Always start with a proper warm up. There’s nothing worse than not being able to go down stairs for a week. So your warm up is very important. Five minutes of light walking, jumping jacks, high knees or climbing the steps in your house will work just fine.
And if you are new to exercise consult your physician before attempting something new.
1. Side to Side Lunge: works the inner and outer thighs
Start by standing straight up and hold light weights in your hand (optional). With your right foot step horizontally to the right, bending your knee, left leg stays straight. Make sure that both feet face forward and your lunging knee tracks over the ankle.
Squat down and touch weights or hands to the floor on both sides of the right foot. Your torso should touch the top of your leg and your back should be flat.
With an exhale, pull your navel to your spine and with control slowly bring feet back together straightening up back to your starting position. Repeat on left side. Alternate from right to left for 15 to 20 on each side. Repeat for 2 or 3 more sets.
2. Walking Lunges: works quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs
Start by standing straight up and hold light weights in your hands (optional). Keeping your torso parallel to the floor, step your right foot in front of you with a wide stance. Lunge down so your thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee tracks directly over your ankle. Do not lean forward.
On an exhale pull your navel towards your spine as you step your left foot forward to meet your right foot standing straight up like you started. Repeat by stepping your left foot forward with a wide stance. Continuing to lunge across the length of your room keeping your navel pulled in and your torso straight.
Alternate your walking lunges up and back for a set of 3.
3. Squat With a Side Kick: works quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs
Stand with feet hip distance apart, toes pointed forward and the outer edges of your feet straight. You can rest light dumbbells on your shoulders, if you want more of a challenge.
Inhale as you sit back, as if you are trying to sit in a chair with your thighs parallel to the ground. On an exhale pull your navel in towards your spine to support your back, squeeze your butt and slowly stand back up. As you stand kick one leg out to the side. Squat down again and as you stand back up kick your opposite leg out to the side. Repeat 1o times on each side. Rest and repeat 2 more times.
4. Step Ups with a Back Kick: works quads, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs
Stand in front of a bench or set of stairs. The higher the bench the harder the exercise. If using stairs step up onto the second or third set of steps.
Exhale, pull your belly in and and step up with your right foot pressing through your heel. Kick your left leg behind you as you squeeze your butt. Watch that your right knee tracks over your ankle and your torso is straight. Inhale as you lower down. Switch legs. Repeat 1o times on each leg. Rest and repeat for 2 more sets.
5. Hip Extensions: works glutes and hamstrings
These are my absolute favorite butt exercises. They really hit the spot.
Start on your hands (or forearms) and knees. Knees line under your hips and wrists (or elbows, if you’re on your forearms) under your shoulders. Stretch your right leg out so your toes touch the floor. Keep your leg straight, squeeze your butt and exhale as you pull your belly in and leg up towards the ceiling. Do not arch your back, keep your torso from moving and back from arching. Inhale and tap your toes to the floor. Repeat for 30 on each leg.
For your second set, bend your right knee and flex your foot so your heel is facing the ceiling and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your knee bent and pulse your leg a few inches up as you keep a constant squeeze with your glutes. Repeat until failure and switch legs.
For your third set, stretch your right leg out and lift it so it is parallel to the floor, but do not arch your back. Flex your foot and exhale bend your knee as if you are trying to kick yourself in the butt, squeezing the back of your leg and butt. Inhale and extend it back out. Repeat 30 times on each leg.
6. Side Lying Leg Lifts: works outer thighs
Start by laying on your side with legs stretched out and slightly in front of you so you can see your toes. Rest your head on your arm so you don’t tweak your neck muscles. Lift your top leg a few inches off the floor and stretch it longer that the bottom leg so you stack your hips one on top of another. Do not rest your waist onto the floor. Bring your top leg straight forward towards your face and hold. Flex your foot and pulse your leg up and down keeping within a four inch range of movement. Keep up abdominals tight and pulled in. Continue until failure. Repeat on other leg. Do 2 to 3 sets on each side.