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Last Updated on April 2, 2020

8 Leg And Butt Workouts To Reshape Your Lower Body

8 Leg And Butt Workouts To Reshape Your Lower Body

Having strong muscles in the butt and legs is essential for your overall health and ability to exercise efficiently. Unless we have active jobs, the threat of sitting down for hours at a time has a huge detrimental effect on these areas; muscles slack and become less defined if not used properly, circulation is dramatically reduced and so blood isn’t able to reach muscles as well as it should, cellulite can form and tone is decreased.

Working out your butt and leg muscles will not only shape and tone them, but will help towards efficiency in other exercises such as running, cycling and swimming. Here you will be taken through 8 leg and butt workouts that will help towards getting the shape and tone that you want.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

1. Squats

This is an absolute essential exercise if you want to target your legs and butt. It works the thighs, butt and hips as well as pulling through your core and lower back muscles. If you want a sculptured backside then squats are your best friend.

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Air-Squats
    image via rockwallrectech.com
    1. Start with feet hip-width apart, keeping your back straight with shoulders pulled back, straighten your arms out in front of you.
    2. Slowly bend your knees and push your butt out and down as though you’re about to sit down on a chair.
    3. Lower yourself so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, your knees are positioned slightly over your ankles and your head and shoulders aligned over your knees.
    4. Using your leg and butt muscles, slowly push up keeping your weight evenly distributed throughout and come back to standing position.
    5. Beginner: start off with a repetition of 3 sets of 10 squats and increase the amount of squats in each set by 1 squat each day.
    6. Advanced: To make this move more difficult, add handheld weights, keeping them at your side throughout the exercise. Increase weights for more intensity.

    2. Lunges

    Leg and butt workouts are not complete without lunges as they help work the muscles in both areas.

    alternating-lunge
      image via mystrengthtraining.com
      1. Start with legs shoulder-width apart and hands resting on your hips.
      2. Extend your right leg out in front of you and lower your hips toward the floor until both knees are at 90-degree angles. Make sure your front knee does not extend over your whole foot and keep your body straight pulling through your core.
      3. Push up on your extended front leg to return to your your original position. Repeat this with the left leg.
      4. Beginner: Repeat 10 lunges on each leg, increasing by 1 for each separate workout.
      5. Advanced: To make this more challenging hold weights in both hands or wear a heavy backpack. Alternatively, try side lunges that add a bit more of a challenge.

      3. Bridges

      Bridges really work your butt muscles and are good for both shaping and toning.

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      Bridge-Exercise
        image via fitndiets.com
        1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
        2. Keeping your arms relaxed on each side, lift your glutes off the floor pushing through your heels.
        3. Hold and squeeze your glute muscles in this position and then slowly lower your butt back down to the floor.
        4. Beginner: Try 10 reps, 3 times increasing slowly with each workout.
        5. Advanced: To make this move more difficult, add a stable weight to your stomach area or try a Unilateral Bridge by raising one knee to your chest or extend it all the way out, then start lifting your glutes off the floor as with a basic bridge.

        4. Plank

        Planks are ultimately great for your core but they also engage your glutes and leg muscles if done correctly. This is a great exercise as you can adjust the challenge by adding seconds to each plank.

        Planks
          image via womenshealthmag.com
          1. Lie on your front and gently raise your body onto your elbows, making sure elbows are shoulder-width apart.
          2. Slowly raise yourself onto your tip toes and hold.
          3. Beginner: Try holding a plank for as long as possible. Aim for 30 seconds to a minute and increase this over each workout.
          4. Advanced: Once you’ve mastered a basic plank, try a Knee Pull Plank which will work your legs and butt more. This involves pulling one knee in towards your stomach and extending it back.

          5. Deadlifts

          Deadlifts are amazing for targeting hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It’s really important that you maintain good form while performing deadlifts so try and do them in front of a mirror so that you can make sure you are doing them correctly.

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          c3358a7f_deadlift-main.xxxlarge_2x
            image via popsugar.com
            1. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms shoulder-width apart, hanging straight down and making sure feet are shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent.
            2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together in back and keep your chest high. It is very important to keep your upper body in this position throughout the entire exercise.
            3. Slowly bend forward from the hips, pushing your butt back, keeping your shoulder blades retracted, and chin tucked in.
            4. Lower the dumbbells down your legs and bend down as far as you can until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
            5. Hold for a second and then squeeze your glutes and return to starting position.
            6. Make sure you do this exercise slowly and keep your back and posture straight.
            7. Beginner: Repeat 10 times in a set of 3.
            8. Advanced: Increase your weights to make this more difficult and challenging.

            6. Hamstring Curls

            These are really great for your legs and will strengthen your hamstrings.

            leg-exercises-tb-hamstring-curl-dumbbell-3
              image via howstuffworks.com
              1. Lie on the floor face down with your arms linked in front of you.
              2. Place a weight in between your feet and grip tightly.
              3. Slowly lift both legs up at the knee until they are at a 90 degree angle from the floor.
              4. Slowly lower your legs back down again, aiming to keep the feet off the floor at all times.
              5. Beginner: Repeat 10 times in a set of 3.
              6. Advanced: Increase the weight to add more challenge.

              7. Calf Raises

              This move is specific in toning and strengthening your legs to give you shaped and defined leg muscles.

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              Calf-Raises
                image via top.me
                1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
                2. Slowly balance onto your toes and lift up your heels as far as you can.
                3. Make sure you push evenly your entire foot; don’t allow the weight to push over to your big toe or to the outside of your foot. Keep the push central.
                4. Slowly lower your heel to the ground.
                5. Beginner: Repeat 10 times for 3 sets. You can hold weights in your hand to add further intensity.
                6. Advanced: Try sumo squat calf raises for an extra challenge.

                8. Wall Sits

                These are fantastic for your glutes, calves and thighs and will test your endurance.

                Wall-Sit
                  image via popsugar.com
                  1. With your back straight against the wall, stand with your feet slightly apart and a small distance away from the wall.
                  2. Slowly bend your knees so that your thighs are at a 90 degree angle from the floor.
                  3. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute (or as long as you can)
                  4. Slowly use your leg muscles to bring yourself up to a standing position.
                  5. Beginner: Start with 30 seconds to 1 minute increasing the time by a few seconds each day.
                  6. Advanced: Try a one-legged wall squat by extending one leg out in front of you. This will work the butt and leg muscles more intensely. Change legs once your primary leg cannot sustain the 90 degree angle any longer.

                  Tips for Leg and Butt Workouts

                  • Remember when doing toning exercises, the key is to do the movements slowly and focus on squeezing the muscles as much as possible. It’s also important to remember that quality is better than quantity. It’s much more effective to increase intensity with each exercise than just doing more of the same exercise at the same level of intensity. This way the muscle is being challenged and will tone up much more quickly.
                  • Write down a schedule of your workouts as this will help you to keep motivation. Start with a weekly or monthly timetable of each daily workout you do. Make sure you show exactly how many reps you will do for each exercise and show a progression throughout the week or month by adding weights and intensity.
                  • Wear sensible, stable shoes that support your feet well to avoid injuries to your ankles.
                  • Be aware of your limits – don’t try using heavy weights straight away. Start small and work your way up as this will make the workouts a lot more beneficial and will avoid injuries.
                  • Always drink plenty of water when doing workouts as you can get easily dehydrated.
                  • Talk with your doctor if you suffer from back pain or are pregnant as these exercises may not be suitable.
                  • Remember to eat a healthy diet as eating foods high in saturated fats and sugar will only counteract the good work you’re putting in!

                  Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

                  More by this author

                  Samantha Aloysius

                  Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology and has experience in diabetes care counselling.

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                  Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                  How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                  How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                  What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                  To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                  All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                  There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                  With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                  What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:

                  1. Think Big

                    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                    There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                    Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                    Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                    Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                    Instead be ambitious.

                    2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                      From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                      “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                      This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                      Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                      If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                      Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                      Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                      Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                      3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                        From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                        “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                        All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                        If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                        However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                        If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                        In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                        To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                        4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                          From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                          “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                          There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                          Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                          His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                          He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                          Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                          Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                          If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                          5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                            From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                            “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                            This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                            It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                            If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                            Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                            6. Be a Person of Action

                              From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                              “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                              Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                              Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                              When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                              You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                              All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                              Applying this to you?

                              Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                              7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                This is key to good leadership.

                                It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                  From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                  “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                  It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                  Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                  If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                  9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                    “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                    Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                    It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                    Keep dreaming!

                                    10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                      From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                      “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                      Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                      Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                      If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                      However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                      11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                        From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                        “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                        It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                        When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                        Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                        If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                        This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                        12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                          From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                          “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                          You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                          Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                          True success comes from work.

                                          You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                          Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                          13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                            From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                            “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                            In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                            If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                            It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                            Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                            Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                            More Tips for Achieve Success

                                            Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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