Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: Mat

Good for: Lower-body toning

Instructions: Starting with the first move, complete as many reps as possible during the prescribed time while maintaining proper form. Rest where noted before continuing on to the next exercise.

1. Hip Circles

How to: Start on mat on elbows and knees, keeping shoulders over elbows and hips over knees. Make circles in the air with your right knee, moving from the hip. Draw circle as wide as possible while keeping torso stable. Continue moving right knee in circles for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat on left leg for 30 seconds before proceeding to the next move.

2. Down-Dog Leg Kick

How to: Start in plank position, feet hip-distance apart, hands shoulder-width apart. Lift hips to move into downward-facing dog pose, pointing tailbone up and pressing heels into the floor. Lift right leg straight back and up, keeping right foot firmly flexed. Bring right leg back down to mat, then repeat the move on left leg. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

3. Side Leg Lift

How to: Start by lying on right side, feet flexed. Put left hand on ground in front of chest to stabilize the body. Keep the body in a straight line, tailbone tucked. With left foot flexed and leg straight, lift leg toward the ceiling. Depending on flexibility, stop somewhere between 45º-80º and lower back down. Continue lifting and lowering right leg for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat on left leg for 30 seconds before proceeding to the next move.

4. Alternating Leg Lowers

How to: Start by lying on the back. Keep hands by hips with lower back pressed into the mat. Lift both legs up to the ceiling, legs at a 90º angle. With feet flexed, slowly lower right leg down. Bring right leg back up and repeat with left leg. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

Quick tip: Only lower the leg as close to the ground as you can without arching your back to maintain proper form.

5. Air Squat

How to: Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, toes pointed out slightly. Keeping the head in line with the tailbone, sit while shifting hips back. Lower down until thighs are parallel with the ground. Drive up through the heels to standing and repeat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

6. Single-Leg Deadlift

How to: Start standing with weight in right foot, right leg slightly bent. Lift left foot slightly off the floor, then reach left leg and left arm out in both directions while hinging at the hips until torso is parallel with the floor, forming one long line with body. Return to start. Complete as many reps as possible on right side in 45 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then do as many reps as possible on left side in 45 seconds. Rest for another 10 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

7. Pencil Jumps

How to: Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep arms by sides. Jump up and down by bouncing off the balls of the feet. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

8. Air Squat

How to: Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, toes pointed out slightly. Keeping the head in line with the tailbone, sit while shifting hips back. Lower down until thighs are parallel with the ground. Drive up through the heels to standing and repeat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

9. Single-Leg Deadlift

How to: Start standing with weight in right foot, right leg slightly bent. Lift left foot slightly off the floor, then reach left leg and left arm out in both directions while hinging at the hips until torso is parallel with the floor, forming one long line with body. Return to start. Complete as many reps as possible on right side in 45 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then do as many reps as possible on left side in 45 seconds. Rest for another 10 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

10. Pencil Jumps

How to: Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep arms by sides. Jump up and down by bouncing off the balls of the feet. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

11. Kneeling Extension

How to: Start in a kneeling position, then lower hips until they’re sitting on heels. Reach arms straight in front of chest or hold over abs, which should be engaged. Pressing the tops of shoe laces into the ground, lift hips up until they are directly over the knees. Lower down and repeat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

12. Walk-Up Squat

How to: Start in a kneeling position, toes tucked under, knees hip-distance apart. Bring right foot forward to a half-kneeling position. Bring left foot forward, into a low squat. Come up to standing. Return to start by lowering down to a squat and bringing right knee down first. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, alternating the leg you start with, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

13. Glute Bridge

How to: Start by lying on back, knees bent, feet hip-distance apart and about 6 inches away from butt. Lift hips toward the ceiling, keeping core engaged. Lower hips back down to the ground until lower back presses into the mat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

14. Sexy Spider

How to: Start in plank position, head in line with heels, shoulders over wrists, and feet hip-distance apart. Bring right knee out to side, toward right elbow, then return to plank position. Bring left knee out to side, toward left elbow, then return to plank position. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, alternating legs, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

15. Kneeling Extension

How to: Start in a kneeling position, then lower hips until they’re sitting on heels. Reach arms straight in front of chest or hold over abs, which should be engaged. Pressing the tops of shoe laces into the ground, lift hips up until they are directly over the knees. Lower down and repeat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

16. Walk-Up Squat

How to: Start in a kneeling position, toes tucked under, knees hip-distance apart. Bring right foot forward to a half-kneeling position. Bring left foot forward, into a low squat. Come up to standing. Return to start by lowering down to a squat and bringing right knee down first. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, alternating the leg you start with, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

17. Glute Bridge

How to: Start by lying on back, knees bent, feet hip-distance apart and about 6 inches away from butt. Lift hips toward the ceiling, keeping core engaged. Lower hips back down to the ground until lower back presses into the mat. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

18. Sexy Spider

How to: Start in plank position, head in line with heels, shoulders over wrists, and feet hip-distance apart. Bring right knee out to side, toward right elbow, then return to plank position. Bring left knee out to side, toward left elbow, then return to plank position. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, alternating legs, then rest for 10 seconds. Proceed to the next move.

19. Split Squat Iso Hold On Right Side

How to: Start in a kneeling position with right toe tucked under, 90º bends in both knees. Lift right knee 1-2 inches off the ground. Stay tall and keep core engaged. Hold for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

20. Standing Splits On Right Side

How to: Start standing, feet together. Lift left leg behind you and up toward the ceiling, bringing body and arms forward and down until you can touch the floor with your fingers. Keep hips stable and left leg lifted. Hold for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

Quick tip: You can maintain a slight bend in both knees if you have tight hamstrings.

21. Split Squat Iso Hold On Left Side

How to: Start in a kneeling position with left toe tucked under, 90º bends in both knees. Lift left knee 1-2 inches off the ground. Stay tall and keep core engaged. Hold for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

22. Standing Splits On Left Side

How to: Start standing, feet together. Lift right leg behind you and up toward the ceiling, bringing body and arms forward and down until you can touch the floor with your fingers. Keep hips stable and right leg lifted. Hold for 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

23. Standing Straddle

How to: Stand with feet wide, about 3 feet apart. Keep toes pointed in, heels out. Hinge from hips and fold forward until you can place hands underneath shoulders on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds.

But wait, there’s (lots) more! This is just one of the eight workouts in Women’s Health’s 30-day fitness challenge, which kicks off on January 6. Each week, you’ll tackle four different workouts: lower body, upper body, total body, and abs. They all follow a similar format and use minimal or no equipment. Join our Facebook group for daily motivation, progress checks, and more! And if you want streaming video versions of all eight workouts, .

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21 Exercises to Tone Your Butt

In this article:

One of the most common body parts that people (particularly women) want to look good is the backside – more specifically, the rear end.

Most people think that squats are the most effective way to work the muscles in the butt. Guess what, that is not the case.

People sit far too much these days, not using the glutes enough, allowing them to atrophy and get weaker and smaller.

Glute Anatomy

The butt is actually composed of three separate, distinct muscles, namely, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

Most of the action of the buttocks is done by the biggest and most well known of the butt muscles, the gluteus maximus.

The job of this muscle is to extend the hip and externally rotate it. This means straightening your trunk from a bent-over position or straightening out your leg and bringing it behind you.

The gluteus maximus is also involved in turning your leg out to the side, called external rotation.

The gluteus medius muscles are located on each side of the butt and are mostly responsible for abducting the hip, or moving the leg away from the midline (kicking your leg out to the side), and externally rotating the hip as described above.

A lot of research has been done about the gluteus medius and its involvement in many injuries. All of the glute muscles are very important for walking and running, but the gluteus medius is particularly important for these functions. This muscle is commonly very weak in the average person.

The gluteus minimus is a deeper muscle and, as you can tell from the name, the smallest of the glute muscles. It is located on the side and top of the butt underneath the gluteus medius. This muscle is also involved in abducting and rotating the leg.

Do Squats Help in Toning Your Butt?

Squats are an absolutely wonderful, effective exercise that everyone should be doing daily. But, contrary to what many people think, they are not the most effective exercise that you can perform to strengthen the glutes.

If all you do is squats in order to get a perky butt, you may end up growing your thigh muscles a lot more than the glutes. The result will be bulky thighs and not the butt shape you are hoping for.

Squats are very important in any exercise routine, but they are a compound exercise that affects several muscle groups, not just the butt.

This is not to dissuade anyone from performing squats as they are a fabulous activity, and if you have limited time to work out, do squats. However, if your goal is to achieve a perky butt, there is so much more that should be done to directly and solely hit the glutes.

What Are Hip Thrusts and Bridges?

Exercises called hip thrusts and bridges are the most effective activity for strengthening the glutes. They are (mostly) isolated exercises that do not put the quads into action as much as squats do.

These exercises start at a position of flexion of the hip with the knees bent and work toward the extension of the hip. These movements effectively hit mostly the glute muscles and not the quads. Squats do the other way around.

A book called “Strong Curves” is highly recommended. The main goal of the book is to work the butt muscles. It is well written and easy to understand with wonderful pictures and demonstrations of exercises.

The book contains four different workout routines based on skill level and goals. Included in the book is a program that can be done completely at home if you do not have access to a gym.

Glute-Heel Connection

Most glute exercises can be enhanced by making sure that most of the weight of your body is on your heels. This activates the glutes more.

For example, when performing a bridge, you can place your toes on a block to make sure that the majority of your weight is pushed through your heels. The same goes for hip thrusts, squats, etc. Dig your heels in and take the load off the front of your foot.

Tips for Beginners

  • As always, before beginning any resistance exercises, make sure to properly warm up. Get on the treadmill or just walk in place for a few minutes, anything to get your heart rate up.
  • Posture is incredibly important in any butt exercise you perform. Make sure to keep a neutral (straight) spine when performing butt exercises.
  • Squeeze your butt all the time, not just during exercises. For example, in every step you take when walking, consciously squeeze your butt muscles to propel yourself forward.
    Turn on the mind-muscle connection with the butt and squeeze it during all activities. After a while, it will be automatic for you to constantly squeeze your butt and you won’t have to think about it.
  • A strong butt makes everything better. Really. The stronger your butt becomes, the less your knees and back will hurt. You will feel stronger and more capable in every area of your life.
  • All of the exercises shown below can be progressed and made more difficult by adding weights, a TheraBand, or repetitions. You can also do variations of the exercises.

Exercises to Achieve the Perfect Butt

1. Standing Lunges

This exercise tones the muscles of your buttocks, thighs, and hamstrings. It also improves your balance and gives your core muscles a proper workout.

  1. Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart with toes pointing straight ahead.
  2. Keep your hands on your hips.
  3. Take a large step forward with your right leg.
  4. Slowly bend your knees until both legs are nearly at right angles. The right knee should not extend over your toes and the left knee should not touch the floor.
  5. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Then step back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 8-10 times with the first leg, and then switch legs.

Along with standing lunges, you can try simple backward lunges, simple forward-stepping lunges, gliding balance continual lunges, lateral lunges, and multidirectional lunges with arms.

You can even perform lunges with dumbbells or with a medicine ball to add additional resistance.

2. Lying Side Leg Raises

This effective exercise helps tighten and tone the muscles in the butt, thighs, and hips. It also benefits the lower abdominal muscles. In addition, it lowers your risk for back injuries, back pain, and back strain while performing other exercises.

  1. Lie on your side with your legs extended out straight.
  2. Place your lower arm under your head and rest your upper arm on your hip.
  3. Raise your top leg, while keeping your hips steady and both legs straight.
  4. Keep raising your top leg up in the air until you feel tightness in your outer hip.
  5. Move your leg upward and downward 15-20 times.
  6. Switch sides and do the same with the other leg.
  7. Do this exercise every other day to let your muscles recover.

3. Step-Ups

This simple resistance exercise works the muscles in your legs and buttocks. It mainly targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. In addition, it improves your balance and reduces your risk of lower back pain.

  1. Place a sturdy step or bench in front of you.
  2. Stand in front of the step or bench with your back, legs, and arms straight and your feet hip-width apart.
  3. If you want, you can hold weights (barbells or dumbbells) in each hand with your palms facing your body.
  4. With an exhale, step onto the center of the bench with your right leg and straighten it.
  5. Keep your left leg behind you for balance.
  6. Inhale and slowly bend your right knee. Then step back down to complete one round.
  7. Do 5-10 rounds with one leg. Then switch to the other leg.

4. Lying Hamstring Curl with Stability Ball

This simple and interesting exercise focuses primarily on the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles. Along with toning your legs and buttocks, this exercise works out your abdominal muscles. It is also good for your lower back.

  1. Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Place your arms by your sides for support.
  2. Slowly pull up your hips, with your knees slightly bent, and hold your hips up throughout the entire exercise.
  3. Dig your heels into the ball and slowly roll the ball toward your body as you bend your knees.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position to complete one rep.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, once daily.

5. Sun Salutation

The Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar, consists of 12 yoga postures. The different poses stretch, compress, and tone all of the body’s major muscles. A complete exercise in itself, the Sun Salutation benefits both your physical and mental health.

The sequence of yoga poses in the Sun Salutation is:

  1. Salutation pose (Pranamasana)
  2. Raised arm pose (Hasta Uttanasana)
  3. Hand-to-foot pose (Padahastasana)
  4. Equestrian pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
  5. Mountain pose (Parvatasana)
  6. Salutation with eight limbs (Ashtanga Namaskara)
  7. Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
  8. Mountain pose (Parvatasana)
  9. Equestrian pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
  10. Hand-to-foot pose (Padahastasana)
  11. Raised arm pose (Hasta Uttanasana)
  12. Salutation pose (Pranamasana)

If you are a beginner, it is best to learn this from an expert. Start with 2 to 4 rounds and gradually increase to 12 rounds daily.

6. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

The Chair pose is a popular yoga pose that helps tone the muscles of your legs and butt. It also tones the muscles along the inner and outer thighs and the back. It even stretches your shoulders and chest.

  1. Stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale and raise your arms straight above your head.
  3. Exhale and fold your body forward at your hips to a 45° angle.
  4. Keep your knees slightly bent, as though you were about to sit in a chair.
  5. Look straight ahead and hold the position for 30-60 seconds, taking deep breaths.
  6. Straighten your knees with inhalation and stand up straight.
  7. Exhale and release your arms to your sides.
  8. Repeat 10-15 times, once daily.

We thank Phoenix Rehab and Physiotec for the following images.

7. Glute Bridge

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Contract your buttocks to lift your hips off the ground until your trunk is aligned with your legs.
  3. Slowly return to the initial position and repeat.

8. Frog Bridge

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lie on your back with your knees far apart from each other and heels together.
  2. Squeeze your heels together, tighten your core, and lift your buttocks until your trunk is aligned with your legs.
  3. Slowly return to the initial position and repeat.

9. BOSU Hip Thrust

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Sit down on the floor with your upper back on a BOSU ball (or a chair or sofa) as a pivot point. Fold your arms over your chest.
  2. Push your hips up by squeezing your glutes so your thighs are in line with your torso.
  3. Keep your glutes up for the recommended time.
  4. Then, lower them and repeat.

Note: You should feel your glutes working.

10. BOSU Hip Thrust, Arms Up

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Sit down on the floor with your upper back on a BOSU ball (or a chair or sofa) as a pivot point. Raise your arms over your chest.
  2. Push your hips up by squeezing your glutes so your thighs are in line with your torso.
  3. Keep your glutes up for the recommended time. Then, lower them and repeat.

Note: You should feel your glutes working.

11. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Start in crook lying (knees bent while lying on back).
  2. Lift one leg off the floor and go up into a shoulder bridge.
  3. Keeping the leg out straight and the thigh in line with the other thigh, lower yourself on the ground and lift yourself back up.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.

12. Clamshell

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lie on your side. Bend both the legs a little.
  2. Now, without moving your pelvis, lift your leg that is on the top. Slowly, bend your legs but try to keep your heels together.
  3. Rotate your hip in such a way that while moving, your foot and kneecap point upward.
  4. Return to the initial position and repeat.

13. Clamshell, Top Leg Abducted

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lie on your side with your knees bent and head supported.
  2. Elevate the top leg slightly so it does not touch the bottom leg.
  3. Keep your top foot directly above the bottom one and lift/rotate your top knee without moving your pelvis.
  4. Lower your knee and repeat.

Note: Breathe normally during this exercise.

14. Reverse Hyper on Table

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lay on your stomach on a table so that your hips and legs are hanging over the edge.
  2. Hold the table to steady yourself.
  3. Keeping your back straight and your head in line with the spine, squeeze your glutes and lift your legs, extending at the hips until your torso and thighs are aligned. Do not overextend your lower back or neck.
  4. Lower your legs down toward the floor and repeat.

15. Modified Reverse Hyperextensions

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Place a mini band around your ankles.
  2. Lie down on your stomach on a table so that your hips and legs are hanging over the edge.
  3. Hold on to the table to support yourself.
  4. Bend your knees and hips so they are flexed to approximately 90° .
  5. Stabilize your abdominals, contract your glutes, and extend your legs straight out, making sure the mini band stays under tension. When your legs are fully extended, there should be a straight line going from your feet to your head.
  6. Return to the starting position under control and repeat.

16. Frog Leg-Hip Extension on Ball

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Lay on your stomach on a Swiss ball (or a table) with the soles of your feet together, your knees out to the side, and your hands on the floor for stabilization.
  2. Keeping your core tight, contract your glutes to lift your legs up without arching your back.
  3. Lower your legs and repeat.

17. Fire Hydrant

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Start on all fours with your back flat.
  2. Keeping your knee bent, raise one leg out to the side at a height that allows you to keep your pelvis and shoulders parallel to the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat.

18. Full Squat

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead.
  2. Keep your back straight and push your knees 3-4 cm in front of your feet, keeping your knees over the second to third toe of each foot.
  3. Lean forward and sit back on your heels until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep in mind not to let your back bend until the thighs are below parallel.
  4. Sit on your heels (heels on the floor) and keep your feet straight. At this point, you can round your back.

19. Sit to Stand (High), With or Without Band

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Sit on an elevated seat and put a band around your thighs just above your knees. You do not need the band but it will make it more effective.
  2. With your feet slightly apart, lean forward so your shoulders are over your feet or beyond and stand up fully.
  3. Slowly return to sitting.

Note: Resist the inward pull of the band by keeping your knees over your feet at all times. The main thing to remember with this exercise is to keep your shins static. Try not to let them move forward much, but lean forward with your upper body as much as necessary. Doing this maximally activates the posterior chain.

20. Straight Leg Deadlift

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  1. Hold dumbbells in your hands.
  2. Stand with your body weight on your working leg, with the knee slightly bent.
  3. Place your other leg behind you for balance, using only your tiptoe.
  4. Lean forward, bending at the hip joint (you should feel this in the back of your hamstrings).
  5. Be careful not to bend through your back: you should maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  6. Return to a standing position, by pulling up through your hamstrings and glutes.

21. Deadlift With Weights

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

  • Stand with your arms on each side with weights in each hand.
  • Squat down to 90° with the weights in front of your legs and slowly come back up to a standing position.
  • Keep your back straight, chin in, shoulders back, and stability of the knee and knee cap aligned with your second toe at all times.
  • Was this article helpful?
  • Get your ass into shape with these incredibly easy, super-quick butt-toning exercises from Amanda Butler of The Fhitting Room, a New York City fitness club known for its high intensity workouts.

    1. The Squat. Stand with your feet hip width apart and push your hips back so that your weight goes into your heels. Squat down into a 90 degree angle. Stand back up while still pressing down on your heels. Try and push your butt back as far as you can, while keeping your feet planted and your shoulders back. Try not to lean forward! Do 2 sets of 20 reps.

    2. The Squat Hold and Pulse. Stand with your feet hip width apart, pushing your hips back so that your weight goes down into your heels again. Squat down to a 90 degree angle just as you did before. Stand back up while pressing down through the heels, but do not stand up totally straight! Make tiny up and down movements, pulsing to get that burn! Again, 2 sets of 20 reps will do it.

    3. The Bridge-Up. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly on the floor. Press your hips up to the ceiling and squeeze those glutes, much like you would while doing a gymnastics bridge. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat as many times as you can. This is serious ab, butt, and leg toning.

    4. The Bridge-Up With Leg Lifts. Take turns extending one leg at a time as you push up into bridge mode. Keep your extended leg as straight as possible for maximum toning.

    The results will be worth it.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images, Yoga Mat: Gaiam Yoga

    Tess Koman Senior Editor Tess Koman covers breaking (food) news, opinion pieces, and features on larger happenings in the food world.

    The 12 best ways to lose butt fat

    Try the following exercises to lose fat from the butt and to tone the muscles in the thighs and glutes:

    1. Running

    Running is an excellent exercise for full-body weight loss. Running tones the leg and butt muscles, which gives the thighs and buttocks a more defined shape.

    This aerobic activity also improves heart and lung function, and it strengthens the lower body. Also, aside from supportive shoes, it requires no special equipment.

    Running is better than walking for fat loss, as it burns more calories. A 2012 study found that, over 1,600 meters, people of average fitness burned 372.54 calories while walking and 471.03 calories while running.

    However, the study authors conclude that even if a person is unable to take up running, walking is also a very good option for burning calories and fat compared with resting.

    2. High-intensity interval training

    Busy people who want to lose butt fat can take up high-intensity interval training (HIIT). According to a worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2018, HIIT is the most popular fitness trend globally.

    HIIT involves putting maximum effort into one specific activity for a short period. This is followed by a longer period at a slower pace. HIIT sessions are intense workouts, so they tend to be shorter in duration than moderate-intensity activities.

    For example, after a warmup period, HIIT may involve the following:

    • running on a treadmill at 7 miles per hour (mph) for 1 minute
    • running for 2 minutes at 5 mph
    • repeating this pattern for 15 minutes or so before cooling down

    Research from 2011 suggests that HIIT may be more effective at reducing body fat than other types of exercise.

    Another study reports that HIIT is a good strategy for controlling obesity because of its time-efficiency.

    3. Step-climbing

    Climbing steps is an easy way to tone the glutes while also keeping the heart and lungs healthy.

    Step-climbing boosts strength and muscle tone in the butt and upper legs. There are various ways to work these muscles:

    • using stepping machines at a gym
    • walking up flights of stairs
    • hiking uphill
    • using a climbing or bouldering wall

    Step-climbing can provide other health benefits, too. One small study from 2005 on 15 women found that climbing flights of stairs up to five times per day had a measurable impact on oxygen uptake and reduced low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol.

    In this study, the women began by climbing a flight of 199 stairs once each day in week 1, then gradually increasing climbs to five times each day by week 7. They made no other dietary or lifestyle changes while taking part in this study.

    4. Squats

    Squats are a major part of many exercise plans. This is likely due to their ability to work several muscles in the butt, legs, and abdomen at the same time.

    One 2009 study, which appeared in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, examined the effects of various exercises on the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.

    The scientists found that single-leg squats were a good option for activating both the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius.

    To perform a single-leg squat:

    1. Extend the arms in front of the body.
    2. Stand on the left leg and extend the right leg straight in front, as high as possible.
    3. Slowly lower the butt as close as possible to the floor while keeping the leg elevated. The back should be straight and the left knee in line with the left foot.
    4. Return to the starting position. Repeat several times before switching to the right leg.

    If it is not possible to perform one-leg squats, regular squats are also effective. To do these:

    1. Extend the arms in front of the body. Keep the feet shoulder-width apart.
    2. Slowly lower the butt as close as possible to the floor, without losing balance. The back should be straight, and the knees should not travel out in front of the toes.
    3. Return to the starting position. Repeat several times.
    4. To increase the intensity, hold weights in the hands while squatting.

    Another variation is the split-squat, during which a person performs squats with their legs apart. A small-scale 2017 study found that split-squats had the highest impact on the gluteus maximus, compared with deadlifts and good-mornings.

    5. Lunges

    Lunges are another lower-body strength exercise that activates and tones the gluteus maximus. Variations include sideways, forward, and transverse lunges.

    The basic forward lunge also works the thighs and calves. To perform a lunge:

    1. Stand with the feet hip-distance apart.
    2. Take a large step forward with the left leg.
    3. Slowly lower the body, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Do not allow the right knee to touch the ground or the left knee to travel past the toes of the left foot.
    4. Return to the standing position. Repeat several times.

    6. One-leg deadlift

    Deadlifts work the lower body, improve balance, and strengthen the abdominal muscles and lower back. Doing one-leg deadlifts also activates the gluteus muscles.

    Follow these instructions to do a one-leg deadlift:

    1. Stand on one leg with the hands by the sides.
    2. Stretch the other leg out behind. Keep the back flat and the shoulders back.
    3. Lean forward from the hips until there is a stretch in the hamstrings. Do not let the chest drop below the hips.
    4. Return to the starting position. Repeat several times, then switch sides.

    If this is too intense, lightly rest the non-supporting leg on the floor. To increase the exercise intensity, use hand-held weights.

    7. Side-lying hip abduction

    Side-lying hip abduction exercises are effective for strengthening the gluteus medius muscle. To do this exercise:

    1. Begin by lying on one side and supporting the head with the arm or hand. Keep the knees straight and feet together.
    2. Slowly raise the top leg as high as possible without turning the pelvis backward or forward.
    3. Lower the leg slowly to return to the starting position. Repeat several times on each side.

    Use ankle weights to increase the intensity of this exercise.

    8. Lateral band walk

    Strengthen and stabilize the hips and knees with a lateral band walk, which also works the gluteus medius muscle. This exercise is a useful warmup activity before running, jumping, and other activities.

    To do the lateral band walk:

    1. Take a resistance band and place it under the balls of the feet. Ensure that the band stays flat against the shoes.
    2. Stretch the legs to shoulder-width apart. Distribute the weight evenly over both feet.
    3. Bending the knees slightly to achieve a semi-squat position, squeeze the glutes and core muscles.
    4. With one foot, take a small step of around 3 inches to the side. Move the other foot in the same direction, again approximately 3 inches.
    5. Take 10 steps like this, then do the same in the other direction.

    To make this exercise more difficult, choose a band with a higher level of resistance.

    This Workout Is the Ultimate Way to Sculpt Strong Legs and an Incredible Butt

    Cellulite gets a whole lot of attention—but it’s completely natural and, really, NBD. Technically, cellulite is just fat that happens to be packaged in lumps instead of layers, says Wane Westcott, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Quincy College who has done numerous studies on exercise and cellulite. Various factors—genetics, hormones, and bad circulation, to name a few—figure into whether you’ll develop it. (Related: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cellulite)

    The most important thing to know is that, no, you absolutely do not need to worry about the appearance of or getting rid of your cellulite. It’s incredibly common and, often, there’s not too much you can do about it; so why not love your body no matter what it looks like? (See: Iskra Lawrence Is Inspiring Women to Put Their #CelluLIT On Full Display)

    If you do want to reduce the appearance of cellulite, the fitness connection boils down to this: “When you lose muscle or don’t have much of it, there’s no underlying foundation, so fat clumps up,” says Westcott. You can’t spot-reduce fat, but you can build muscle strategically, he says. Because cellulite tends to accumulate on your butt and legs, you can hit your lower body hard with high reps of moderately heavy strength moves. (“Back leg exercises,” aka moves that target your hamstrings, glutes, and abductors, such as deadlifts are awesome for this, BTW.) “These moves will build a crucial muscle foundation below the fat in that area and burn calories in general, helping to repackage what fat is left into smoother layers,” says Westcott.

    We went to top trainer Joey Gonzalez, the CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp to cook up a butt and thigh workout routine that, sure, might help reduce cellulite—but more importantly, will help you build a strong and capable lower body.

    Photo: Pond5

    This workout comes to you from Daily Burn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Allie Whitesides. You can find more live workouts every day at DailyBurn.com/365.

    Whether you want to run faster, Whip/Nae Nae better or simply feel stronger walking up the stairs, it never hurts to give a little more love to your butt, hips and thighs during a workout.

    Neglect your lower body too often and you risk losing mobility — that thing that allows you to plop down on the floor to play with your kids, or get up and out of even the cushiest chair with ease. “A lot of people sit all day, so they’re not necessarily using their glute muscles,” says Daily Burn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Allie Whitesides. “And a lot of people are in the car all the time, so we’re not using our leg muscles much, either.”

    RELATED: 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

    If all you’ve been doing for your lower body lately is the occasional lunge, it’s time to mix up your routine. “Our bodies move in different directions, not in one direction, so it’s important to mimic that during cross-training,” Whitesides says. That’s why instead of relying on a pattern of “lunge-squat-repeat” — you might want to throw some plié squats, or leg lifts into the mix.

    These five moves will help ensure you never get bored working out your backside. Do each exercise two days per week, completing three sets of 12 to fifteen 15 for a lower body burn that hurts so good.

    5 Amazing Lower Body Exercises


    1. Plié Squat
    Improve strength and mobility by getting seriously low in these plié squats. Squeezing those glutes at the top of the move will give you more bang for your buck, too.
    How to: Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out at 45-degree angles (a). Keep your back straight, knees over toes and your weight in the heels of your feet (b). Engage your glutes and thighs as you lower into a deep squat until thighs parallel to the ground (or as close as you can get them) (c). Powering through your heels, push up to return to starting position (d). Repeat.

    RELATED: 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core


    2. Lateral Step-Out Squat
    We promise you’ll feel this one fire up the hips, glutes and thighs. If you’re impervious to the burn, place a resistance band around your ankles to increase the resistance with each step.
    How to: Stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart (a). Keeping toes pointed straight ahead and knees over toes, lower into a standard squat (b). Hold that squat position as you take two steps to your right (c). Pause, then take two small side steps to your left (d). Repeat.

    RELATED: 5 Better Ways to Sculpt a Stronger Butt


    3. Plank Leg Lift
    Plank form is everything, so you’ll want to read this first to make sure you’re getting the most from this move. Do ’em right and you’ll hit the lower body, while toning up your core and shoulders, too.
    How to: Get into a high plank position on the floor, hands planted under your shoulders, butt down (a). Engage your abs by pulling your belly button in towards your spine (b). Squeeze your left glute to lift your left leg two inches off the ground, keeping your leg straight (c). Tap your left leg out to the side, then back to starting position. Repeat, then switch legs (d).

    RELATED: Ab Challenge: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core


    4. Fire Hydrant
    This mobility-focused move should be more than just a staple of your dynamic warm-ups — it’s a killer booty shaper as well.
    How to: Position yourself on your hands and knees, in tabletop position. Engage your abs engaged by pulling your belly button in towards your spine (a). Keeping your hips pointed towards the ground and leg bent to a 90-degree angle, raise your left knee out to the side as high as you can (b). Pause at the top, then return to starting position (c). Repeat, then switch legs.


    5. Lying Leg Lift
    No, no, it’s not nap time. But it is your last move in this dynamic lower-body series. We’re hitting those glutes from all angles, and this one is not to be missed.
    How to: Lie flat on your stomach, with your forehead resting on your hands (a). Squeeze your left glute, to lift your left leg and thigh as high off the ground as you can, keeping your leg straight (b). Pause at the top, then lower back down (c). Switch legs, repeating 10 times on each leg.

    Want more workouts YOU can do? Head to DailyBurn.com/365 for a free 30-day trial.

    Originally published September 2015. Updated September 20, 2016.

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    With over 15 years in the better-body biz, fitness expert Latreal Mitchell has helped whip celebs like Live With Kelly & Michael cohost Michael Strahan into shape. Now it’s your turn. For the best results, do this circuit twice, three times a week using three- to 10-pound dumbbells.

    Studio D Move #1: The Curtsy
    What it works: Your butt and thighs; and and opens hips.

    Stand with feet hip-width apart, a weight in each hand. Step left leg back, crossing it behind your right leg, and bend knees as if doing a curtsy (as shown). Return to standing and repeat on opposite side for one rep. Keep the chest lifted and hips square, and continue alternating sides for 10 reps. For an easier move, skip the weights and place hands on hips.

    Studio D Move #2: The Single-Leg
    What it works: Your butt and stretches hamstrings.

    Stand with feet together, holding weights in front of thighs. Hinge torso forward, lifting left leg behind you (as shown). Return to standing. Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 10 reps. Maintain a flat back and don’t hunch. For an easier move, lose the weights and don’t raise your leg as high.

    Studio D
    Move #3: The Squat Jump
    What it works: Your butt, and counts as cardio.

    Stand with feet hip-width apart. Do a squat, then jump, swinging arms behind you (as shown). Do 10 reps. Make sure you’re landing softly with knees slightly bent. For an easier move, turn the jump into a hop.

    Watch Latreal demonstrate the moves:

    Photo credit: Studio D

    NEXT: 6 Arm Moves That Work Way Better Than Pushups “

    Butt and thigh exercises

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