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29
Jun

2015

5 Simple Moves to Firm Your Glutes & Legs

Uyen Trinh

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Most women want to have more toned glutes and legs for the summer. This is the season that we want to put on our sexy shorts or miniskirts and match them with a nice pair of sculpted legs! Believe it or not, there are more exercises that can tone your legs without you having to do 100 squats and lunges every day. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with squats and lunges. In fact, I still do them in many of my workout routines, and they really get my lower body burning. However, I like to switch things up every now and then, and I am sure you do too. Give these 5 fun exercises a try to really work your glutes and legs next time you hit the gym! 

 

Basic Bridge
The basic bridge is a very simple exercise for beginners that targets your glutes and hamstrings. 

Lie flat on the floor on your back with your hands by your side and knees bent. Place your feet about shoulder width apart. 
Using mainly your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. While you are performing this motion, breathe out and hold at the top for a second. 
As you breathe in, slowly go back to starting position. 

As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you can switch it up by performing with one leg at a time. Eventually you can add weight (medicine ball, weighted plate, etc.) above your hips. 

 

Single Leg Front Raises
Not only is this exercise great for your glutes, but it also works the front of your shoulders and your abs! 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a 5 lb. dumbbell in each hand. (Change to a weight that you are comfortable with if needed.)
Bend your right leg and raise it about 3 inches off the floor. 
With your palms facing down, extend your arms straight out in front of you at chest height. 
Keep your arm straight and raise your left arm above your head. Hold for 3 seconds and bring your arm back to chest height. 
Continue to alternate your arms for a total of 10 reps (5 on each side), then switch to your other leg. 

 

Donkey Kicks 
Donkey kicks are one of my favorite glute exercises. I enjoy it a lot because there is no equipment needed, so I can do them anywhere. And, they always leave my glutes feeling sore the next day! 

Get on all fours with your knees below your hips and wrists below your shoulders. 
Keeping your core engaged, lift your left leg parallel to the floor with knee bent and your foot flexed. 
Return to starting position and repeat 20 times then switch sides for another 20 repetitions. 
Complete 3 sets.

 

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl 
This exercise will help strengthen your hamstrings, but you will also get a nice workout in for those calves and glutes! 

Lie on the floor on your back with your feet on top of a stability ball. 
Focus on keeping your core muscles engaged as you lift your hips off the floor, pressing your heels into the ball. 
Try to keep your body in a straight line from your heels to your shoulders. 
Flex your knees while pulling the ball as close as you can, contracting your hamstrings. 
Pause briefly, and return to the starting position. 
Try to complete 12 repetitions before lowering your body back to the ground, then start again for another 12. 
Repeat for 4 sets. 

 

Step-Ups 
Performing this exercise will strengthen your lower body while increasing the balance and stabilization of your core and the lower body. 

Step one foot onto a box (bench, chair, etc.).
Bring the trailing leg up into a 90-degree angle in front of the body as you balance on one foot. 
Gently return the lifted leg back to the ground and repeat on the other side. 
Repeat 12 times on each side.
Repeat for 3 sets. 

I really enjoy performing this exercise while holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand to add some extra weight! 

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Uyen resides in South Carolina. She is a stay at home mother to two wonderful children. She has been an active member of 9Round for two years and absolutely loves the workout. 9Round has helped her maintain a healthy pregnancy and is currently helping her get back into shape after her daughter was born in February. "My body has never gotten results so quickly from any other workout until I started going to 9Round. I always leave drenched in sweat and feeling like I gave it my all in there."