18 Moves to Tone Your Butt, Thighs, and Legs

Exercises that tighten and tone your legs from butt to ankles and everything in between

Follow along with Kelsey Wells to get your heart rate up—and watch your rear look better than ever. Wear a heart rate monitor to track you exercising beats per minute and try to stay in the ideal zone for you.

RELATED: How To Know if You Have a Good, Healthy Heart Rate

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Warrior III

Tone your legs and core with this quick workout from LEKfit founder Lauren Kleban. As you work through these exercises you'll want to remember to keep your core engaged to target those important muscles.

RELATED: How to Engage Your Cour During Exercise—And Why It Matters

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Chair Squat

Get your booty toned with these three butt-sculpting moves from Nicole Winhoffer! Glute muscles help with walking, running, and posture. Strong glutes also help you avoid knee injuries, so, get squatting.

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Pivoting Curtsy Lunge

pivoting-curtsy-lunge
Chris Fanning

How to do it: Standing with feet hip-width apart, step your right foot diagonally behind you and into a 7 o'clock position. Bend both knees so you're in a lunge stance. Lean your torso forward 30 degrees and pulse up and town 10-15 times. Straighten the body and pivot 180 degrees so your right foot comes to the front. Again, lower into a lunge.

Pulse up and down 10-15 times on each side to complete one set; do 3 sets.

RELATED: This Inner Thigh Workout Will Transform Your Legs

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Low Lunge Hover

low-lunge-hover

This standing move works both the legs and butt.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart before stepping your right foot back, and lowering into lunge stance with the left knee over the ankle. Bring your arms over your head and hinge forward from the waist. Lower the chest forward toward the thighs as your arms reach forward. Lift the right leg while straightening the left. Hold for 3 breaths before returning to the starting lunge position.

Do 3 reps; switch legs and repeat.

RELATED: The One Squat Variation You Need to Be Doing for a Perkier Butt

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Skater Lunge

Sculpt Society's Megan Roup leads a 10-minute full-body workout.

RELATED: This Full-Body Workout Uses Only Things in Your Kitchen

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The Lean

the-lean-leg-workout

This move works the inner thighs and begins with the same stance as the skater's lunge.

How to do it: Begin with feet shoulder-width apart and the arms down at your sides. Take a step diagonally back with the right foot. Then, bend sideways from the waist toward the side where your right leg is stretched out, and reach your right arm up and left arm down and back toward your right calf. Return arms to starting position to complete 1 rep.

Do 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.

RELATED: Work Your Thighs and Core in Only 10 Minutes With Carrie Dorr

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Leg Lift

chair-leg-lift

This move targets the quads.

How to do it: While you stand facing a chair, raise your right leg, knee facing up, foot flexed and place your heel on the seat. Make sure not to lock your standing knee as you lift your right foot off the chair and straighten it out until you feel your quadriceps engage. Keeping your lifted leg in the air, bend the leg on the floor slightly and then straighten it again.

Do 10-15 reps, then switch sides and repeat for 1 full set; do 3 sets.

RELATED: Dumbbell Box Step-Overs Will Give You Your Tightest Butt Ever

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How-to Video: Standing Glute Toner

standing-glute-toner

Want a leg-lift exercise to work your glutes? Of course you do. Watch this video to find out how to do it right.

RELATED: Why Your Butt Is Staying Flat No Matter How Much You Work Out

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Two-Thirds Jump Squat

This is how Anna Victoria works her glutes (and abs!) Your core abs wrap your mid-body and are important to helping you balance and prevent injury.

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V-Position

v-position-leg-exercise

This V-Position is similar to a ballet plié and just like that classic move, it works the thighs, hips, and glutes.

How to do it: Stand holding the back of a chair with one hand. Place your feet in a V position, toes should be about 4 inches apart and heels stay pressed together. Bend your knees and lift the heels a few inches off the floor. Then, lower your hips until you feel your quads intensely working. Pulse up and down.

10-15 pulses up and down completes 1 set; do 3 sets.

RELATED: These 3 Ballet Moves Can Help Prevent Knee Injuries

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Lateral Lunge Side Kick

Start sculpting your booty with this quick one-minute workout from Katie Austin.

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Hip Bridge

hip-bridge
David Martinez

This move is a modified bridge and targets the glutes.

How to do it: Lie on your back with knees bent and facing up. Plant your heels into the floor and lift the toes toward the shins. Raise the buttocks off the ground until your back forms a straight line from the knees to the shoulders. Hold for 1 second before lowering down.

Repeat for 15 reps.

RELATED: 3 Exercises for a Stronger Pelvic Floor (and Lower Abs)

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Split-Squat

split-squat
David Martinez

This squat incorporates dumbbells and works to tone the thighs.

How to do it: With a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand at your sides, stand with the left foot forward and right foot back in a wide stance. Bend both knees keeping the left knee over your ankle, while lowering the right knee nearly to the floor. Return to standing.

Do 8-10 reps on each side.

RELATED: 5 Exercises for Tighter, Stronger Thighs

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Single Leg Lift and Row

body-side-lunge
Tom Rafalovich

This move works more than just the legs; it targets the back, arms, and core in addition to the butt and hamstrings.

How to do it: Begin standing with your left foot in front of the right foot. Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in the right hand and keep both arms at your sides. Leaning forward, raise the right foot off the ground and bring it straight up to hip level. At the same time, bring the weight toward the ground and then raise it up to hip-level.

Do 12-15 reps on the right side before switching arms and legs to repeat on the left side.

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Standing Forward Bend

bethenny-hinge-forward
Chris Fanning

This move fights cellulite and works the quad muscles.

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the hips. Keep your knees slightly bent, lay the chest on your upper thighs, and let your head fall forward toward the ground. Keep the quads engaged and slowly work to straighten the legs without locking the knees. Hips should stay centered over the feet.

Hold for 5-8 slow and deep breaths.

RELATED: 7 Exercises That Will Boost Your Mobility and Flexibility

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Chair Twist

chair-twist-move

This move works the butt and legs, and though chair is in the title, no equipment or props are needed.

How to do it: Start by standing with feet together. Bend the knees and push the hips back, while making sure the knees stay behind the toes. Lower the thighs until they're almost parallel with the floor and raise the arms forward and up. Then, rotate the torso to the right side and place the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Hold for 3 breaths and return to the starting position.

Repeat on the left side to complete one rep; do 3 reps.

RELATED: 20 Hip-Strengthening Exercises You Can Do at Home

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Downward Dog Split

dog-split
Jay Sullivan

This yoga move is great for the legs.

How to do it: Begin on all fours on the ground. Take a deep breath, release and push into downward dog by straightening the legs and lifting your hips and butt into the air. Push your hands and feet into the ground and relax the head between your arms. Exhale and lift one leg as high as you can while keeping it straight with a flexed foot. Lower the leg down, and repeat on the other side.

RELATED: Get Energized Fast With This Invigorating 18-Minute Yoga Flow

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Knee Lift-Leg Kick Combo

knee-lift-leg-combo

This move is pretty challenging; if you can't complete the full amount of recommended reps feel free to do less and work your way up to completing the full set.

How to do it: Lie on your right side with the upper body supported by the right elbow and tricep, which should be flat on the mat at your side. Stack the legs and hip, and bend the knees. Lift the top bent leg, keeping it level, and then lower it. Straighten both legs and let them fall into a small split position (with one leg split over the other). Hover the bottom leg about 1-2 inches from the floor with knees facing forward. Return to starting position to complete one rep.

Do 30-40 reps, then switch sides and repeat.

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