The butt and thighs are common problem areas for many people, especially women. While there are surgical options, lotions and creams you can use to try to enhance this area, exercise can naturally enhance your butt and thighs. These exercises work into the glutes, inner and outer thighs, the back of the leg, and the front of the thighs to firm and sculpt your lower body.
Plie squats engage the entire thigh -- front, back, inner and outer -- and the glutes to sculpt and tone the butt and thighs. Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart and your toes turned out to the sides. Bend your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground and then push back up. Keep your spine long, your core engaged and your tailbone tucked during the exercise. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Pulsing Leg Kicks
Leg kicks work into the thighs as well as up the back of the legs and into the glute muscles. They work by keeping the muscles contracted the entire time as you slowly lift higher and higher. Stand with your heels together and hold onto a chair or counter top. Slide your right leg back. Engage your core to keep your spine long. Lift your leg to knee height. Pulse up and down an inch for 12 counts. Switch sides.
Bent-Knee Leg Lifts
Bent-knee leg lifts target your glutes and the back and front of your thighs to sculpt, slim and strengthen them. Come onto your hands and knees. Line up your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Draw your navel into your spine. Lift your right leg to hip height and bend your knee. Flex your foot and lift your leg toward the ceiling, keeping the knee bent and the foot flexed. This will squeeze your glutes and your thighs to tone, burn and sculpt. Repeat 10 to 12 times and switch sides.
A curtsy lunge works more into the sides of the thighs and glutes, as well as into the center or your butt. Stand with your heels together. Slide your right leg back and cross it behind the left. Keep your feet and knees pointing out to the sides. Bend your knees to lower and squeeze the inner thighs to lift back up. Keep your core engaged and your spine long. Repeat 10 to 12 times and switch sides.
As with any exercise program, please check with your physician before beginning, especially if you have any history of injury or disease. Those with knee and hip injuries should be especially careful. And as always, stay well hydrated before, during and after your workout.
Jessi Andricks is a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. Andricks is also a certified green living expert and Health Coach. She combines her expertise in these areas of to help people learn to live healthy, energetic lives.