If you're looking to run faster or jump higher, you'll probably need to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs and the gluteus maximus muscle in your butt. Bodybuilders or anyone else seeking a chiseled physique should also perform exercises targeting the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Straight-leg deadlifts and barbell squats target the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs, respectively. Both exercises also work your gluteus maximus. Work your glutes and thighs two or three times per week. Allow 48 hours between workouts. Warm up with at least five minutes of aerobic exercise before you work your thighs and butt.
Stand on a small raised platform -- to allow for greater range of motion -- and set a barbell on the floor just in front of your ankles.
Grasp the barbell with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and stand up straight with your arms extended downward.
Inhale as you bend your torso forward from the hips and waist to lower the bar until it's close to the floor. Keep your arms and legs straight throughout the exercise.
Exhale as you rise to an erect position. Perform eight to 12 repetitions.
Remove the barbell from chest-high position on a rack. Position the bar across the back of your shoulders. Grip the weight with your palms facing forward and your hands next to your shoulders.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Inhale as you flex your knees and hips and lower your butt, as if you were sitting down. Keep your feet in place.
Stop descending when your thighs are roughly parallel with the floor. Keep your knees in line with your feet throughout the exercise.
Exhale as you rise to the starting position. Do eight to 12 reps.
Speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.