7 Exercises to Tighten and Tone Your Glutes and Hamstrings

7 Exercises to Tighten and Tone Your Glutes and Hamstrings

Having a tight and firm backside is something every woman strives for. After all, a tight backside means skinny jeans fit better, the legs are stronger, and the body feels energized throughout the day.  Tightening and toning the glutes and hamstrings are easy to perform and can be accomplished in little time with a dedicated routine.  This article discusses how a simple set of exercises grouped together can tone and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.  Following the exercises listed below, you are sure to experience a tough workout which will leave your legs tight and toned.

7 Best Exercises to Tighten and Tone Your Glutes and Hamstrings

  1. Light Jog: A warm-up consisting of a light-paced jog helps increase blood flow and the heart rate, not to mention warm the leg muscles. The warm-up should consist of at least five minutes.
  2. Interval Jogging. One of the most effective ways to tighten and tone the hamstrings and glutes is to run. Running directly works these specific areas and every time the foot lands on the ground, the hamstrings and glutes contract to extend the leg behind the body.  Moreover, while performing this type of cardio, fat is being used and shred throughout the body to lean the figure, thus increasing the shaping effectiveness.  Your intervals should consist of a 1:1 ration, meaning four minutes of faster-paced running followed by four minutes of a walk as an active recovery.  Keep with these intervals for a total of four sets to have a 32 minute cardio portion of your workout.
  3. Back Squats. Squats are extremely effective in tightening and toning the glutes and hamstrings. The back squat requires a barbell and some weights and you should learn proper technique and form with a trainer prior to adding weight.  Aim to perform three sets of 12 if you are looking to tone and add muscular endurance in your hamstrings and glutes.  If you want to add definition and strength in the glutes especially, try performing three sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps with increasing weight each time.  The final two reps on each set should be challenging, but this is where the hamstrings and glutes benefit the most.  There should be at least 60 seconds of rest between sets, but do not exceed 90 seconds.
  4. Lunges. The lunge is similar to the squat, but there is an added balance aspect added to the workout. An alternating lunge will shape, tone, and firm the hamstrings and glutes and will also have the added benefit of toning the hips, quads, and core.  For added benefits in these areas, add a barbell on the shoulders or hold a dumbbell at each side.  With the added weight (not too heavy), aim to perform three sets of 15 lunges each leg.  If the lunges were too challenging, reduce your weight until you can reasonably perform three sets of 15.  Be sure to rest at least 60 seconds between sets.
  5. Hip Bridges. The hip bridge can be performed in many varying ways, but the standard hip bridge is beneficial for increasing glute and hamstring strength. In addition to glute and hamstring toning, the core is greatly worked, making the bridge one of the most efficient workouts for this area of the body.  Aim to perform three sets of 20 hip bridges and rest 60 seconds between sets.
  6. Hamstring Curls. The hamstring curl is a basic exercise specific for the upper portion of the hamstrings, which can add some serious definition in the glute area as well. A prone leg curl machine is recommended for this exercise and aim to perform three sets of 12 for muscular endurance.  For strength gains and definition, attempt three sets of 12, 10, and 8 reps and be sure to rest 60-90 seconds between sets.
  7. Kettlebell Swings. The kettlebell swing is gaining popularity in the gym due to its aerobic and anaerobic conditioning benefits. The kettlebell swing involved a squat movement combined with a front shoulder raise.  When performed correctly, the kettlebell swing works the entire body including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, shoulders, trapezius, and forearms, making this exercise an energy burning machine.  Start with a light kettlebell until you are comfortable with the form.  If your form is good, progress with slightly more weight and adjust the reps until you feel a challenge with the last few reps.  Aim for three sets of 15 kettlebell swings and rest 60 seconds between sets.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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