Ladies, there are so many more exercises than just squats! Nothing bothers me more than going to the gym and seeing women doing 1000 squats and donkey kickbacks on repeat for an hour. Since when was squatting the only exercise that “builds that booty”? Creating a workout routine and weightlifting split can be super confusing if you are just starting your fitness journey, especially when there are thousands of Instagram fitspo chicks trying to sell you on their latest fat burning guide and dozens of free workouts on the internet to choose from.
You do not need to do be doing a hundred squats a day or even a week to build the body of your dreams, you also do not need to be doing the exact same workout as Susie B Fitness to achieve results. Following someone else’s workout plan will not automatically yield the same results and often times the fitness influencers of Instagram do not know the first thing about creating an effective gym split. If your workout routine is just a big mix of various squats, banded butt focused exercises and a few light bicep curls thrown in, then chances are you are missing out on a ton of muscles that you could be working, which are equally as important for body re composition!
There are so many great leg/ lower-body focused movements out there that are not squats, yet for some reason the squat seems to have become the “trendy” movement of the moment. While squats are great, and definitely have a place in your workout routine, they do not need to be your sole focus if your goal is to grow your glutes or tighten your core. The Bulgarian split squat, a close cousin of the forward lunge, is a great movement for building your glutes, quads and for core stability. The Bulgarian split squat is a real burner and you will for sure be sore for a few days since it is a movement that works your whole body and demands a lot of focus and balance to complete. The Romanian or “stiff” leg deadlift is also a great movement for strengthening your hamstrings and glutes and is a good variation for switching up the conventional or sumo deadlift that can get a bit boring after weeks on end. A few of my other favorite leg and glute focused movements are elevated Plie squats, sumo squats, overhead squats and single leg glute bridges. Get creative and inspired with your leg days and try changing up your routine every 6-8 weeks to avoid burnout and boredom but be sure to focus on progressive overload and mind muscle connection for best results.
If you are blinding following some fitspo workout guide from Instagram doing squats on squats on squats, run! Run very far away! Throw that guide in the trash and give your butt a break. You should not be only training your lower body and should not be doing more than 2-3 leg focused days a week. Doing more squats and more leg days will not get you to your goals any faster, but it will likely cause you to have some serious muscle imbalances and weak areas that can lead to injury if you are not careful. The key to a good workout split is training each muscle group more than once a week and combining mainly large compound movements that work multiple muscles at a time, with a few accessory movements to work specific muscle groups or body parts. Be careful about what fitness influencers you are following and be super wary of buying any type of pre created workout plan, especially if you are new to working out. There is a lot of questionable exercise and fitness information out there and it can be super easy to fall into the trap of Instagram marketing and promotions that promise to deliver you a peach worthy butt in just 8 weeks by doing banded squats for 30 days straight. Look for certified, personal trainers and people who have more than just a fitness account on Instagram as their experience working in the health and fitness industry. A good trainer will be able to provide you with thoughtful, carefully planned and well explained information that is no BS when it comes to creating a workout plan.
So please, stop squatting your life away! There are so many more leg and glute focused exercises and full body movements in your fitness arsenal, so consider taking a break from never ending back squats and try progressing in a new movement. Your booty and back will greatly thank you!