Reverse leg extensions also are known as as reverse leg curls. It’s the exact opposite movement of a leg extension, which primarily works the quadriceps located on the front of your thighs. Reverse leg extensions work the muscles in the back of the legs, including the hamstrings and gluteus maximus. There are several different ways to strengthen your glutes using reverse leg extensions; you can do them with or without gym equipment.
Resistance Band Workout
The American Council on Exercise recommends using the standing reverse leg extension to target the glutes and hamstrings. You can attach a resistance band from your ankle area to an anchor point, such as a sturdy table leg. While facing the anchor point, extend your leg backward. The higher you can lift your leg, the more it will exercise your glutes. Try using variations of bending your knee and keeping it straight to target the glutes at different angles.
Leg Machine Workout
Most gyms offer dedicated reverse leg extension machines. There are seated versions as well as lying down reverse leg curl machines. Use proper form when using these machines, and do not try to lift more weight than you can handle. You should be able to do at least 12 to 15 repetitions using the proper technique, otherwise the weight is too heavy. Using these machines, try to kick your legs back towards your glutes, and slowly return to the starting position.
Author of “Client-Centered Exercise Prescription,” John C. Griffin, offers yet another way to do reverse leg extensions without the need for resistance bands or a machine. However, you’ll need the help of a friend. This reverse leg curl variation works by getting on your knees with your friend holding down your ankle/calf area with his body weight. With your back to your friend, you basically do crunches but in reverse. Go down slowly and back up again. You’ll feel the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes start to burn.
Sculpting and shaping your glutes is best done by targeting the area with eight to 10 sets total per workout, according to Brad Schoenfeld, the author of “Sculpting Her Body Perfect.” He suggests doing up to four sets of any one exercise, such as reverse leg curls, as part of your hamstring/glute workout. Exercise this area once per week. Each set should be 15 to 20 repetitions with 30-seconds of rest in between each set, and make sure you stretch before and after each workout.