12 Most Effective Exercises for Slim Legs and a Tight Butt

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Do you struggle with the size of your legs? Read on for the secret of slim legs and discover the 12 best leg slimming exercises

Sexy Legs and Butt Workout

Here is a workout for toning your butt and slimming your legs. Do this butt workout 2-3 times a week in addition to your normal training. These squats, lunges and deadlifts will give you a sexy butt and thinner, toned thighs in no time.

Warmup:

  • Jog in Place
  • Lateral Bounding
  • Knee Thrust
  • Rocking Butt Kickers
  • Hip Flexors and Hamstrings Stretching
  • Deep Lunges

Butt and Legs Workout:

  • Air Squats
  • Squat Pumps
  • Lateral Lunges
  • Ski to Sumo Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Straight Leg Glute Kickbacks
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Glute Bridges

Background: The Anatomy of The Legs

Legs muscles

The muscles mainly responsible for the shape of the legs are the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and the glutes. Especially important are the glutes, the muscles of the butt. They work alongside the hamstrings and quadriceps to determine the shape of your butt and thigh region.

On the lower leg you have the calves. For most women, these are not as problematic an area as the upper legs. 

Slim Your Legs With High Intensity Interval Training 

Your legs look the way they do for a number of reasons, including genetics, diet, training history, occupation and level of physical activity. 

There is no magic exercise for shaping your legs.

The simple truth is that in the majority of cases, you are not happy with the shape of your legs because they are too fat. The solution is, in theory, simple too: You need to lose weight.

High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training is good for weight loss – and for slim legs and thighs.

Short, highly intense training has been proven to be highly effective in fat loss and gains in cardiovascular health.

Often termed High Intensity Interval Training, this form of exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you could just take your favourite exercise and, instead of performing it at a steady pace for a period of time, go all out for short periods, rest briefly, then repeat 8-10 times.

Try this formula for your initial interval training efforts:

  • Choose an exercises: bike; field sprinting; jump rope; rowing machine.
  • Eight rounds of 20 seconds all out effort, 40 seconds rest.
  • Progress to 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest over a period of 4-6 weeks.

Note: If your goal is to lose fat don’t be fooled by infomercials into thinking that you can lose fat in one specific area (e.g. legs) by performing exercises for that body part. This is called spot reduction and it is a myth. This is why simple interval and cardio training methods are essential.

The 12 Most Effective Exercises to Tone Your Legs and Butt

Losing weight is great and your thighs will love you for it. However, you’ll need to firm those muscles and you may need to add some shape to your butt. It is natural to lose weight and have some of that sexy shape disappear as well.

Don’t worry though – with the right training you can ensure you keep a nice feminine shape while strengthening your quads and hams for that firm look.

The quads on the front of the thigh respond well to all forms of Squat exercises and are worked extensively in all kinds of Lunges. The hamstrings respond well to hip dominant movements such as Bridges and Leg Curls – both of which also hit the glutes hard. 

You can add weights to almost all of the following exercises. The only exercise you wouldn’t add weights to is Russian Leg Curls. For Leg Curls with weights simply use a leg curl machine commonly seen on most weight benches.

1. Squats

 Squats

The king of all butt exercises, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat with your hips back and weight over your heels until you butt touches your ankles. Stand up pushing your body weight into the ground through your feet.

Variation: Jump Squats – Squat down and then accelerate upwards into a jump.

2. Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian Split Squat

A fantastic variation that hits the quads hard while giving some of the load to the hamstrings and glutes. One of the best total leg exercises there is.

3. Sumo Squats

Sumo Squat

Take that shoulder width stance and widen it 12 inches or so. Make sure your feet are facing out at a 45 degree angle. Sit back and down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Done properly you will feel a significant amount of tension in your hamstrings and glutes.

4. Forward Lunges

Bodyweight Exercises

Forward lunges – either stationary or walking – ask your quads to do some work to absorb your body weight before pushing back up standing position. Simply step forward anddrop into a lunge while keeping your upper body vertical. A great variation to classic squats.

5. Glute Bridges

Glute Bridges

Lie on your back with one leg bent at 90 degrees, the other flat on the floor. Raise your hips a loose leg off the floor while the bent leg pushes through the floor. Hold at the top for 2-3 seconds then lower yourself back down. Complete your desired reps then switch legs. This will cook your glutes nicely while also giving your hamstrings a blast.

6. Reverse Lunges

Reverse Lunge

Instead of lunging forwards, step back and lunge down as if kneeling down. Hold the knee just off the floor then drive back through your leg to standing position. A great variation that hits all leg muscles for a complete workout.

7. Russian Leg Curls

Russian Leg Curls

Lying down on your back, feet flat in front of you, lift your hips up by pulling your feet towards you as if curling the legs. An easy way to do this is to perform them on a smooth wooden floor with socks on or using a sliding pads. Use paper plates as an interesting cheap alternative. This is one of the best hamstring exercises there is.

8. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings

Using kettlebells (get this set on Amazon.com), you can do one of the best hip hinge movements that works the entire posterior chain from calves through hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Standing up, feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, place the kettlebell between your legs. Grip the kettlebell with both hands by bending forward, back straight, hips back as if you are closing a car door with your butt. From this position, swing the kettlebell forward by pushing your hips forward. Allow the kettlebell to swing forward and drop back until you’re back in the starting position. Control the kettlebell throughout.

9. Goblet Squats

Kettlebell Goblet Squats

Hold a kettlebell in both hands at about chest height. Squat down making sure your feet are turned out at a 45 degree angle. Stand back up with an upright posture. A superb movement that gives the back of the legs a bit more emphasis than normal squats.

10. Leg Presses

Leg Presses

Using the leg press machine, sit back in seat with legs bent holding the weight. Press the weight forcefully and lower it back slowly. A challenging variation to the squat leg presses will leave your thighs thoroughly toasted!

11. Barbell/Resistance Band Hip Thrusts

Resistance Band Hip Thrusts

Perform a glute bridge with your shoulders raised on a bench for additional range of motion. Use a resistance band attached to the floor or with a padded barbell at the hips, to create an intense glute contraction. Bikini models rely on these too create the beach booty you’ll see on the Copa Cabana!

12. Single Leg Deadlifts

Single Leg Deadlift Kettlebell

Again, this can be done with a dumbbell or kettlebell. Take the weight in your right hand and lift your right leg slightly off the floor. Lean forward by hinging at the hips and lowering the weight towards the floor. As a counterbalance, extend your right leg behind you through the movement so you achieve a kind of pendulum movement.

Pilates and Yoga Toning

Chances are you’ve already been to yoga and Pilates classes before and likely loved them. The popularity of these two forms of exercise is probably because they’re such fun ways of working out.

Pilates to Tone Legs

Pilates to Tone Legs

Keep going to classes if you are because you will notice results in both general well-being and in body shape and tone. If you don’t do classes, use this exercise template to construct your own revitalizing workouts. This routine can be used daily!

  • Tree Pose – hold for 30-60s
  • Warrior I Pose – hold for 60s
  • Goddess Pose hold for 30-60s
  • Outside Leg Lift – 2×14
  • Inside Leg Lift – 2x 14
  • Rear Leg Lift Pulses – 2×14

Exercise notes:

Outside Leg Lift – Lying on your side and resting on your elbows, raise your outside leg high into the air and back down. The bottom leg can be slightly bent behind you for stability.

Inside Leg Lift – Lying on your side again with your top leg bent over your bottom leg, this time lift the bottom leg to the sky.

Rear Leg Pulses – On your hands and knees, extend one leg behind you and raise it above the level of your back. Pump by quickly lifting and lowering your leg through a space of about 12 inches only.

Slim and Toned Legs and Butts – Get Inspired! 

Do you need some inspiration and motivation to start working out? Have a look at Instagram’s hottest athletes.