Gluteal and Hamstring Toning Exercises

A toned, tightened bottom and thighs is sexy and attractive. This is accomplished by strengthening the gluteal muscles–medius and maximus– of the bottom and the hamstring muscles of the thighs. Perform these exercises at least two times a week, progressing the intensity and the weight, over eight weeks to see results.

Plie

Stand with your feet apart, a little wider than your hips. Turn your toes out slightly. Tuck your tailbone under and begin to bend your knees out to the side, tracking them right over your out-turned toes. Keep the hips tucked in and lower as far as you can without allowing the knees to come past the toes. As you lower, raise your arms up to shoulder height in front of you. Hold there for two breaths and then press through your feet to raise yourself to the starting position. Perform two sets of 20 repetitions.

Gluteus Kickback

Position yourself on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. Keeping your right knee bent, lift it off the floor and bring it back behind you, then toward the ceiling. Stop when your thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep the sole of your foot facing toward the ceiling and hold there for three breaths, keeping the glutes and hamstrings contracted. Release and switch sides. Perform two sets of 20 repetitions.

Advanced Bridge

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Press your palms down and lift your hips toward the ceiling as high as you can, contracting your glutes and hamstrings as you push up through your heels. At the top of the movement, pick your right leg up and extend it straight out, keeping both thighs in line with each other. Pause and then release the right leg and extend the left leg. Release the left leg and then release the hips to the floor. Perform two sets of 20 repetitions.

About this Author

Jody Braverman is a health and fitness professional and writer in Seattle. She has been a personal trainer and yoga instructor for almost a decade and is passionate about movement and helping people lead active, healthy lives.