Most of us are not happy with our back. Know the best exercises for strengthening and toning your glutes, hips and thighs to make a difference to your back. The gluteus maximus (which makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the buttocks) is one of the largest muscles in the human body. There are several exercises to make near-perfect rounded rear besides keeping back healthy and pain-free.
Squats is one of the easiest exercises for toning your hips, butt and thighs. Moreover, it is also a functional exercise which helps build strength for daily activities.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Hold fitness weights at shoulder level (for more intensity).
- Bend the knees, and lower into a squat, keeping the knees behind the toes.
- Keep the torso upright and contracted.
- Press the heels to stand up.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Lunges work many muscles at the same time, including the glutes and hamstrings. The front leg works the glutes and hamstrings while the back leg works the quads and calves. Moreover, you can also elevate the back foot on a step or platform to increase the intensity of exercise. You can choose from static lunges, side-to-side lunges, sliding lunges, low lunges, one-legged lunge and wheel lunges (front, side, reverse).
Hip lift progression
Hip-lift progression not just works your butt but is also an effective way to relieve tension in your lower back.
- Lie on your back and keep your arms at your sides. Knees should be bent and feet should rest on the floor.
- Lift your hips toward the ceiling. Hold it for a second and then bring it back to the start position.
- Repeat the motion for at least a minute, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion.
- To increase intensity, keep your thighs parallel and hold the lifted position for about 5 seconds.
- Switch sides and do the same exercise on the other leg.
- Lie on the floor with your arms on your sides.
- Lift your feet; bend the knees to 90 degrees in such a way that thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
- Slowly tap your left toe to the floor, followed by the right.
- Do not continue if you feel any sort of discomfort in the lower back.
Single-leg front raises
A single-leg front raise is a thigh stretch which helps tighten the glutes.
- Stand on your feet with hip-width apart, with a low weight dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend your right leg and raise it off the floor.
- Extend both arms in front at chest height, with your palms facing downwards.
- Keep your arms straight; raise your left arm above your head. Hold the position for 2 seconds and bring it back to chest height.
- Do 4 repetitions on each arm.
- Now switch legs, do the same number of repetitions on the other leg.
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