The exercises described in this article are simple to perform, and only require minimum, inexpensive equipment. When combined with a higher protein, moderate carbohydrate, moderate fat diet, they are very effective for toning and reshaping your buttock and upper thigh area.
The only equipment needed to perform these exercises are a pair of lightweight dumbbells and an exercise mat. Both can be purchased at any sports store for under $20 each.
When performing these exercises, you should strive to complete 10-12 repetitions, rest for 30-60 seconds, and then do another 10-12 repetitions. Repeat this four times. A repetition, "rep" for short, is simply the performance of the complete exercise from start to finish, one time. A set is simply a group of reps. You will always rest between sets. For about one to two minutes to let your body recuperate. So, in gym lingo, you will be performing 4 sets of 10-12 reps. If the exercise is performing one leg at a time, then perform all the reps and sets for the right leg, then do the left or vice versa.
Areas worked: Back of thighs, buttocks.
- Step 1: To begin, stand with two dumbbells at your side, feet almost shoulder width apart, back straight and eyes forward.
- Step 2: Now, step forward with your right foot.
- Step 3: Once your foot is flat on the floor, immediately lower your hips and left knee until it is about two inches from the floor. This is the midpoint of the exercise.
- Step 4: To finish the movement, push off with your right leg, while simultaneously raising your body back up and into your starting position.Repeat the movement until you have performed to desired number of reps and sets for your right leg. Then do the same for your left.Remember that the motion for this, and all of these exercises, should be smooth. Do not pause or make any jerky movements during the exercise. You should always make a smooth transition from the start of the exercise, to the midpoint, then to the finish.To prevent unnecessary stress on your knees: When stepping out, make sure that your foot points straight ahead (not inward). Make sure that you step out far enough to prevent your knee from travelling past your toe.Using the right leg as an example - you are in the correct midpoint position when your right foot is facing forward, your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is in line with your right toe.
Areas worked: Buttocks
- Step 1: To begin, kneel down on a mat (or carpeted floor) with both knees directly under your hip. Next, pull your right knee towards your chest.
- Step 2: Once you have brought your knee in as far as possible, immediately thrust your foot up towards the ceiling. Your goal is to extend your thigh up as far as possible while keeping your torso and upper body still throughout the movement.
- Step 3: Finish the movement by bringing your foot back down, then immediately start over again by bringing your knee into your chest.Complete 4 sets of 10-12 reps with the right leg, then do the same with the left.
Areas worked: Front of thighs
- Step 1: To start, stand with two dumbbells at your side, feet almost shoulder width apart, back straight and eyes forward.
- Step 2: Now, keeping your back straight and eyes forward, bend at the hips as if you were sitting down in a chair. You will have to push your rear out somewhat to maintain your balance and keep your back straight, but this is normal. Slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor (This is the midpoint of the exercise).
- Step 3: Once at the midpoint, push back up with your heels, and straighten yourself back up to the starting position.To avoid unnecessary stress on your knees: Make sure that your knees do not cave inwards. At the midpoint, they should be directly over your feet.
Areas worked: Back of thighs, buttocks
- Step 1: To begin, stand with two dumbbells in front of your body, feet almost shoulder width apart, back straight, chest out and eyes forward. Your knees should be slightly bent.
- Step 2: With your weight on your heels, slowly bend at the waist, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor. Focus on maintaining a flat back and looking up towards the horizon instead of down. Continue down until your back is parallel to the floor. At this point you should be feeling a good stretch on the back leg muscles.
- Step 3: Complete the movement by simply raising your torso back up to the start. Remember to bend only at the waist.
I hope this article helps you achieve your lower body goals.
Until next time, good luck from me,
Michael Pope bodybuilder and athlete.