Glutes & Hip Activation Exercises

Use lunges to tone your glutes and hips.

Use lunges to tone your glutes and hips.

Look and feel great in your favorite jeans when you use glute- and hip-activating exercises in your workout routines. One of the most effective glute and hip exercises is the standard lunge. Use proper form for a safe workout, but don't let your workout get boring. Step your lunge to various angles to target all the areas of your backside.

Standard Lunge

Stand tall with your feet underneath your hips and toes facing forward. Straighten your spine. Flatten your stomach, as if trying to get into your tight jeans. Look straight ahead. Position your hands wherever it feels comfortable.

Shift your weight onto your left foot. Inhale and step your right foot behind you approximately 2 to 3 feet. Place the toes of your right foot on the floor.

Bend both knees as you lower into the lunge. Keep your left knee in line with your left heel. Do not lower beyond a 90-degree bend in your left knee.

Exhale, push off the floor with your right foot and return to the starting position.

Repeat the lunge by stepping back with your left leg. Complete one to three sets of eight to 12 lunges on each leg.

To increase the challenge, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides and palms facing you. Begin with 3 to 5 pounds.

Side Lunge

Place your feet parallel with each other and vertically in line with your hips. Stand tall with your chest high and shoulders pulled down away from your ears. Contract your stomach and pull your navel toward your spine. Place your hands wherever needed for balance.

Center your weight on your left leg. Inhale and step your right foot approximately 2 to 3 feet out to your right. Keep your toes facing forward.

Straighten your left leg as you bend your right knee. Shift your weight toward your right foot, but keep your chest facing forward. Push your hips behind you and watch that your right knee does not move forward over your toes.

Once you sink as low as possible into the lunge, exhale and push off the floor with your right foot. Return to the starting position.

Repeat the lunge to your left. Finish eight to 12 lunges on each leg. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat.

Curtsey Lunge

Prepare to meet the queen and strengthen your glutes with a curtsey lunge. Stand with your feet approximately fist-width apart. Extend your arms in front of your at shoulder height.

Transfer your weight onto your left leg. Inhale and step your right foot across and slightly to the left of your left foot, and finish in a position as if you are curtseying to the queen.

Shift your weight forward onto your right foot and allow your left heel to come off the floor. Bend your knees and lower toward the floor. Keep your right knee in line with your right heel.

Exhale, push off the floor with your right foot and return to the starting position.

Repeat the curtsey lunge to your right. Complete one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each leg.

Tip

  • Warm your muscles with five to eight minutes of activity before you begin the strengthening lunges. Walk, run, cycle or dance to increase the blood flow to your legs.

Warning

  • Check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program. Use caution with lunge exercises if you have ankle, knee or hip discomfort.
 

About the Author

A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.

Photo Credits

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