will be sure to shape beautiful legs and glutes.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbellsCLICK TO PRINT

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

GOBLET BENCH SQUAT

Holding one dumbbell in front of your chest, stand with bench behind you. When you squat, touch your glutes to the bench before returning to starting position.

Courtney’s tip: “Make sure your pushing through your heels on the way up and that your knees don’t come over your toes. Don’t bounce off the bench on the way up— just lightly tap it.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

LATERAL STEP-UP

Stand parallel to the bench with dumbbells in hand. Step up laterally and forward onto the bench. Kick the back leg up for an additional challenge. Step down to starting position. Complete all reps on one side before moving on to the second side.

Courtney’s tip: “Instead of going forward and backward like a regular step-up, the lateral step-up hits a different area of your side glute muscle. Don’t bounce through this exercise; move slow and push up with your heel.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

DUMBBELL DEADLIFT

Holding dumbbells in front of you with your legs about shoulder-width apart, push hips backward and bend knees to lower dumbbells to the ground with lower back straight. Return to starting position.

Courtney’s tip: Make sure your back is flat and that the dumbbells are at a slight diagonal. When you come up, always remember to squeeze the hamstrings and glutes.

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

SINGLE LEG DUMBBELL HIP THRUST

Begin by sitting in front of the bench with a dumbbell positioned over your right hip. Lower your body so that your shoulder blades are pressing against the bench. Shift your weight to the right leg and extend your left leg forward. Driving through your right heel, lift your hips up. Return to starting position. Complete all reps using the right leg before switching to the left.

Courtney’s tip: “When you come up, hold this exercise at the top for a moment and squeeze to isolate the glutes. If you want more of a challenge, I would suggest keeping your leg fully extended and not bent.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

DUMBBELL HAMSTRING CURL

Lying face down on the bench, place dumbbell between feet. Curl dumbbell up while contracting hamstring, keeping tension focused in your hamstring.

Courtney’s tip: “Pushing your hips into the bench will make you really feel the burn on this exercise. Concentrate on going up and down slow.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

SPLIT SQUAT

Place one foot on the top of the bench behind you. Holding dumbbells, drop down into a lunge so that your knee is just above the floor. Drive up through that front heel using your glutes, hamstrings and abs.

Courtney’s tip: “When you go down, you don’t want to collapse over your lead leg. If you lightly raise your front toes on this exercise, it will force you to keep that weight on your heel.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

BENCH STEP-UP JUMP

Place left foot on top of the bench and jump up explosively, bringing your right knee up and then back to the ground. Repeat in continuous motion.

Courtney’s tip: “Keep your weight in the working heel and remember to stay tight through this movement.”

Approach The Bench For Great Legs & Glutes - Shape up using just a bench & dumbbells

BENCH JUMP

Standing with legs on either side of the bench, jump on to the bench, landing softly, then back down to the start in a partial squat. Repeat. Try to land light on your feet.

TIPS TO GREAT LEGS AND GLUTES

Courtney shares her tips for shaping great legs and glutes.

SINGLE LEG EXERCISES. “It isolates the muscle, causing more tension to sculpt those nice legs and glutes!”

FOCUS AND SQUEEZE. “Focus on the movement and squeeze and concentrate on the muscle you are trying to work.”

TIME UNDER TENSION. “Pushing through your heels and keeping the muscles under tension will really help give your legs more definition and tone.”

SUPPLEMENTS. “I always make sure to have my GNC RapidDrive BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) 5000 during my workouts to fully power my muscles to deliver optimum performance.”

WEIGHTS. “Using weights and not just your bodyweight will give you amazing shape. It’s good to mix it up— weights one day and bodyweight training later in the week.”

CARDIO. “Not a favorite of mine, but it is a must! Doing cardio at least three to four times a week along with weight training will help keep your legs and glutes tight while eliminating fat. I love interval sprinting and the StairMaster for my cardio.”

STRETCH. “I always start and end my leg and glute session with stretching or sitting in the sauna. If your muscles are not flexible and warmed up, you usually will not be able to go the full range of motion.”

SLEEP. “Recovery when training any body part is just as important as training it.”

KEEP UP WITH COURTNEY

Courtney is a GNC sponsored athlete. Follow her on Facebook (IFBB Pro Courtney King) on Twitter (@CourttneyKingg) and Instagram (@courttneyking). Courtney can be contacted for appearances through www.fmg-fitnessmanagementgroup.com.

Lisa Steuer

Lisa Steuer is the managing editor of FitnessRx for Women magazine. E-mail Lisa at lsteuer@advancedresearchmedia.com.