Basic lunges aren’t bad for your butt and thighs, they’re just inherently boring — and they only work your backside from one angle.
To stop yourself from falling asleep during your workouts (the worst way to tone your butt and thighs), sprinkle in some variations from certified fitness trainer and Gymnetics co-founder Lana Ector.
These moves will up the ante by challenging your balance, working both sides of your body at once, or changing up your plane of motion to strengthen your butt and thighs in new and different ways. Pick a few moves to add to your regular workout, doing up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side. Or, hell, try them all if you don’t plan on moving much tomorrow.
- Reverse Lunge
Instructions: To begin, stand tall take a big step backward with your left foot. Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted. Returning to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bring your left leg forward to complete one rep. Alternate legs, and step back with right leg
- Side Lunge
Instructions: This is so perfect for inner thighs. Stand with your feet set about twice shoulder width apart, your feet facing straight ahead. Clasp your hands in front your chest. Shift your weight over to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees. Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor. Your left foot should remain flat on the floor. Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left. Alternate back and forth.
- Around-the-Clock Lunges
How to do it: Stand up straight with both feet together. Take a large step forward with your left foot and bend both knees 90 degrees, keeping your shoulders over your hips. Return to starting position and squeeze your butt. Keeping your toes facing forward, step the left foot a few feet to the side and bend both knees 90 degrees with your chest high. Step the left foot back to starting position and squeeze your butt. Step the left foot back into a reverse lunge. Bend both knees 90 degrees, keeping the shoulders stacked over the hips. Bring the left foot back to starting position and squeeze your butt. Repeat front, side, and reverse lunges on the opposite side and continue to alternate between left and right sides.
- Lunge and Twist
How to do it: Start by standing up straight with feet about hips-width apart and hands clasped at chest height. Take a large step forward with your left foot and bend both knees 90 degrees, keeping your shoulders over your hips. Twist from the waist to turn your upper body to the left as far as you can without compromising your balance. Twist back to center, then step your left foot back to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, this time twisting toward the right. Come back to starting position to repeat one rep, and continue to alternate sides.
- Curtsy Lunge
Start by standing, hold the medicine ball at your chest and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Go back to the starting position and perform a Leg lift.
- Lateral leg lifts
Standing lateral leg lifts also strengthen hip abduction. If you have good balance, you can stand with your hands on your hips. If you are unsteady, you can start by standing near the kitchen counter where you can use your fingertips for balance. Stand erect with head and shoulders over your hips. As you perform this exercise, make sure you don’t lean forward or to the opposite side. Flex your toes and raise your leg out to the side 12 to 24 inches. Hold three to five seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Bring the right leg into the squat position and do this 10 times. Do the same on the opposite side