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5 lower body exercises to target your glutes, thighs and hips

For many women, tightening and toning the lower body is one of the hardest things to do!

A lot of the time, that’s all thanks to hormones (thanks excess oestrogen), a poor diet and/or not knowing exactly what exercises to try and do (and how to perform them correctly).

The good news is, with a healthy eating plan such as the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, targeted exercises, consistency and a splash of determination – you can shift stubborn fat and achieve a nice, firm and toned lower half.


5 easy lower body exercises to target your butt and thighs

As a mum on-the-go, you’re going to need as much lower body strength as possible to keep up with your active kids (and shift stubborn fat of course).

28 Day Weight Loss Challenge member Paula Dickson says the following 5 lower body exercises have done wonders for her booty and fitness. Thankfully Paula has taken the time to demonstrate these effective and easy-to-do-at-home butt, hips and thigh focussed exercises.

Before you know it – your booty will be looking peachy!

1. Squats


Squats. Squats. Squats.

Squats are perhaps the most common go-to lower body exercise – not to mention there are heaps of squat variations to try as your strength and fitness improves (think dumbbells, barbells, split squats, front squats, back squats – the list goes on and on).

Squats have been proven time and time again to firm booties, tone up thighs, engage the core and BURN MAJOR CALORIES.

If you are new to the squat world, the best squat to perhaps begin with is the ‘chair squat’ (pictured above):

  • Stand in front of a regular height chair.
  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Raise your arms to shoulder height and bring them out in front of you.
  • Slowly squat back like you are about to sit on the chair.
  • Touch the chair lightly.
  • Stand back up, dropping your hands to the side.
  • Repeat for 2-3 sets aiming for 8-10 reps.

With practice, this will be come easier. When it does, that’s when you try adding more reps.

Once you have nailed that, it may be time to seek advice or turn to our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge App for different squat variations and difficultly levels (not to mention safety advice).

2. Lunges


Lunges work multiple lower body muscles all at the same time.

They are highly effective for achieving definition on your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. And just like squats, there are so many types of lunges that you can add into your workout routine.

We suggest start with giving walking lunges a crack.

Walking lunges:

  • Stand straight and place your hands on your hips.
  • Take a ‘lunge’ forward. Make sure that your knee never goes over the toes when it’s bent forward.
  • Simultaneously lower your back leg until the knee is close to the ground.
  • Push off with your back foot back and return to standing position.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • HOT TIP: Breathe out on the way up and breathe in on the lunge.

3. Step ups  

step ups

This classic lower body exercise is sure to boost your heart rate and compliment any weight loss exercise regime. Not to mention, it’s relatively easy to grasp and set up.

It also improves stamina and helps tone up your butt and thighs.

You will need some sort of platform to raise your leg onto like a bench or a short chair about 6 -16 inches in height.

Step ups:

  • Stand in front of the platform and place your hands on your hips.
  • Raise one foot onto the platform and step ‘up’. As your leg lengthens, make a note not to completely lock your leg as it straightens.
  • Make sure your right leg is still slightly behind you and ensure your foot doesn’t touch the platform.
  • Whilst in this position, slowly lower back down to the ground.
  • Repeat again with the opposite leg.

To add difficulty, try this exercise with hand weights.

4. Hip extensions

hip extensions

A great workout for glutes and your hips, this exercise is SUPER effective and requires no equipment (unless wanting to increase difficulty). They virtually can be performed anywhere, anytime.

Hip extension: 

  • Support yourself on the floor with your elbows and knees.
  • ‘Push back’, lift one knee while squeezing your glutes.
  • Fully extend your leg.
  • Slowly lower your extended leg back to the starting position.
  • Alternate legs and repeat for 2 -3 sets at 8 -10 reps.

5. Single leg Romanian deadlifts


For this exercise, you are going to need two dumbbells. Also, make sure that the weight of the dumbbell is just right for you and not too heavy.

  • Hold the dumbbells in each hand and place them to the side of your body.
  • Lift one leg, extending it behind you. At the same time, bend the knee opposite knee (the leg that is supporting the body).
  • Lower your body, keeping your back straight at the same time.
  • Lift your body back up and straighten your supporting leg until you are at the starting position.
  • Repeat this with only a singular leg for 8 – 10 reps and then switch to the other leg. When you are done with both legs, it will be considered as 1 set.
  • Do 2 – 3 sets.

Thanks for demonstrating these moves so wonderfully, Paula!

You can find more amazing booty and thigh focused-exercises on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge App under the exercise hub. We also outline how you can perform these exercises CORRECTLY, and SAFELY while targeting those booty muscles.

Join the 28 Day Challenge!

If you are wanting to tighten your booty and tone your thighs – not to mention – help improve your overall health and wellbeing – our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an awesome program to check out.  

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge includes:
  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!


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