Squats and Lunges are both your butt’s enemy and best friend!! They hurt (in a good way) a lot the day after (if you’re doing them right), but they keep that butt toned and taught!! One very important tip to always keep in mind when you are doing squats is to do them slowly and controlled, and think about sticking your butt straight out while keeping your back straight, keeping your knees over your toes, and putting all of your weight on your heels (not your toes!). Very important!
There are many different types of squats that target different parts of your legs, and butt so I’ll start with the wide-legged one. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and slowly lower down to a sitting position making sure to stick your butt out. Make sure that you never extend your knees over your toes. This is very important so you don’t hurt your knees. Hold each squat for 3 counts at the bottom then stand up pushing down on your heels and squeeze your butt cheeks together. Do 2-3 sets with 10-15 repetitions in each.
Another way to vary the squat is to stand with your feet spread fairly widely apart, and your toes pointed out (the plie squat). Lower down as far as you can and either hold it steady for as long as you can, then stand up and squeeze your butt cheeks together, or lower for 3 counts then up and squeeze for 3 counts, doing 10-15 reps. Do 3 sets of these. Take a one minute break between sets.
The last type is to do the wide legged squat, then as you are standing up, lift one leg off the ground and bring your knee to about your arm-pit height. Do 10-15 of these on each leg.
Again, there are different varieties of lunges, but I am going to start with a basic lunge. Step back with one leg, then slowly lower your body (hands on hips or out to balance) until your front knee is bent about 90 degrees. Here again you need to make sure your knee is over your ankle and not going over your toe! Slowly lift your back leg forward to the starting position, then repeat. Do 10-15 repetitions then switch legs. Do 2-3 sets on each leg.
Another variety is to step forward the same way (keeping the knee over the ankle at a 90 degree angle!) then push yourself back up to standing. Alternate legs here when you are stepping forward. Do 10-15 reps (on each leg).
The easiest one I find is to take your step forward, or back, and rather than going back to starting position, just keep your stance and raise and lower for 10-15 reps, then repeat on the other leg.
With any of the above exercises feel free to add weights. I like to hold a weight under my chin.
Trust me, these exercises are soooooo worth it to keep that butt tight as we gracefully age!!!