Mind & Body

Workout of the Week: Firm Up Your Buttocks and Thighs

TIMEDecember 13, 2014

I am writing this article from the sweaty tropics of central Queensland, Australia. Summer is upon us here, and in most places that means spending time at the beach. But if you are in a part of the world where winter is setting in, braving the cold on each outing, that is still no excuse for dropping your exercise routine.

As I tell my clients, don’t let yourself go just because it’s cold outside.

The colder months are equally if not more important when it comes to working out. If you do the hard work in the winter, you’ll be ready to unveil your strong, toned body come summertime.

If you want to feel good in your swimsuit, this workout is for you. It brings heavy-duty results for toning your buttocks and your thighs.

Sumo Squat

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1. Stand with your feet wide and toes turned out, in line with your knees. Press your palms together.

2. Bend your knees and lower your buttocks and hips as low as they will go.

3. Hold the squat position for 5 seconds, then press back up.

Do 25 repetitions. For an extra challenge, do 5 pulses at your lowest range after 5 sumo squats.


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1. Start with one foot in front of your body and one foot behind.

2. Place your hands on your hips to assist with balance.

3. Lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be at a 90-degree angle.

4. Make sure your front knee doesn’t go over your toe, as this will put pressure on your knee.

Do 10–15 lunges with the right leg forward. Then switch legs and repeat with the left leg forward.

Skater Jumps

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1. Jump over to your right, landing on the right foot. Your left foot will be behind you.

2. Jump horizontally like you are jumping over a big puddle, landing on the left foot. Your right foot will be behind you.

Do 20 jumps back and forth. Keep your body low to the ground and your knees soft the entire time. This is a great exercise for your buttocks and thighs and will add a cardio element to the workout.

Kneeling Side Kick

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1. Start in a kneeling position, with the back of your hands resting on the front of your forehead.

2. Extend your right arm straight out to the side and start to tip over toward the floor, until your right hand meets the floor. As your hand touches the floor, your left leg will extend out to the side of your hip.

3. Lift your left leg until it is in line with your torso. This is the starting position for the kneeling side-kick exercise sequence.

4. Extend your left hand straight up toward the ceiling. Your arms should be in line with each other.

5. From the start pose, kick your leg forward and then slightly behind your body. Point your foot as you kick your leg forward and flex your foot as your leg moves behind your body.

Do 10 kicks on each side. This is an advanced Pilates movement that will target the deep stabilizing muscles of your hips and glutes.


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1. Lay on your back with your feet about 12 inches from your hips.

2. Press your lower back into the floor, then continue to lift the rest of your spine away from the mat. Stop when your hips are lifted and in line with your shoulders and knees.

3. Hold the position, then roll the spine back down toward the floor.

Do 6 bridges slowly.

Glute Stretch

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After all of these exercises, a glute stretch will definitely be in order.

1. Lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, cross your right ankle over your left knee.

2. Place both hands behind the back of your left thigh.

3. Bring your legs up toward your body.

4. Try and create resistance by pressing against your hands. This will intensify the stretch.

5. Hold on each side for at least 40 seconds.

Do this workout twice a week for six weeks, and you will love the way your legs, hips, and buttocks start to feel and look.

Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With 10 years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.

Model: Alana Ford
Photographs: Willis Lim