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Get Ready For Lower Body Workout

Working the lower body requires a lot of energy, but that effort is repaid with many benefits. Energetic exercise which uses the big muscles of the legs and hips speeds up your metabolic rate long after the exercise is over. Thus a combination of strength training to accentuate and define muscles, and frequent aerobic exercise to help you lose any excess fat, can dramatically improve your shape.


Your main aim
The challenge is to lift and condition the buttocks, to create a distinct separation between the buttocks and the back of the thigh, to improve the shape and tone of the front of the thigh – particularly around the knee and to firm and shape the inner thigh.

Take time to master each exercise, and don’t expect to be proficient at them all immediately. Once learnt correctly, they will be tools for life. Getting it right takes practice and patience. Use a mirror to check your posture and alignment through all the positions of each exercise and if it doesn’t feel right check the instructions again.

Training into shape

Muscles should be trained for both strength and stamina. Different training results in different shapes. Track athletes need power and speed so their training includes jumping, lunging, and squatting. These moves result in finely toned, shapely buttocks and quads. Endurance runners work at a lesser intensity for longer periods and have lean frames with comparatively small musculature. Thus, to lose fat you need to do endurance training, which entails exercising at a lower intensity for longer; or to improve your shape do big, powerful moves for a shorter time. You can adapt all these exercises by changing the intensity and duration.

Side step squat
This exercise works all the gluteals and the muscles at the sides of the hips and thighs. As this move is challenging but effective, take time to perfect it. Use a chair the first time you do it to help you find the correct working position. Take about two seconds to step out and two seconds to step in.

Side leg raise and squeeze
This demanding and effective exercise lifts and shapes the buttocks by working the deepest layers of the gluteals. Repeat five times on each leg, working up to 20 repetitions.

Plie with arms

Think of strength, poise and fluidity when you do this movement. The plie has no pause, momentum or drop and, like many dance movements, it takes a lot of effort to perfect. Practice the leg movements first, then add in the arms when you are ready to do so. Repeat 10 times.


Position feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with legs gently turned out, arms relaxed at your sides and pelvis in neutral.

Dance movements such as the plie require great posture, alignment, strength and flexibility.

Dip squat

Increase the challenge of this exercise by alerting the timing and emphasis of the movement. For example, bend down for one count and spend three counts coming up. Try the same in reverse, or hold the position for 2-4 seconds. Use hand weights if you wish.

Keep the back straight and the chest lifted, leaning forwards from the hips. Both these moves require constant attention to the alignment of knees over feet.

One-legged squat
The American Council on Exercise recently declared this to be the most effective bottom exercise in the world! Use a chair for support if you haven’t yet mastered this tricky position.

Drop lunge

This exercise is demanding, working the thighs, hamstrings, hips and buttocks. Getting down and up actively, with good alignment and posture, is no easy feet. Use a chair, for support to begin with, and watch out for the most common fault – of allowing the knee to slide in front of the supporting foot – by looking in a mirror. Move down and back up as cleanly as you can. Start by doing 2-4 drop lunges, about two seconds down and two seconds up, but aim for 15-20 lunges. You can, of course, go slower than this count, but not faster.

Feet-together squat

This works the gluteals, quads and hamstrings. Start with 10 squats and progress to 20, about two counts down and two counts up. To add variety or intensity, descend for one count and spend three counts coming up. Try also holding the lower position for 2-4 seconds, or using hand weights.

Buttock squeeze and stretch

This is a relatively easy exercise for the gluteals. Keep your face, neck and shoulders free from the tension you are building in your gluteals. Try to breathe easily throughout. As you squeeze, don’t lift the hips too much – the emphasis is on the muscle contraction, not the height.

Last but not the least, maximize the effort you put into your lower body workout to see results quickly. Work as slowly and precisely as possible to perfect a move, then alternate the speed to keep challenging the muscles.

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