Butt, Hip & Thigh Exercises

People who wish to lose weight often have trouble losing fat in the butt, hips and thighs. These areas tend to hold onto fat, especially in women, and can stubbornly resist fat-reducing efforts. Exercising is beneficial for fat loss, especially cardiovascular exercise that uses the whole body. Certain exercises can help tone and trim trouble areas in the butt, hips and thighs.

  1. Butt/Gluteal Exercises

    • The butt area is comprised of muscles known as the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Exercises targeting this area can help shape and tone the muscles, reduce the butt's size and minimizing the appearance of cellulite.

      Bridge exercises are a type of isolation exercise that works the gluteal muscles. Perform this exercise by lying on your back and bending your legs at the knees. Lift your hips up from the floor, with your feet planted firmly on the ground, and isolate your gluteal muscles. Hold for a count of 10 and lower. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

      Gluteal kickbacks can be performed to target the butt muscles as well. Kickbacks can be done by getting onto all fours on the floor and extending one leg behind your body, at a 45-degree angle. Elevate your foot as far as you can while maintaining your balance and keeping the gluteal muscles tight throughout the movement. Hold the move for a count of 5 before returning to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

    Hip Exercises

    • Cable machines are great for toning the hips and butt. Performing the cable hip abduction will help increase strength and muscle tone. Attach the leg cuff to your ankle and stand beside the cable machine--hold the machine frame for extra stability during this move. Select the weight desired and slowly pull your foot up and away in a sideways motion from the cable machine as far as you can. Controlling the movement, return the foot to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 on each leg.

      Another hip exercise is the cable hip abduction. Select the desired amount of weight and stand sideways to the cable machine, and attach the leg cuff to the leg closest to the machine. Stand with your feet 10 inches apart and hold onto the machine frame for support. Slowly bring your foot in close to the foot you are standing on and return the foot to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

    Thigh Exercises

    • Using weights for thigh exercises will help build lean muscle mass. Squats are an exercise that targets the quadricep muscles in the upper thighs and can be performed by using dumbbells or a barbell with a comfortable amount of weight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand down by your sides, or place a barbell across your back, and squat down in a seated position, as far as you can comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart. Using the thighs, push back up to a standing position. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

      Lunges are another exercise that targets the quadricep muscles in the thighs. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, place one foot in front of the other and bend your rear knee. Your foot should be far enough in front of your body to feel a stretch in the quadricep muscle but should not be uncomfortable. Direct your rear knee toward the floor, without forcing your front knee to move forward. Return to a standing position and repeat the movement, alternating legs. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

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  • Photo Credit woman leaning on exercise ball image by Ken Hurst from Fotolia.com

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