Workout Plan for Women: Thicc Beginner Lower Body Specialization

If you’re looking for a workout plan for women, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll find detailed but easy-to-understand descriptions of the exercises you need and step-by-step instructions on getting started with a perfect program for transforming your body and building strong muscles.

Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is a free training program for women who want to build muscle and get lean and strong. It emphasizes your lower body – your thighs, hamstrings, and glutes – with a balanced approach to building a shapely upper body at the same time.

It is designed to be beginner-friendly, but works great for anyone with training experience as well. You work out three days per week using a combination of free weights and machines.

You’ll find Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization as a free training program in our workout tracker StrengthLog, which is also 100% free to download and use, with no ads.

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

This article gives you a complete overview of the workout routine, with detailed descriptions of each exercise and pro tips on how to make them as effective as possible.

Should Women and Men Train Differently?


Men and women respond to lifting weights the same way. We get stronger, and our muscles grow in size. Contrary to what many believe, females build muscle just as effectively as males. 

Read more:

>> Male and Female Strength and Muscle Growth: Do Men and Women Gain the Same?

So, why is this a workout routine for women?

Even though women build muscle and strength the same way as men, many women want to train differently.

Men often focus on building the chest and arms, while women focus on the lower body and building legs and glutes. Of course, that is a generalization, but if you asked thousands of gym-goers, chances are those would be the answers you got.

In fact, that’s what we did.

We collected data from 275,000 users of our workout log app to find the most popular muscle groups among men and women.

Male muscles statistics
Men do more training sets (relative to women) for their chest, front deltoids, biceps, triceps, and calves.
Female muscles statistics
Women do more training sets (relative to men) for their glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, adductors, abductors, and obliques.

Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is based on those statistics and the most popular exercises of our female users, with some additional movements for muscular balance. Regardless of sex, everyone benefits from training the entire body, even if you want to focus on some body parts.

Most Popular Exercises Statistics

The bottom line is that women and men should train the same way but might prefer to prioritize different muscle groups. Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization targets the muscles women prioritize with the exercise women like the most, according to statistics, in a well-balanced workout routine designed to produce the results you want.

Benefits of Lifting Weights for Women

Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your looks and health. Most of these benefits apply to men and women alike, but some are especially important for females due to hormonal differences.

  • Increased muscle mass and strength! Lifting weights helps women build muscle and improve their overall body strength, which means a more toned appearance and better performance in everyday life and any sport.
  • Lean muscle mass isn’t just for show! As you get older, having more muscle than average improves your quality of life dramatically. You can keep doing the things you love instead of letting age get the better of you.
  • Strength training is medicine! Resistance training enhances cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduces resting blood pressure, helps decrease bad and increase good cholesterol, and promotes bone development. It even boosts mental health and mood.
  • Improved bone density! Regular weight training increases bone density, reducing women’s risk of osteoporosis and fractures. 
  • Better posture and balance! Weight training can help improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine and improve balance by strengthening the muscles that control movements.
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases! Strength training reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease, independent of aerobic exercise. Even if you do cardio as part of your workout routine, you’ll get further benefits if you include regular strength training too. 
  • Boosts metabolism and supports weight loss! Weight training increases muscle mass, allowing your body to burn more calories at rest and aiding in any weight loss efforts.

Introducing Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization

Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is designed for women of all ages looking to build muscle, gain strength, and shape their bodies. You emphasize lower-body training but include upper-body work to sculpt and strengthen your arms, back, shoulders, and chest. It features the exercises you’ve told us you like the most in three well-balanced weekly workouts.

The workout routine suits any experience level, including beginners to strength training taking the first steps on their fitness journey.

Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization: A Week of Training

A week of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization training looks like this:

Workout 1: Full Body

  1. Squat
  2. Romanian Deadlift
  3. Hip Thrust
  4. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  5. Lat Pulldown

Workout 2: Full Body

  1. Leg Press
  2. Seated Leg Curl
  3. Dumbbell Lunge
  4. Barbell Row
  5. Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension

Workout 3: Full Body

  1. Deadlift
  2. Leg Extension
  3. Bench Press
  4. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  5. Dumbbell Curl

You can see details like the number of reps and sets in our workout tracker app StrengthLog.

Each session is a full body workout, one of the best ways to structure beginner workouts but also provide excellent results for more advanced trainees without spending every day in the weight room. Training your whole body two to three times per week perfectly balances training frequency and adequate recovery.

The workouts start with compound exercises focusing on your lower body, moving to the upper body and isolation exercises once the heavy work is done. Each session consists of a total of five exercises: the workouts of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization are fast and effective.

A varied selection of exercises allows you to target all muscle fibers in every body part, emphasizing your thighs, butt, and hamstrings.

You can select your training and rest days to fit your schedule, but try to separate each workout with at least one day of rest. Your muscles don’t grow stronger while you’re lifting, but in the 24–48 hours after the training session, when you provide the recovery and enough protein, energy, and nutrients they need to respond to your efforts.

A typical week of training might look like this:

  • Monday: Workout 1
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout 2
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout 3
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

That gives your muscles adequate recovery for the best results, and you get the weekend off. Of course, you can shuffle your rest and training days around to fit your schedule.

Workout 1

Let’s get training, starting with the first workout of the week!


The very first exercise of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is the squat. There are several reasons the squat is one of the best exercises you can do, not only for getting more shapely legs and butt but for your entire body and overall athletic performance.

  • When done with good form, squats are a great way to build and strengthen your lower body, including the gluteus muscles (your buttocks), your quads (the front of your thighs), and your adductors (your inner thigh muscles).
  • Squats also target and strengthen your abs, obliques, and erector spinae, the muscles that make up your core. They help maintain and improve your balance, stability, and posture.
  • The squat is widely regarded as the best movement to improve general physical performance as it strengthens the muscles you use when you run, jump, and lift things.1
  • Squats help increase bone mineral density in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.2 3 In other words, squatting using relatively heavy weights might help prevent future osteoporosis in younger women and improve bone density in older women who have developed either osteoporosis or osteopenia. Osteopenia is when your bones have lost enough bone mineral density to be weaker than usual but not to the point of osteoporosis.

You can squat using either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. The default exercise in Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is the traditional barbell squat, but feel free to use dumbbells (or a pair of kettlebells) if you prefer. Both variants target the same muscles.

When performing the squat, go as deep as your mobility allows with proper form and without your upper body leaning forward excessively. Research shows that deep squats using a full range of motion are superior to half squats for developing your glutes and inner thighs.4

Squatting with your feet hip-width targets the front of your thighs optimally. However, if you want to hit your glutes more, widen your stance to 140–150% of your shoulder width. Doing so significantly increases the activation of the gluteus maximus, the large muscle that makes up most of the volume of your butt.5

Muscles Worked in the Squat

Muscles worked in the squat

How to Squat with Proper Form

  1. Place the bar on your upper back. Inhale and brace your core slightly, and unrack the bar.
  2. Take two steps back, and adjust your foot position.
  3. Squat as deep as possible with good technique.
  4. With control, stop and reverse the movement, extending your hips and legs again.
  5. Exhale on the way up or exchange air in the top position.
  6. Inhale and repeat for reps.

Romanian Deadlift

Continuing on the lower body theme, the next exercise is the Romanian deadlift, a fantastic exercise for your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. It is a variation of the traditional deadlift, where you shift the focus almost entirely to your posterior chain muscles.

The Romanian deadlift helps build muscle mass and strength and improves your hip mobility and hamstring flexibility.

Lower the barbell as far as you can without rounding your back or bending your knees further than in the top position. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings in the lowest position, but not to the point of discomfort.

You can also do the Romanian deadlift using dumbbells if you prefer.

Muscles Worked in Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles worked in romanian deadlift

How to Do Romanian Deadlifts

  1. Get into the starting position by deadlifting a barbell off the floor, or by unracking it from a barbell rack.
  2. Inhale, brace your core slightly, and lean forward by hinging in your hips. Keep your knees almost completely extended.
  3. Lean forward as far as possible without rounding your back. You don’t have to touch the barbell to the floor, although it is OK if you do.
  4. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. Exhale on the way up.
  5. Take another breath, and repeat for reps.

Hip Thrust

The hip thrust is one of the best exercises for building your butt. Most women can use a surprising amount of weight when performing the hip thrust, making it an excellent exercise for practicing progressive overload, the key factor for strength and muscle growth.

Research shows that the hip thrust is even more effective than the squat for activating your glutes and hamstrings.6 While hip thrusts primarily target your posterior chain, it also works the vastus lateralis muscle on the outer side of the front of your thighs.

The most common way to perform the hip thrusts is by using a loaded barbell and placing the weight on your hip crease. Wrap a towel around the bar or use a barbell pad to make the movement more comfortable.

You can also use a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold it across your hips, although you might soon find yourself running out of dumbbells as you are likely stronger than you think in this movement. In addition, dedicated hip thrust machines make it easier to get into position without fiddling with free weights.

The barbell hip thrust is the default exercise of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization, but feel free to switch to the variant of your choice.

Pro tips for making the hip thrust the best possible glute exercise:

  • Maintain control of the movement and resist the weight when lowering the bar. If you go too fast on the way down, you lose much of the movement’s effectiveness.
  • Don’t push your hips too high. At the top of the movement, they should be in line with your rib cage. You transfer the work from your glutes to your lower back if you go even higher.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor. Some people rise on the balls of their feet at the top of the movement without thinking about it. Doing so makes your quads do more of the work at the expense of your glutes.
  • Experiment with your foot placement until you find the spot that works best for you. If you place your feet too far forward, your hamstrings take over, and if you put them too close to your body, your quads start doing more of the work. Don’t be afraid to try different positions until you feel it the most in your glutes.

Muscles Worked in Hip Thrusts

Muscles worked in barbell hip thrust exercise

How to Hip Thrust

  1. Sit on the floor with your back against a sturdy bench.
  2. Roll the barbell up over your thighs, until it is placed over your hips.
  3. Place your feet on the floor, about shoulder width apart, with bent knees.
  4. Place your hands on the bar to stabilize it.
  5. Push the bar towards the ceiling by extending your hips. Your knees should form a ~90 degree angle at the top.
  6. Lower the weight and repeat for reps.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is one of the best compound exercises for building overall upper body strength. It emphasizes your shoulders, particularly the front delts, but also works your upper chest and triceps.

In addition, it activates your core muscles when you perform it standing up and helps you improve your performance in other exercises, like the bench press.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to provide optimal stability for the lift. Also, while the overhead press is a fun exercise to use heavy weights, be sure not to use too much weight to the point where you can’t maintain correct form. If you have to bend your knees and use leg drive to get the weight up, lighten the load to get the best results.

You can use a barbell or a set of dumbbells when performing the overhead press, whichever option you like the best.

Muscles Worked in the Overhead Press

Muscles worked in overhead press exercise

How to Overhead Press

  1. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Inhale, lightly brace your core, and unrack the bar.
  3. Let the bar rest against your front delts while you take a step back from the rack.
  4. Press the bar up to straight arms, while exhaling.
  5. Inhale at the top, or while lowering the bar with control back to your shoulders.
  6. Repeat for reps.

Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown is one of the best and likely the most popular exercise for building muscle and strength in your upper back. In addition, it builds and tones your biceps just as effectively as doing biceps curls.7

Use a medium-width overhand grip with your palms facing forward when doing lat pulldowns. It offers advantages over the close-grip or wide-grip lat pulldown and activates the target muscles more effectively.8

One thing you don’t want to do is to use body momentum to pull the bar down to your chest. That is one of the most common mistakes when performing the lat pulldown and one that reduces the work your lats are doing, making the exercise less effective.

Try to keep your chest out and your shoulders back, and remain upright without leaning too far back during the movement. When you lean back excessively, you turn the pulldown into a row, shifting the focus to the inner back.

Muscles Worked in Lat Pulldowns

Muscles worked in lat pulldown with pronated grip

How to Do Lat Pulldowns

  1. Grip the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you), slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Sit down with your thighs under the leg support, keep your chest up, and look up at the bar.
  3. Inhale and pull the bar towards you.
  4. Pull the bar down until it is below your chin or touches your upper chest.
  5. Exhale and slowly return the bar until your arms are fully extended.

Workout 2

The second training day of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization is another full-body workout targeting all major muscle groups with five different exercises, starting with compound movements for your lower body.

Leg Press

The leg press works your quads, glutes, and adductors (plus your hamstrings to a lesser degree,) just like the squat. The main difference is that you’re lying down in a machine where you don’t have to think about stability and balance. That way, it’s easier to focus on your target muscles.

Leg Press Pros ✔️

  • Easy to learn. The learning curve of the leg press is very low, and most people can get a good leg workout in the very first time they try it.
  • Stable. The stability of the leg press means that you can focus more on the muscles being worked, and train closer to full exertion without risking a loss of balance. It also means the leg press is more accessible to people with compromised balance, such as the frail or elderly.
  • A little safer. Unless you are an experienced barbell squatter who knows how to set up safety racks or get out from under a failed barbell squat, I think it’s fair to say that the leg press, with its built-in locks and safety pins, is a slightly safer exercise.

The leg press makes it easy to load heavy weights on the machine and perform half-reps. But keep in mind that you’re in the gym to build the legs and glutes you want, not to impress people with how much weight you can move.

Challenging your muscles with heavy weights is essential, but the most important part of the leg press movement is prioritizing proper form and a full range of motion.

At the same time, make sure you don’t overdo the range of motion to the point where you can’t keep your lower back firmly against the seat. If your pelvis rotates away from the backrest when you lower the weight, it could increase the risk of injury. A full range of motion is good, but going deeper than your mobility allows is not.

Muscles Worked in Leg Press

Muscles worked in leg press

How to Leg Press

  1. Adjust the machine so that you only need to extend your legs slightly to be able to release the weights. Adjust the safety pins so that they catch the weight if you are unable to lift it.
  2. Place your feet on the sled, about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Inhale and lower the weight by bending your legs.
  4. Lower the weight as deep as possible without rounding your back, and while keeping your glutes on the seat.
  5. Press the weight back up again as you exhale.

Leg Curl

Are you looking for the best exercise to isolate your hamstrings? Look no further than the leg curl. Many people, including athletes and bodybuilders, have underdeveloped hamstrings compared to the quadriceps and spend way more time and energy training the front of the thigh than the back. Incorporating leg curls into your strength workouts helps avoid muscle imbalances and offers several other benefits:

  • Strong hamstrings improve your athletic performance. Your hamstrings play a crucial role in most athletic movements, and by strengthening them with leg curls, you can improve your overall physical performance. The result is better running speed, jumping ability, and general power in your legs. Even if you have no plans to become an athlete, strong hamstring muscles help you perform physical activities in everyday life.
  • Reduces the risk of injury: the hamstrings are injury prone, and once you get a hamstring tear, it’s challenging to get rid of it permanently. Hamstring injuries have a disproportionate recurrence rate compared to other soft tissue injuries. When you strengthen these muscles with leg curls and other hamstring exercises, you make them more resilient and better able to handle whatever you throw at them. 
  • Your hamstrings help stabilize the knee joint and support knee health. Incorporating leg curls into your fitness routine improves muscle balance and reduces the risk of a knee injury. 
  • Last but not least, firm and rounded hamstrings complement your glutes and simply look good. A well-developed lower body is only complete with hamstrings to match, and the leg curl is crucial for building lean muscle on the back of your thighs.

In a well-equipped gym, you often find several types of leg curl machines, the most common being the seated leg curl and the lying leg curl. The seated variant is slightly more effective for building your hamstrings.9 However, it’s not a massive difference, and you can perform your leg curls seated or lying as you prefer and depending on the machines available in your gym. Or mix it up now and then for variety. Whichever you pick, it’s one of the best isolation exercises for your hamstrings.

Muscles Worked in Seated Leg Curls

Muscles worked by seated leg curl

How to Do Seated Leg Curls

  1. Adjust the machine so that you are correctly positioned. Your knees should be in line with the machines joint.
  2. Push the weight down by bending your knees as far as possible.
  3. Slowly let the weight back again.

Dumbbell Lunge

The dumbbell lunge is a multi-joint movement that targets all the muscles in your lower body. It also engages your core, shoulders, and forearm muscles, making it an excellent exercise for overall fitness.

The dumbbell lunge is a so-called unilateral body exercise, meaning you train one limb at a time instead of both legs simultaneously, like when you squat. Because lunges require you to balance your weight on one leg, it helps improve your balance and stability.

Barbell lunges are equally effective for building muscle and strength, and you can substitute the dumbbell lunge for the barbell variant if you prefer. Both are excellent strength training exercises to improve balance and stability, increase lower-body power, enhance functional strength, and build great-looking legs and glutes.

If you feel you’re struggling with holding onto the dumbbells, you can use a pair of lifting straps to enhance your grip.

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Lunges

Muscles worked by dumbbell lunge

How to Do Dumbbell Lunges

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Take a big step forward and sink as deep as possible in a lunge position, without hitting the knee of the back leg in the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position by pushing yourself back with the front leg.

Barbell Row

The barbell row is a highly effective exercise for your back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids, and trapezius. It also targets your rear delts, biceps, lower back, and forearms. In other words, it’s one of the best exercises for enhancing upper body strength and posture and an essential part of your gym workout plan.

You can perform the barbell row in many different ways: leaning forward to the point of parallel or almost standing upright, using a wide grip, narrow grip, or reverse grip, and many other variations. They are all viable, but I suggest you go the traditional route for this workout routine:

Use a medium-width grip and lean forward to the point where your upper body is close to parallel to the floor. You transfer most of the work to your upper back and traps if you stand mostly upright. By leaning forward further, you target all major muscles of your back.

The barbell row is a compound exercise requiring multiple muscle groups to work together. That means you can hoist heavier weights, which helps increase overall strength and muscle mass. However, keep your ego in check and make sure you’re not using too much weight, keeping the focus on the right muscles instead of heaving the bar up using momentum.

Muscles Worked in Barbell Rows

Barbell row muscles worked

How to Do Barbell Rows With Proper Form

  1. Grip the bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Lean forward with the bar hanging from straight arms.
  3. Inhale and pull the bar towards you.
  4. Pull the bar as high as you can so that it touches your abs or chest, if possible.
  5. With control, lower the bar back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Triceps Extension

The dumbbell triceps extension is an excellent isolation exercise for the back of your upper arms. You can perform it using a variety of weights, from light to heavy, making it suitable for any fitness level. 

Research shows that performing overhead extensions is the best choice for targeting all three heads of the triceps and building and toning the back of your upper arms.10

A full range of motion is key for the best results in the dumbbell triceps extension: lower the weights as far as your mobility allows to the point where you feel a nice stretch in your triceps, and contract and squeeze the muscle at the top.

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Muscles worked in Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension

How to Do Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

  1. Lift a dumbbell up to a straight arm over your head.
  2. Lower the dumbbell down behind your head, while keeping your upper arm still and vertical.
  3. Reverse the motion and extend your arm again.

Workout Three

The last training day of the week is here! Let’s give it your all!


You kick off the third training session of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization with one of the best exercises for building total body strength: the barbell deadlift. It’s a compound exercise that engages multiple body parts from top to toe, including your entire lower body, lower and upper back muscles, and core.

The deadlift offers an opportunity to lift some serious weight. After a bit of practice, many women can deadlift more than their body weight. You’ll likely find your muscular strength to increase rapidly once you incorporate the deadlift into your workout sessions on a regular basis.

Few things are more fun in the gym than seeing your strength go up; those gains translate into equally big returns in muscle gain!

And, if weight loss is one of your fitness goals, the good news is that deadlifts burn many calories. A recent study found that performing three sets of 10 deadlifts using 60% of your 1RM (the maximum weight you can lift with proper form for a single rep) burns between 238 and 282 calories.11

While exercise generally is not highly effective for fat loss, the deadlift is one exercise that expends a ton of calories in a short amount of time, which helps you reach a calorie deficit and lose body fat.

Read more: How Many Calories Do You Burn Lifting Weights?

If you’re training for strength, power, overall fitness, or purely for looks, deadlifts have a place in your strength training workouts, whether you’re new to resistance training or an experienced lifter.

Muscles Worked in the Deadlift

Deadlift muscles worked

How to Deadlift with Proper Form

  1. Step up close to the bar so that it is about over the middle of your foot.
  2. Inhale, lean forward, and grip the bar.
  3. Hold your breath, brace your core slightly, and lift the bar.
  4. Pull the bar close to your body, with a straight back, until you are standing straight.
  5. Lower the bar back to the ground with control.
  6. Take another breath, and repeat for reps.

Leg Extension

The leg extension is a highly effective isolation exercise for your quadriceps, the muscle group that makes up the bulk of your thighs. 

Your quadriceps consists of four different muscles:

  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis
  • Vastus intermedius
  • Rectus femoris

While the squat is an excellent compound exercise for your lower body and hits the first three muscles, it doesn’t do much for the rectus femoris.12 Leg extensions do, however, making them the perfect complementary exercise for building a pair of complete legs, whether you’re going for performance, visual appeal, or both.

rectus femoris leg workout
The rectus femoris muscle extends your leg at the knee.

In addition, nothing beats the leg extension for pumping blood into the muscles and creating an incredible feeling of pump. You’ll get the best results from slowing down, flexing your quads at the top of the movement, and going for a full range of motion.

Lifting as much weight as possible is not the end goal here. Using a lighter weight is a good idea if it helps you focus on feeling the muscles work properly.

Muscles Worked in Leg Extensions

Muscles worked in leg extensions

How to Do Leg Extensions

  1. Adjust the machine so that you are correctly positioned. Your knees should be in line with the machine’s joint.
  2. Extend your knees with control, until they are completely straight.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again.

Bench Press

The king, or why not the queen, of upper body exercises – that’s the bench press, according to many trainers and athletes. And for a good reason: few exercises are more effective for building strength and muscle in the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It’s one of the three compound lifts that make up competitive powerlifting, along with the squat and the deadlift.

Unfortunately, the bench press is sometimes considered an exercise primarily for men.

Some women are hesitant to incorporate it into their upper body workouts, and myths like the bench press making your breasts smaller (or bigger, depending on who’s spreading the myth) or harder still abound.

Because your breasts aren’t made of muscle, doing bench presses will not change their size. At most, it will lift them slightly and make them perkier as you build lean muscle in your pecs that lie below the breasts.

When you see female bodybuilders with rock-hard chest muscles, it’s from an extremely low body fat percentage and super-strict dieting, not from training the chest.

The bench press allows you to improve your overall upper-body strength and performance more than most other exercises. It’ll also build lean muscle in your chest, shoulders, and triceps, making it an invaluable exercise for your gym routine.

Muscles Worked in the Bench Press

Bench press muscles worked

How to Bench Press with Proper Form

  1. Lie on the bench, pull your shoulder blades together and down, and slightly arch your back.
  2. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Inhale, hold your breath, and unrack the bar.
  4. Lower the bar with control, until it touches your chest somewhere close to your sternum.
  5. Push the bar up to the starting position while exhaling.
  6. Take another breath while in the top position, and repeat for reps.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Pressing exercises for your chest and shoulders are excellent choices for building strength and muscle mass in your front delts. However, to target your side delts, the lateral raise is your go-to movement. It isolates the middle part of the delts, helping you strengthen, stabilize, and sculpt your shoulder muscles.

When performing the dumbbell lateral raise, the most important thing to keep in mind is to avoid swinging the weights up.

If you find yourself using your upper body momentum to get the dumbbells up or struggle to control the weights as your lower them, don’t hesitate to decrease the weight.

Using a light weight with proper form is better than using the wrong muscles to lift a heavy weight in this exercise. Using too-heavy dumbbells transfers the work to the front delts and the trapezius muscle instead of the target lateral deltoids.

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Muscles worked in dumbbell lateral raise

How to Do Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells, in almost straight arms hanging by your sides.
  2. With control, lift the dumbbells outwards to your sides, until your upper arm is horizontal.
  3. Lower the dumbbells with control.
  4. Repeat for reps.

Dumbbell Curl

Your biceps get some work from back exercises like the lat pulldown and the dumbbell row, but to isolate them, you’ll want to include some type of curl in your gym workout routine.

The main benefit of the dumbbell curl is sculpted arms, but stronger biceps also help you pick up and pull things more effectively, aiding you in everyday life and performing any athletic task.

The dumbbell curl is an easy exercise to do, but here are two form tips to help you master the movement:

  • Use a controlled motion and resist the weight when you lower the dumbbells. The eccentric phase (when you’re lowering the weight back down) might be half the movement of the biceps curl but worth more than half when it comes to producing results.
  • Avoid using body momentum and swinging the dumbbells. You might be able to use more weight that way, but your target muscles, the biceps, do less of the work.

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Curls

Muscles worked in dumbbell curl exercise

How to Dumbbell Curl

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells in an underhand (supinated) grip, arms hanging by your sides.
  2. Lift the dumbbells with control, by flexing your elbows.
  3. Don’t let your upper arms travel back during the curl. Keep them at your sides or move them slightly forward.
  4. Reverse the movement and lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Optional Ab Work

The three workouts of Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization contain plenty of core work, but little direct abdominal training. It is not overly important for a beginner, as many compound movements activate your abdominal muscles.

Feel free to finish each session with an ab exercise of your choice, however. Good options are the crunch, the plank, and lying leg raises, to mention a few examples.

Two to three sets of each exercise will make your abs scream for mercy.

How to Keep Making Progress and Seeing the Results You Want

The two key words for long-term results are progressive and overload. Progressive overload means constantly trying to lift a little heavier or do one more rep than the last time. 

As an absolute beginner, you’ll make good progress and build muscle and strength no matter what: you go from nothing to something, and your body responds accordingly. Unfortunately, it soon gets used to what you’re putting it through. 

In other words: you have to give it a new reason to keep getting stronger and building muscle. 

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

The best way to make sure you’re on the road to success is to track your lifts in a workout tracker like StrengthLog. You can easily look back at how much weight you used last week and how many reps you did, and try to beat your previous workout.

You won’t always be able to do so, but over time, you must challenge your body to see results.

What’s the Difference Between Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization and Thicc: Advanced Lower Body Specialization? Which Program Is Right for Me?

Thicc: Advanced Lower Body Specialization is a 5-day workout routine; you have to be able to set aside five days per week to set aside for lifting. The most common reason for not exercising or not exercising enough is lack of time, and five days can be a lot for busy women.

With Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization, you only spend three days per week in the gym, and you can even adapt it to a 2-day workout routine with comparable results.

In addition, when you train five days per week, you need the ability to recover from that amount of training. As a beginner, you might still need to develop that ability.

While I recommend that you have some training experience before tackling Thicc: Advanced Lower Body Specialization, this program fits both beginners and intermediate trainees alike.

I Can Only Work Out Two Times Per Week. Is Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization Still for Me?

Don’t worry! Three workouts per week are a bit more effective for building muscle and strength than two, but the difference is not as significant as going from one to two weekly workouts.

You’ll still be able to see good progress even if your schedule only allows you to train twice weekly.

To adapt Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization to a two-day workout routine, simply structure your workout week like this:

Week 1

  1. Workout 1
  2. Workout 2

Week 2

  1. Workout 3
  2. Workout 1

Week 3

  1. Workout 2
  2. Workout 3

Then you go back to the first week and follow this rotation.

You can also switch between training two and three times per week if you have more or less time to work out.

How Long Can I Follow Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization?

The program is designed to be repeated without any adjustments, so if you like it and the results it gives you, simply keep going.

It’s more about when you feel like you’d enjoy some variety than the program not working anymore. That doesn’t happen as long as you strive to increase the weights you use as you get stronger.

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 without exhausting yourself. It’ll allow your muscles to recuperate and prepare for more.

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: Beginner Lower Body Specialization in StrengthLog

Want to start Thicc: Beginner Lower Body Specialization?

It’s available exclusively in our workout tracker StrengthLog.

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

It has a bunch of other free programs and workouts. However, our more advanced programs 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:

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

Good luck with your training!

Read More:

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


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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas is a certified nutrition coach and bodybuilding specialist with over three decades of training experience. He has followed and reported on the research fields of exercise, nutrition, and health for almost as long and is a specialist in metabolic health and nutrition coaching for athletes. Read more about Andreas and StrengthLog by clicking here.