All types of lunges are great for working your backside, but trainer Jennifer Pattee, owner of Basic Training, is partial to a specific move: the walking lunge. "It's a great way for women to tone the butt, to get that kind of shelf butt," she explains. "Normally you can't really spot reduce and it's hard to really tone specific muscle groups, but that one works."
This exercise also tones your thighs, so consider it a must-do for shorts season. Remember to keep your weight in your heel as you come down into a lunge, and lift your toes up as you're stepping back up from a lunge in order to make the move more effective. For a full-body move, hold dumbbells.
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- Stand upright, feet together.
- Take a controlled step forward with your right leg, curling the dumbbells to your shoulders and keeping your elbows close to the body.
- Lower hips toward the floor and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle and the back knee should be pointing down toward the floor.
- Push off with your left foot and bring it forward to starting position, lowering the dumbbells to your side. This completes one rep.
- Next step forward and repeat with the left leg as your front leg.
- Do two to three sets of 15 reps. As you repeat each move you will be walking forward, so you'll need a little bit of space for this move (just turn around and retrace your steps if you run out of room).
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