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Hamstring, Thigh & Glute Toning Exercises

By Shannon Sukovaty

Having a tight butt and toned legs gives you the confidence to wear shorter shorts, bathing suits and summer clothes. Exercises that target the hamstrings, thighs and glutes and give you a good fat-burning cardiovascular workout are effective for achieving a jiggle-free lower-body. To lose the fat off your lower-body, you will need to lose overall body fat, since there is no such thing as spot reducing, notes the American Council on Exercise. To lose body fat, you need to burn more calories than you eat daily by eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.

Standing Pendulum Swing

The standing pendulum swing engages the entire lower body and core with emphasis on the inner and outer thighs. Begin standing behind a stable chair with your hands on the top for balance. Do not lean. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and kick your right foot slightly in front of your left. Inhale and lift your right leg out to the right, and then swing it back in, crossing in front of the left and squeezing your inner thighs. Keep the movement going at a steady pace, keeping complete control by engaging the inner and outer thigh muscles. Repeat 10 to 15 times with the right leg and then the left.

Arabesque Circles

The arabesque circle exercises is a dance exercise that engages the glutes and hamstrings. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders upright over your hips in good posture. Relax your shoulders, neck and head, shift your weight slightly to your left leg, and lift your right leg behind you. Engage your core to improve your balance and hold this stance. If you have trouble holding, you can hold onto the back of a stable chair for balance. Slowly, circle the back leg clockwise for 25 counts, and then rotate and circle counterclockwise for 25 counts. Switch legs, and repeat on the left side.

Single Leg Squat

The single leg squat engages your entire lower body. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders upright over your hips. Shift your weight to your right leg, and slowly lift your left leg off the ground. Sit all your weight back into your glutes on your right side. Align your right knee directly over your right toes to keep pressure off the knee joint, and do not extend forward past your toes. Hold the squat for three to eight seconds, and push up through the glutes. Repeat this movement for one squat 10 to 12 times. Then, do 10 to 12 times on the left.

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