A tight tush and toned legs can be your best accessories. To achieve this often-desired physique, you must work the larger muscles in your body including your gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, and your quadriceps and hamstrings. Toning and tightening muscles can't be done overnight, but with a little effort and dedication you can develop a strong and lean lower body in time.
Squat Your Lower Body
The squat is often referred to as the best lower body exercise. Start by using just your body weight for resistance, and as you get stronger, use a set of dumbbells or a barbell. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a barbell, if you’re using one, positioned across the back of your shoulders. Bend both legs at the same time and lower your body toward the ground until your thighs are about parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a second and then push with both legs to return to the starting position. Be sure that you don’t lock your knees when performing this exercise. Repeat.
Lunge Those Legs
Like the squat listed above, this exercise can be performed using a barbell, dumbbells or your body weight as resistance. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and step forward in an exaggerated step while keeping your shoulders directly over your hips. Bend both knees at the same time until your rear knee is nearly touching the floor and your front thigh is about parallel to the ground. Repeat using both your right and left legs in the front and rear position for an equal number of repetitions.
Hip Extension Exercise
Lie down on your stomach on your bed or a bench with your hips on the edge of the bed and your feet and legs hanging freely over the edge. Use the muscles of your butt and your thighs to lift both legs at the same time until they are at the same level of your hips. From this position lift one leg higher than the other and begin alternating the leg that is higher in a motion similar to a flutter kick when swimming. Repeat 20 times.
Do Your Step-Ups
Stand facing a sturdy bench or chair that is tall enough that you have to bend your knee at a 90-degree angle to step on it. Place your right foot on the bench and use the muscles of your legs and butt to lift your body off the ground while supporting your weight only on your right leg. Continue lifting your weight until your right leg is straight. Be sure that your left leg does not touch the bench. Hold this position for a second and then use a slow and controlled motion to return to the starting position. Repeat for an equal number of repetitions with each leg.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.