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There is a simple solution when looking to tone and tighten the lower body, and it begins with ankle straps. Adding stress around the ankles during exercise can push the hips, thighs, and glutes to another level.
While wearing ankle straps and utilizing various planes, you can add muscle, size, and tone to your legs and butt at the gym using a cable pulley machine. All you need is a pair of ankle straps and access to some gym equipment to get started.
Ankle straps are a straightforward gym accessory that wraps around and tightens each ankle individually. These ankle straps will have a hook on either the back or side, which you can hook into a machine like a cable pulley. You can then work your legs and abs in various ways to train the muscles you prefer.
Squeez Me Skinny offers ankle straps you can use to reach your targeted results. They are adjustable, durable, and unisex. They would make a tremendous addition to any gym bag so that you can achieve a stronger, more toned lower body and midsection.
To trim, tone, and tighten your lower body and core, you'll want to ensure you're doing the right activities. We've got 11 exercises you can do with ankle straps that will have you fit in no time.
For an incredible way to train your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, cable lunges are one of the best. Cable lunges can help individuals who have difficulty contracting their glutes. The movement starts off firing on all cylinders with lateral abduction to your glutes. The ankle straps will enable you to place all of the focus on the glutes instead of allowing other parts of the body to take over.
In this variation, you'll be doing backward lunges rather than standard forward lunges. Strap an ankle to the cable pulley machine at the lowest setting. Turn and face away from the machine, walking out until you can feel tension in your ankle-strapped leg. From here, pull the weighted knee up toward the chest. You can use your arms to balance by keeping them tight to your hips or holding them out parallel. Drop backwards slowly into a lunge position then explode upward with your knee to chest. Repeat for up to fifteen reps on each leg.
Since you already know how important cable lunges are to a muscle-toned buttocks, the lateral version will help hit parts missed during the basic exercise. Cable lunges focus more on the quads while the lateral kind will pinpoint the glutes.
You can start by attaching your ankle strap to the cable pulley at the lowest possible point. Stand with your shoulder (opposite to the ankle you have strapped) facing the machine and begin side-stepping. Ensure your knee bends into a flexed position, like a lunge, and hold it for about one to two seconds. Retract back to the starting position and repeat this for up to twenty-five repetitions.
Cable hamstring curls are a fantastic workout for mind-muscle connection. As most people do not know how to avoid using other muscle groups during a focused muscle workout, using ankle straps will help resolve this.
There are definitely better options out there for progressively overloading the hamstrings. However, individuals using ankle straps can get a good pump while building well-developed and toned hamstrings.
Hook an ankle strap to the machine on the lowest setting. Then, face the machine while holding yourself upright, balanced on one leg (non-ankle-strapped leg). Pull the weighted leg upwards and attempt to touch your heel to your buttocks. Hold it at the top of the contraction for one to two seconds before slowly lowering it down to the starting point. Repeat for twenty repetitions on each leg.
Cable kickbacks are one of the best exercises when looking to train your booty effectively. It also helps develop a mind-muscle connection so that you're laser-focused on the glutes and nothing else.
When it comes to the exercises on the list, muscle development is more about isolating a single muscle rather than progressive overload. You'll want to squeeze your glutes at the top of each repetition to promote hypertrophy, feel the burn, and earn results.
Strap an ankle to the lowest setting and face the pulley machine. Use your arms for balance, so you don't tip over. Extend your weighted leg backward slowly. Once it reaches its furthest distance, hold the exercise for one to two seconds, then slowly reset. Ensure that you are squeezing your glutes the entire time. Repeat the exercise for up to fifteen reps on each leg.
We've discussed the legs, so how about the hips? Cable hip abductors are fantastic for giving your hips and butt the perfect shape. These exercises are excellent for isolating your hips and building that muscle-mind connection we keep mentioning.
Like all the other exercises so far, attach one of your ankle straps to the pulley machine at the lowest setting. Allow your outside leg to be the weighted one while facing the machine. Raise the weighted leg out to the side while maintaining balance on the other. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the contraction and hold for one to two seconds. Lower the leg down and repeat for up to fifteen repetitions.
Let's talk about the exercise which works the opposite of hip abductors, inner thigh contractions. These exercises work the inside of your leg rather than your backside.
Begin with your shoulder facing the machine, and attach the closest leg with an ankle strap. Lift the weighted leg slightly off the ground and pull it away from the machine. Hold it for one to two seconds when your leg is at the highest point it can reach, and then slowly lower it back down. Repeat for up to twenty repetitions on each leg.
We've hit your legs and butt, but what about the core? Ankle straps aren't just for legs, and we can prove it with weighted leg raises. Just know that these exercises will obliterate your abs.
Take a flat bench and have the head of it facing away from the machine. Attach a cable to both ankle straps and lie down on the bench. Keep your ankles pointed toward the machine. Grip the bench with your hands for balance and slowly lift your weight ankles upward. Make an "L" shape with your body, then lower your legs back down, keeping tension in your abs and core. Repeat for up to twenty reps.
Our final exercise is another that will strengthen your core and require you to dig deep. Weighted crunches are one of the best ways to tighten and tone your midsection. But they are not for the faint of heart.
For this, you can lie on the floor. First, attach both ankle straps to the machine and keep your feet together. While lying on your back, face away from the machine. Get into a crunch position by sliding your hands behind your head and lifting your legs off the floor. Begin doing standard crunches with an exaggerated leg movement. Stretch your legs with feet pointed as far as they can before pulling in for the crunch. Twenty-five reps should be enough to feel the burn.