Remember Buns of Steel?
Thirty years ago it was the latest and greatest method for toning and tightening your backside.
Confession: I desperately lifted, kicked, and pressed for several weeks prior to Prom one year. Ouch!
But in reality, the endless repetitions of tiny leg movements only left me with overworked accessory muscles in my hips that contributed to my back pain and hip dysfunction… and I probably ended up walking funny from all the cramping!
Today I have a greater understanding of how to properly train the muscles of the legs, hips, glutes and core that go beyond aesthetics alone. With the right techniques, you can improve balance, posture, and athleticism, reduce pain, and develop core strength to create functionality in movement patterns.
And yes, you’ll get (or keep!) those young, perky buns too!
Here are 3 Killer Combo Exercises for Lower Body Toning, Tightening, & Lifting:
1. Wide-Stance Squat into Curtsy (Skater) Lunge:
- Begin with feet set wide, toes angled out slightly. Engage core and stay lifted through the chest.
- Perform a squat by pushing hips back first, then sitting deep into heels. Draw up through inner thighs and glutes to return to standing.
- Shift into a Curtsy lunge, stepping right foot behind and across left leg. Lower into the lunge keeping weight in left heel. Press up through glutes to return to Wide Stance Squat position.
- Repeat the squat then Curtsy lunge to the other side.
- Perform 2 sets of 16 Repetitions (1 squat plus 1 lunge = 1 rep).
2. Single-Leg Dead Lift into Reverse Lunge:
- Begin standing on one foot with knee soft and glutes engaged, other foot can be set with just toes on floor or completely off ground. Hold arms in front of hips as if you were going to dive to the floor.
- Fold forward by pushing hips back to create a stretch in the hamstring. Keep spine long and chest forward as you fold.
- Return to upright by engaging glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
- Perform a Reverse Lunge stepping onto ball of back foot and drop back knee toward floor.
- Keep weight shifted onto front leg, specifically driving up through the heel and glutes of that front leg as you return to standing.
- Repeat the Dead Lift and Reverse Lunge on the same leg for 2 sets of 12-16 quality reps, then switch sides (1 dead lift plus 1 lunge = 1 rep).
3. Hamstring Curl and Hip Lift on Fit Ball
- Begin lying on a mat with heels on top of a Fit Ball; legs straight and feet flexed.
- Lift hips off floor. Bend knees and engage hamstrings curling ball toward hips.
- Pause with a 90-degree knee bend. Lower hips to tap the mat then drive right back up.
- Press legs out straight again.
- Repeat: Curl in, Lower down, Lift up, Curl out using hamstrings and glutes as the primary movers. Core stays engaged for balance.
- Perform 2 sets of 12-16 quality reps (1 curl plus1 hip lift = 1 rep).
Try incorporating these moves into your workouts a few times per week until you are proficient at proper form and can master the repetitions. Then progress to adding weight on exercise #1 and #2. Eventually, you can try single leg movements on exercise #3.
Keeping your body — and your booty — toned doesn’t require thousands of legs lifts and glute presses. All you need are some great new moves that require all of the muscles in the legs and hips to work in unison.
Remember to implement a balanced diet, free from processed foods, so those strong beautiful muscles get the nutrients they need to keep you in top shape!