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Cardiovascular exercise helps reduce fat from your lower body.
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Just as men are prone to store fat in their bellies, women often consider their rear end and thighs a problem area. Only doing targeted exercises, such as lunges and squats, to reduce this excess fat, isn't effective, because spot reducing fat isn't possible. Still, incorporating targeted exercises into a weight-loss routine, that includes a sensible diet, cardio and full-body strength training, can result in a caloric deficit that slims down your whole body including that undesired butt and thigh fat.
Reduce your caloric intake from food to contribute to weight loss. A deficit of 500 calories a day can result in weight loss of 1 pound in a week. Swap out high-calorie, foods for nutritious, low-calorie alternatives. For instance, skip dessert or eat strawberries to satisfy your sweet tooth, or drink water instead of alcohol or soda. Try eating from smaller plates and bowls, so your portions reduce and you consume fewer calories.
Eat foods from all food groups to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs while you're cutting calories. Include a variety of veggies and fruits of all colors; get protein from healthy sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts and beans; fill up on whole grains including brown rice and whole-wheat bread; choose reduced-fat dairy products, and use healthy fats, such as olive or canola oil.
Engage in leg-intense cardio for 30 to 60 minutes on most days to burn calories. Your choices include among others jogging, walking briskly, bicycling, jumping rope, using an elliptical machine, ice skating, or taking a cardio-kickboxing class. Determine which exercises you like and vary your workouts so you target your muscles slightly differently each time. Work at a pace that's intense enough so you can't sing but are still able to talk.
Strengthen your major muscle groups with pushups, crunches, deadlifts, bench presses, rows and similar exercises on at least two nonconsecutive days a week. This stimulates muscle tissue all through your body, which optimizes your caloric burn and boosts your metabolism. Perform eight to 12 reps and two to three sets per exercise, using enough weight so you can't do another rep at the end of each set.
Perform hip extensions on all fours as part of your strength-training routine. This exercise most effectively targets your gluteal muscles, found a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. Face the floor while on your hands and knees. Then raise one bent leg behind you so the sole of your foot faces the ceiling and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Squeeze your tush and lower your leg. Do this eight to 12 times and then repeat the exercise with your other leg to finish one set.
Incorporate lunges into your strength-training routine to work the muscles in your butt and thighs. Take a big step forward with one foot, bend your knees and lower your hips straight down. When your knees are close to 90 degrees bent, push through your front foot to return to an upright stance. Repeat the exercise with your other foot to complete on repetition. Continue alternating your legs to complete one set. For variety, hold dumbbells in your hands, perform walking lunges, or place your foot on a platform in front or behind you.
Squat your way to slimmer thighs and a firmer rear end. While standing upright, bend your knees, push your hips back and lower them as if you're sitting on a chair. When your knees are at a 90-degree angle, push through your heels to return to the upright stance. For variety, hold dumbbells in your hands. Or perform one-legged squats, front or back squats with a barbell, or wall squats.
Before starting your workout routine, perform five to 10 minutes of low-intense cardio to warm your muscles.
See your doctor before beginning a workout routine or diet, especially if you have a health condition or injury.