If you want to strengthen & tone your glutes & thighs, here are some great exercises for you. Get ready for summer and get your toned summer body now.
1. The Perfect Squat……..Squat, Squat & Again Squat
I have preached the Mantra of Squat for as long as I have been in the Fitness and Wellness Industry.
This is the one exercise that will not only tone your butt (glutes) and thighs while strengthening your muscles, but has the added benefit of raising the heart rate as you use the biggest muscles in the body (your quads or thigh muscles) giving you cardio conditioning as well.
I lived in France for a while and every morning as I would go to my daughter’s room to wake her up for school I would face the mirror in her room, pick up my 1 kg hand weights and do 20 squats with a bicep (arm) curl.
This became a habit that I still do, but the benefit was amazing and on arriving back in Australia people began to tell me how amazing my butt and legs looked and I told them my morning ritual for toning, strengthening and conditioning.
First let’s learn how to perfect your form. Drive your butt back, (as though sitting on a chair) keeping thighs parallel to floor and knees above the toes, so you can line the middle of your knee with your 2nd toe.
Position feet shoulder-width apart with your weight on your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes. Place hands behind your head or hold 2 x 1kg weights in a bicep curl, keep your shoulders back and down and keep a neutral spine without arching your back while you engage your core.
Lower and lift 15 – 20 times and build up to 3 x 20 reps
2. Pilates Leg Pull……..Strong Core & Butt Exercise
Think plank. Move your body into a plank from an all 4’s position. Place your hands under your shoulders and take one leg back at a time until you have lengthened your spine and switched on your core muscles.
Once in your perfect plank position inhale, lift right leg and flex the foot, pulse 5 times on the exhale, strengthening glutes, core and quads. Change legs & repeat.
3. Lunges…….Walking Lunges Or Lunges On The Spot
From standing position take your right leg forward, left leg back and bend both legs. Extend arms above your head, place them on your thigh or hold 1kg hand weights in each hand. Let the back leg drop just above the floor, pulse 5 times and then change legs. Then take progressive lunges from one leg to the other. Add weights to the bicep curls for an added body burn bonus.
4. Alternate Leg Lift Or Scissors
This exercise works thighs, glutes, core and the bonus is it’s a metabolism booster. Lifting both legs to 90 degrees, hold one leg while extending the other, inhale flex or point toes and quick-change from one leg to the other on the exhale. Switch on your core as you lower the leg. This can be done with 2 pulses on each leg……. Feel your quads, glutes and hamstrings all getting a workout at the same time.
5. ½ Bridge & Leg Lifts
Part A. Begin with both feet on the ground hip distance apart, arms down beside you. Think of your spine as you inhale and lift to a ½ Bridge Position. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes. Switch on your core muscles.
Keep your position by visualising your shoulder to knee as a ski slope position. Hold, then lower and lift your butt for 5-10 times. You will feel those fabulous glutes working overtime with this one. Be prepared to notice some muscle soreness the following day.
Part B. Lower down each vertebra by vertebra. Then inhale and lift again, hold on an exhale, extend one arm back. Change arms 3 more times and whichever arm is back extend the opposite leg at knee level and alternate your leg and arm for 10 repetitions.
There are many more exercises that will help strengthen and tone, but note that not just one spot will be worked, you are working your body holistically. Any exercise routine will benefit your entire body and mind once you start.
Enjoy and start to feel the benefit almost immediately and by 30 days you will see the difference, as will others.
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Jill Healy-Quintard – Yoga & Pilates Teacher