Shapely thighs and butt are usually high on the wish list of most women. However, the thigh and butt area is often a problem spot for many women. Naturally, the thighs of a woman are more prone to fat deposition, so that they can provide support to the developing embryo. Given below are a few thigh and butt exercises that help shape your hips.
Squat: This is perhaps one of the best exercises for shaping, toning, and strengthening the butt and thighs. Apart from tightening and toning the muscles of these regions, it is also great for building lean muscle in the area.
To perform this exercise, stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and feet pointed slightly outward. Now, by placing your hands on your hips or allowing them to hang by your sides, retract your shoulders back a little, contract the muscles of the lower back, and gradually bend at the knees. While squatting down, look straight forward and allow your torso to incline forward a little. Keep the downward movement very controlled and go down until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. By contracting your gluteal muscles, push yourself up again, and exhale while going up. 8-12 reps can be performed per set. Weights may also be used to increase the intensity of the exercise.
Plie Squat: To perform this exercise, begin by standing with your feet wide apart and your toes pointing outwards. Place your hands on your hips and inclining your torso a little forward. Now bend your knees and go down until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that there is no arch in your back and that you don't lean forward too much. Then, by squeezing your inner thighs and butt, push yourself up again. Repeat 8-12 times. You may also use weights to perform this exercise.
Lunge: This is another classic and effective exercise for firming and toning the muscles of the thighs and butt. Stand with your feet slightly apart, and then take a big step forward with your right leg making sure that the leg is centered on top of the ankle. Also, see that your knee does not extend beyond your toes in order to prevent tension on tendons of the knee. While returning to the starting position, do not use your toes to push your self off, but use you the heels instead. Even though you may feel the tension in the left leg that is behind, keep focusing on the front leg. Use the rear leg to balance yourself while working the muscles of your front leg to power through the movement. Repeat 8-12 times with the same leg, and then switch to the other leg. You may use weights as well for this exercise.
Reverse Leg-Lifts: Get down on the floor on your hands and knees. Keeping your head facing the floor, lift your left leg up from behind. With the heel facing the ceiling, keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Now slowly lower the leg back into position. Repeat with the same leg about 8-12 times, and then switch legs. These lifts may be performed with weights also.
Step Ups: Stand in front of a low bench or step. Start by stepping up on it with your right leg, bringing up the left foot after getting on. Then, step down with your right foot, with the left foot following it down. Repeat 8-12 times, and then switch legs. You may use weights to add intensity to the exercise.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.