What exercises will improve the shape of my butt and thighs?


If you're bothered by the shape of your butt and thighs, take heart: Certain exercises are particularly effective for toning those areas. In this video, exercise physiologist and fitness trainer Geralyn Coopersmith reveals these moves.

Much of this will depend on your current fitness level.  First, we must focus on your nutrition.  If you are not eating correctly then you will not be successful in shaping your butt and thighs.  Focus on having a well balanced nutritional lifestyle and you will be able to control your weight. 

As for shaping your butt and thighs:  A great form of exercise is walking and/or jogging.  Your thighs and glutes are used throughout this form of cardiovascular activity and it will help strengthen those areas.  Other exercises include bridging and deadlifts.  If you are able to complete these exercises then you will surely be able to reshape your body.  If you have further questions and would like assistance to develop a proper program then please contact me and I would be glad to help!

There are many exercises to shape and tone the butt and thighs. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, butt blasters, quad extensions, hamstring curls, and calf raises just to name a few.

Some of my most favored movements for the butt are single leg Romanian dead lifts and step up-down to lunge.

Romanian dead lifts: Balance on one leg with the other leg hovering just above the floor in line with the stationary leg, hand on hips, eyes focussed on a spot about two feet in front of you (this helps with balance), sit back slightly while reaching down to the floor with the opposite had of the leg that is on the floor, come back to upright. Repeat 5 times work up to ten repetitions and progress using weights.

Step up-down to lunge: This will challenge the heart as well as your lower body muscles. Step up on a bench leading with left leg (make sure the core is held tight by pulling the bellybutton in to the spine and tightening the upper abs as well) bring the right leg up to meet the left, stand erect, bring the right leg back to about one foot behind the bench, bring the left foot back far enough to lower into a lunge position (maintaining an erect upper body). Make sure the bent knee is squared over the ankle and in back of the toes. Repeat 5 times. Work up to ten repetitions per leading leg. Add weight as it becomes easier.  

The following leg circuits will tone the leg muscles and the glutes.  Beginners should start with 1-2 sets and advanced exercisers can do 3-4 sets.  You can perform 12-20 repetitions of each exercise.

Circuit 1
1. Single Leg Squat Touchdowns
2. Ball Bridges
3. Tube Walks
4. Walking Lunges

Circuit 2
1. Deadlifts
2. Leg Presses
3. Side to Side Lunge Touchdowns
4. Band Hip Extension

Circuit 3 (Suspension Trainer)
1. Reverse Lunge to Balance
2. Squats
3. Single Leg Squats
4. Straight Leg Bridges

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Your hips and thighs are made up of many muscles. The best way to shape and tone these muscles is to utilize a variety of exercise movements.  I recommend the following routine: (Perform each exercise in a circuit, one exercise after the other without rest)

Day 1:
1. Floor bridges 
2. Side tube walking (tubing around ankles, step to the side for 10 reps, repeat to the other side)
3. Front Lunges

Day 2:
1. Body weight squats
2. Front tube walking (tubing around ankles, step forward and out at 45 degrees, alternate legs)
3. Side lunges

Day 3:
1. Floor alternate leg bridges
2. Backwards tube walking (tubing around ankles, step back and out at 45 degrees, alternate legs)
3. Turning lunges

Perform 2-3 Sets of 10-15 repetitions

Exercise tips:
1. Go slow and focus on your muscles
2. Keep your abdominals active (pull your bellybutton to your spine)
3. Keep your feet straight
4. Keep your knees aligned with your second toe 
 If you dont have access to a gym, you can get some rubber tube/band(found in Perform Better or any fitness exercise equipment cataloges or modells, etc) or theraband and do shackle walks.  To do a shackle walk place the band around and a bit above your ankles. Slightly bend your knees and keep your body straight(try not to sway your upper body back and forth) and walk sideways for approximately 30-50 feet. Stop and  walk back.  Repeat for 2-3 times. As you are doing this exercise you should feel an immediate muscular buring sensation in your hips and buttock region. This exercise targets those "love handle regions" very nicely.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

To target your butt and thighs, try a combination of exercises, including the star lunge, the locust (from yoga), and squeeze squats.
Star lunge: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your hands on your hip (or holding light weights). Looking straight ahead, lunge straight out in front of you (the 12 o'clock position) with your right foot so your thigh comes parallel to the ground, but your knee does not extend past your toes. Your left knee should nearly touch the ground. Next, lunge to 2 o'clock, then backward to 4 o'clock and 6 o'clock. Continue the lunge pattern, starting with your left leg to 6 o'clock, then around to 8, 10, and finish with twelve o'clock.
The locust (from yoga): Lie on your stomach on the floor. Raise your legs straight behind you as high as you can without putting excess strain on your back. You can do both legs simultaneously or one leg at a time. Hold the position and repeat. Also try the star lunge and squeeze squats.
Squeeze squats: Hold a medicine ball (or beach ball or basketball) in between your lower thighs. With your hands on your hips or out in front of you, squat down, keeping the ball in place and not allowing your thighs to go further down than parallel to the floor. Come back up. This works your legs, butt, and is great for developing balance.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.