Four Exercises to Tone Your Legs and Butt

From yoga to circuit training to standard cardio, there are many options when looking to tone your legs and butt. Here are some great exercises to tone your lower body.

#1: Warrior 1, 2 & 3
These poses are standard in most yoga practices. They are similar but are variations on each other. Hold each pose for five slow breaths.

How to do it (1): Stand on your mat with your feet hip-distance apart. On an exhale step your feet apart, your front foot pointing towards the tip of the mat. Turn your back foot parallel to the edge of the mat. Align your feet so the front heel is in line with the back arch. Keep your hips facing forward and inhale as you bring your arms up over your head, bending your front leg on the exhale to a 90 degree angle. Repeat on both sides.

How to do it (2): Similar to Warrior 1, feet will be in the same position. Your hips will be open however, not facing forward. Lengthen your arms on an inhale so they’re parallel to the floor and exhale as you bend your front leg again to a 90 degree angle. Repeat on both sides.

 How to do it (3): Stand with your feet together. On an inhale lift one leg so its parallel to the floor and move your chest down, creating one long line. You can keep your arms by your side or lengthen them over your head. Repeat on both sides.

#2: Squats
Another standard exercise, but still a great one to strengthen the whole lower body as well as the core.

How to do it: Stand with your feet together and raise your arms parallel to the floor or over your head. Lower your butt towards the floor keeping your legs planted. Bend until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for one breath and then go back to the starting position. It’s important to make sure your knees don’t go over your ankles to avoid injury. Try 20 to start.

#3: Walking Lunges
A great exercise to get the heart rate up as well as tone the lower body.

How to do it: Stand with your feet together. Exhale and step your feet apart so your feet are both pointed forward. Bend your front leg so your thigh is parallel to the floor, your back leg will bend slightly too. Hold for one breath, then straighten and step your opposite foot forward and repeat. Try 10 reps on each side.

#4: Single-leg Bridge
A variation on the standard bridge or hip raise move.

How to do it: Lay on your mat with your knees bent. Lift one leg out straight, keeping it in line with your other thigh. Lift your hips so that you create one long line with your body. Hold for one breath than release. Repeat on both sides. Try for 10 reps on each side.