6 exercises for a toned rear and thighs

Who doesn’t want to look better in their jeans?

There’s no shortage of butt-lifting exercises available on the internet. What makes some of them more beneficial than others is that they start at the beginning. That is, they begin by helping you wake up lazy muscles that haven’t worked effectively for a long time…

Your gluteal muscles include the gluteus maximus, which you may spend a great deal of time sitting on, and the gluteus medius, which you use when you’re standing or you’re on one leg momentarily as you walk. Both help to give you a nice shape and they also help keep the wrong muscles from taking over if these are too weak.

The hamstrings in the back of your thighs aren’t to be ignored. They insert into the glutes and if they’re shapely you’ll see the end of a bum and beginning of a leg as opposed to it all meshing together.

If you feel more of the work in these exercises in your hamstrings, it’s likely that your glutes truly are weak and your hamstrings have been doing more of the work. Focus on the small exercises like the squeeze and lift before you move on. The flashier exercises will cause you to let the already-strong muscles to take over. The less movement the more you’ll isolate the right muscles.

The butt-lifting exercises included here may seem remedial. They are! The purpose is to wake up muscles by allowing your brain to connect with the muscles and fire more effectively before you do too much too soon. These are also extremely knee-friendly in the case you can’t do squats or lunges.

  • Squeeze and lift
  • Bridge
  • Bridge on a ball
  • Hamstring curl on a ball
  • Band side-stepping
  • Ball-wall squeeze

Attempt to do 15 of each exercise. Hit both sides if that’s applicable. When that’s doable at least twice a week, add a second set. Progress by adding a third set. When you’ve increased to this level you’re ready to add some bigger exercises like squats and lunges with certainty that you’re firing the right muscles so you’ll get the results you want.

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Debra Atkinson

By Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson Is the founder of the Flipping 50 movement and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and TV show available on your iphone, ipad, and Apple TV. She is the author of four books including You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust.

Debra is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post, ShareCare, Prime Woman, and Livingbetter50. She provides solutions for women approaching 50 or who have already turned the corner on what to eat, how to move, and the mindset for lifestyle change with hormone balance that will make the next years as the best years. Find her resources here.