StrengthLog’s Lower Body Workout Routine

StrengthLog’s lower body workout routine is a six-week training program focusing on building a sensational lower body. Give this workout routine a go if you want full, round glutes and firm, shapely legs. 

You can find it as Thicc: Lower Body Specialization, a premium training program available in the StrengthLog workout tracker. You can download StrengthLog for free with one of the buttons below:

6-Day Upper/Lower Workout Split download
6-Day Upper/Lower Workout Split download

This article gives you a complete overview of the layout of Thicc, describes the exercises, and details the benefits and results you can expect.

Introducing Thicc: Lower Body Specialization

Our lower body workout routine is designed for anyone looking to build a firm butt and strong, well-developed thighs and hamstrings. Whether your fitness goals include looking your best or boosting performance by improving your lower body strength, Thicc: Lower Body Specialization has you covered.

While the program is for everyone, you’ll want at least a few months of training experience before jumping into it. If you’re a beginner, we suggest you start with one of our beginner training programs.

Those are excellent introductions to strength training and prepare you for more advanced programs like this one.

Once you’re ready for this lower body workout routine, be prepared for a variety of lower body exercises for complete leg and butt development. You’ll train all your major muscle groups using a combination of compound movements and isolation exercises for the ultimate lower split program.

What about the upper body, you might wonder. Don’t worry; we’re not neglecting it. Maintaining muscular balance in your entire body is always a good idea. Thicc takes care of your upper body strength and muscle mass effectively while letting you focus on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Be prepared to work your butt off!

Thicc: Lower Body Specialization: The Training Week

An overview of Thicc looks like this:

  • Day 1: Lower Body, low rep range
  • Day 2: Upper Body
  • Day 3: Lower Body, moderate rep range
  • Day 4: Upper Body
  • Day 5: Lower Body, high rep range

In other words, you train five days per week, alternating between lower body workouts and upper body sessions. Each leg day workout is dedicated to a different rep range: you’ll start the week with heavier weights and lower reps for strength and mass gains, move to a moderate rep range on day three, then finish off the training week with relatively light weights and focusing on “mind-muscle connection,” really feeling the pump in the muscles. 

The varied selection of exercises and training loads allow you to target all muscle fibers and hit your quads, hamstrings, and glutes from different angles for complete lower body development.

The upper body workouts target each major muscle group with just enough volume and intensity to maintain a strong and healthy body without muscle imbalances and without taking energy from your lower-body focus.

Here’s an outline of each workout. You can see details like the number of sets and reps, and the % of 1RM, where applicable, in the StrengthLog app. 

Workout 1, Lower Body

Heavy weights and low reps are the names of the game in the first session of the week.

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Hip Thrust
  4. Lying Leg Curl (lying or seated)

Squat

You kick things off with barbell squats. The squat is probably the best exercise to gain lower body strength and improve overall athletic performance. It is also one of the best leg exercises for building your quadriceps muscles and adductors, which bring your thighs together. In addition, you can’t go wrong with the squat for a bigger and better butt.

Barbell Squat lower body workout routine
Squat

Deadlift

While the deadlift primarily targets your glutes and lower back, it also hits your quads, hamstrings, and adductors, making it a great exercise for overall lower-body strength and posterior chain development. The fact that the deadlift makes your body stronger from head to toe adds to the value it brings to your lower body workout plan.

The traditional deadlift and the sumo variant are both excellent options, with the sumo deadlift working your quads a bit more while being easier on your lower back. Pick the deadlift variant you feel the most comfortable with and like the best.

Deadlift exercise technique
Deadlift

Hip Thrust

The third exercise of your first lower body session of the week is the hip thrust, an isolation exercise for the muscles that extend your hips, particularly the glutes. You can use a regular barbell or a dedicated hip thrust machine if you have access to one.

Hip Thrust exercise technique
Hip Thrust
Hip Thrust Machine exercise technique
Hip Thrust Machine

Leg Curl

The end of the workout is dedicated to the back of your thighs: the hamstrings. The leg curl makes it easy to focus on your hamstrings and nothing else. Perform your leg curls seated or lying as you prefer and depending on the machines available in your gym.

Seated Leg Curl exercise technique
Seated Leg Curl
Lying Leg Curl exercise technique
Lying Leg Curl

Workout 2, Upper Body

Even if you don’t want to build a massive upper body, including exercises for your chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, and abs in your workout routine benefits your lower body development. Adding some upper body work between your leg and glute sessions ensures your entire body stays strong. Without overall strength, you might not get the most out of your lower body sessions, as many exercises, like the squat, recruit upper body muscles for stability and optimal performance.

The first upper body session of Thicc includes the following exercises:

  1. Dumbbell Chest Press
  2. Lat Pulldown
  3. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  4. Cable Curl + Tricep Pushdown (performed as a superset)
  5. Hanging Knee Raise

Workout 3, Lower Body

The second leg and glute workout of the Thicc lower body workout routine hits your quads, hamstrings, and glutes from all different angles with a selection of the best exercises available. The main difference is that you’ll increase your rep range and focus less on strength and more on muscle hypertrophy.

  1. Leg Press
  2. Squat
  3. Bulgarian Split Squat
  4. Hip Abduction Machine
  5. Romanian Deadlift

Leg Press

This time, the first exercise of the day is the leg press. The leg press is ideal for pushing your quads and glutes without worrying about balance and mobility like in the squat. While the leg press makes it easy to load up the machine with plates, prioritize good form and a full range of motion over moving as much weight as possible.

Leg Press lower body workout routine
Leg Press

Squat

The second exercise of the day is the squat. Back squats again, you might ask. Yes, it’s such a valuable exercise for building a stunning lower body that you’ll do it twice weekly. This time, because you’ve already pre-exhausted your leg muscles in the leg press, use a moderate weight instead of going as heavy as possible.

Keeping your feet hip-width or wider allows you to activate your glutes effectively.

Barbell Squat lower body workout routine
Squat

Bulgarian Split-Squat

Unilateral exercises are exercises where you train one side at a time. The Bulgarian split squat is a prime example of a unilateral exercise for your quads and glutes. It builds muscle mass, makes your leg muscles stronger, and improves balance and coordination, all at the same time.

Alternating between your right leg and your left leg helps make them equally strong and eliminates any muscle imbalances. The Bulgarian split squat is also a great exercise to improve your strength and balance in everyday movements where you use one leg at a time.

Bulgarian split squat lower body workout routine
Bulgarian Split-Squat

Hip Abduction

Hip abductions target the muscles that move your legs apart. It’s a good isolation exercise for your gluteus medius muscle but also hits your gluteus maximus. If you don’t have access to a hip abduction machine, you can use an elastic resistance band instead.

Hip Abduction Machine exercise technique
Hip Abduction Machine
Hip Abduction Against Band exercise technique
Hip Abduction Against Band

Romanian Deadlift

Once again, you finish off your lower body workout with hamstrings. The Romanian deadlift is a fantastic barbell exercise for your posterior chain muscles, especially your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Maintain good form, feel a nice stretch at the bottom, and maintain tension in your hamstrings in the standing position for the best results.

Romanian deadlift lower body workout routine
Romanian Deadlift

Workout 4, Upper Body

The second and last upper body day is similar to the first, targeting the largest muscles with a series of effective exercises for a time-efficient workout. The difference is the exercise selection, hitting your muscles from different angles for variety and overall muscular development.

The second upper body session of Thicc includes the following exercises:

  1. Incline Dumbbell Press
  2. Cable Seated Row
  3. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  4. Dumbbell Curl + Dumbbell Triceps Extension (performed as a superset)
  5. Kneeling Ab Wheel Roll-Out

Workout 5, Lower Body

You finish the training week in style with the third and final lower body workout, aiming for a nice pump and feeling your leg and glute muscles working. This high-rep workout is heavily glute-focused.

  1. Goblet Squat
  2. Dumbbell Lunges
  3. Step Up
  4. Leg Curl (lying or seated)
  5. Romanian Deadlift

Goblet Squat

You begin the workout with the goblet squat. The goblet squat targets the same muscles as the regular barbell squats but makes it easier to go deep for a full range of motion: a great way to really fry your butt. Hold a kettlebell, dumbbell, or a barbell plate close to or against your chest, feet hip-distance or wider apart.

Squat as deep as you comfortably can with your weight balanced between your heels and the balls of your feet. Compared to many other squat-type lower-body exercises, you don’t have to use super-heavy weights to work your hip flexors and glutes maximally.

Goblet Squat lower body workout routine
Goblet Squat

Lunges

Dumbbell lunges are next, although you can perform them with a barbell on your shoulders if you prefer. The lunge works your quads and butt effectively, and if you’re not used to doing them, you might wake up with sore glutes the following day. The forward lunge is most common, but you can switch it up and take a step backward, either for variety or if it feels better, instead. The reverse lunge can be easier on the knees for some. Either way, take a decently big step to get a good stretch, full range of motion, and stimulate muscle growth all over your thighs and glutes.

Dumbbell Lunge exercise technique
Dumbbell Lunge
Barbell Lunge exercise technique
Barbell Lunge

Step Up

The step up is one of the best exercises for your glutes. Research shows that the step up is even more effective than regular squats or hip thrusts for activating the glutes.1 That’s why you find it in this lower body workout routine. You might not need any extra weight even if you have a strong lower body, especially after performing several other exercises first. If you do, a pair of dumbbells is your best bet to make it even more challenging.

Step up lower body workout routine
Step Up

Leg Curl

The end of your workout consists of two hamstring exercises. First off: the leg curl. As before, you can do either lying or seated leg curls depending on your preferences and available equipment. If you have access to both, why not pick the one you didn’t do on the first workout day?

Lying Leg Curl exercise technique
Lying Leg Curl
Seated Leg Curl exercise technique
Seated Leg Curl

Romanian Deadlift

Finally, one of the best compound exercises for your posterior chain muscles, the Romanian deadlift, completes both this workout and your training week. That’s three leg workouts done in five days, and by now, your lower body muscle groups should be feeling it.

Romanian deadlift lower body workout routine
Romanian Deadlift

Progression Model

To get better at something, you need progression. That goes for building muscle and getting stronger as well. You must continuously challenge your body by lifting a little heavier and doing more work. Otherwise, you don’t give it any reason to improve by adding muscle mass and strength.

You accomplish this by adding weight to the bar, selecting a heavier pair of dumbbells when you can, and gradually increasing training volume by doing a rep more here and a set more.

At the same time, you don’t want to do too much and risk overtraining, the bane of consistent gains.

optimal training volume bodybuilding

Current research suggests you need at least ten weekly sets per muscle to optimize muscle growth.2

optimal training volume

This lower body workout routine has you covered and more. Because you’re not focusing on your upper body, your body can handle many weekly sets for your heavy-duty leg workouts and still recover. But you’re not neglecting your upper body. You’re performing enough work to maintain (and maybe even gain) muscle and strength and optimize your training and recovery to allow for the best possible lower-body results.

Preparing for Thicc: Lower Body Specialization

Before you pack your gym bag for the first workout of Thicc, establishing your 1RM in the squat and the deadlift is a good idea. Your 1RM is your one-repetition maximum, the heaviest weight you can lift once with maximal effort.

You’re good to go if you already know your 1RM in the squat and deadlift. If you don’t, feel free to use our calculator for as accurate an estimate as you’ll get without doing heavy singles to failure in the gym:

>> The Best 1RM Calculator: Calculate Your One Rep Max

While no 1RM equation is 100 % accurate for everyone, this calculator is based on one of the most scientifically established equations for predicting 1RM and is more than good enough.

Rest Intervals

You can decide the length of your inter-set rest periods as you see fit to match your needs and time frame. Resting two to three minutes is standard practice, but if you want to rest longer, feel free to do so. Long rest intervals allow you to use heavier weights and achieve a higher training volume, critical factors regulating muscle growth. Of course, the drawback is that your workouts will take much longer if you rest four to five minutes between every set.

You’ll likely know when you’ve recovered enough to perform your best in the next set. For isolation exercises, like dumbbell lateral raises, a one-minute rest interval could be enough. However, you might need four minutes to recover from a set of heavy squats.

If time is a factor, you can reduce your rest intervals to a minute. That’s not an optimal approach, and you’ll have to adjust your training loads accordingly, but how long you rest between sets is not the single factor determining your progress and results.

You train your arms on upper-body days by supersetting biceps and triceps. That means performing a biceps exercise followed by a triceps exercise without rest, followed by a few minutes of recovery only once you’ve completed one superset.

Training to Failure

Training to failure means you can’t complete another repetition without assistance or “cheating” by using momentum. Some consider training to failure necessary for optimal results. However, research suggests that you don’t need to train to failure to see gains in strength and muscle mass. However, advanced bodybuilders and strength athletes might benefit from failure now and then.

Generally, when following Thicc, we suggest you terminate most of your sets a rep or two before failure.

If you enjoy going all-out, that’s fine, but don’t train to failure all the time. Constantly aiming for failure could impair recovery, increase muscle damage, stress your central nervous system, and even slow down your gains. The sweet spot might be to train to failure in a couple of exercises per week, sticking to isolation movements where you can simply rack the weight when you can’t do more reps.

Avoid failure in heavy compound exercises like the deadlift and the squat, where the risk of injury is greater if you take your sets to the point of exhaustion.

Workout Days and Rest Days

You may structure your training as you see fit. As long as you insert two days of rest, you can choose which days to hit the gym and which days you have off from training.

The standard Thicc week probably entails five training sessions in a row for most people. Like this:

  • Monday: Lower Body
  • Tuesday: Upper Body
  • Wednesday: Lower Body
  • Thursday: Upper Body
  • Friday: Lower Body
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

However, feel free to switch your workout days and your rest days around to fit your schedule. It won’t make a difference in your results.

When You Reach the End of Thicc: Lower Body Specialization

After six weeks, you’ve completed one round of Thicc. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed your time with our lower body workout routine and your gains in thigh and butt muscle.

The program is designed to be repeated without any adjustments, so if you liked it and the results it gave you, jump right back into week one, but don’t forget to recalculate your new and improved 1RMs.

If you feel sore and tired, take a deload week where you hit the gym two or three times and play around with the weights, doing whatever you enjoy. It’ll give your muscles a chance to recuperate and get ready for the next six-week lower body assault. You can even take a week off and stay reasonably physically active without touching a weight. It won’t hurt your long-term training results.

Follow Thicc: Lower Body Specialization

Want to start Thicc and build your legs and glutes with this lower body workout routine?

It’s available exclusively in our workout app StrengthLog.

While this program requires a premium subscription, StrengthLog itself is entirely free. You can download it and use it as a workout tracker and general strength training app – and all basic functionality is free forever.

It even has a bunch of free programs and workouts. However, our more advanced programs (such as this one) are for premium users only.

Want to give premium a shot? We offer all new users a free 14-day trial of premium, which you can activate in the app.

Download StrengthLog for free with the buttons below:

lower body workout routine download
lower body workout routine download

Good luck with your training!

>> Click here to return to our list of training programs.

References

  1. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 195 – 203. Gluteus Maximus Activation During Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review. Walter Krause Neto, Enrico Gori Soares, Thais Lima Vieira, Rodolfo Aguiar, Thiago Andrade Chola, Vinicius de Lima Sampaio, Eliane Florencio Gama.
  2. International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, Vol 1 No 1 (2021). Resistance Training Recommendations to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy in an Athletic Population: Position Stand of the IUSCA.
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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas has over 30 years of training experience and is a highly appreciated writer and educator on exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Few people stay more up to date and have a better grasp of the field of exercise science than Andreas.