Top 4 Toning Techniques for Glutes and Legs

Dave_BettyeJo_logoToning the glutes and legs is a common goal of many personal training clients.  Toning the legs and glutes in particular involves exercises that feature hip extension.

Here’s 4 great hip extension exercises I’ve recommended for years and would still recommend for toning the glutes and legs.


Here’s the top 4 techniques that I’d recommend…

1. Stability Ball Bridges

Sit on a stability ball with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Preferably a ball that won’t burst.  That’s no good.

Then, walk feet forward until only your upper back, shoulders, and head are on ball.

Without allowing ball to move, lift hips so that body is in straight line from head to knees. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower hips. Do 12-20 reps.

2. Step-Up to Balance

Stand a few inches in front of a low-box or step. (We use an adjustable step in our studio to adjust the difficulty level).  Start with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips (navel drawn-in). Place right foot on box, bending knee to align with second and third toes.

Push into right foot to come up on to the box/step while squeezing butt muscles. Lift bent left leg so thigh is parallel tobox, or tap left foot to box if needed. Step back down. Repeat on otherside. Do 12-20 reps per leg.

3. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lift left foot a few inches off floor and put right hand on hip or with dumbbell.

Bend right knee slightly and hinge at hips, reaching left hand toward floor. Squeeze butt muscles as you comeback up (tap left toes to floor if needed). Do 12-20 reps per leg.

4. Walking Lunges with a Twist

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, a medicine ball (preferably 6 to 8 pounds) or a dumbbell held in both hands at your chest. Step forward with right foot, reaching ball forward and bending both knees. Right knee should be in line with second and third toes of right foot.

B. Twist torso, bringing ball around to right, then return to center. Shift weight onto right foot and stand, bringing left foot next to right. Repeat on other side. Do 12-20 reps per leg.

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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is a true health expert. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 18,000 hours of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 20 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his beloved) began writing evidence-based Wellness Newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various small businesses throughout Connecticut.

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