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Pilates Exercises for Your Hips and Buttocks

Trim those hips and show off a better buttocks—and you'll be well on your way to a toned Pilates body.

If you’re looking for leaner hips and better buttocks, there are some essential Pilates exercises you can do to tone your outer thighs and glutes, bringing you one step closer to a better Pilates body. Follow the instructions below, or if you prefer a visual guide, check out the accompanying video.

The first of these exercises targets your glutes and hamstrings. Start lying on your back, with your knees up, feet hip-distance apart, and arms resting at your sides.

  1. Exhale, and lift your buttocks up off the floor, squeezing your glutes.
  2. Inhale as you lower your body back down to the mat.
  3. Repeat several times, and then return to the raised position.
  4. From here, perform several pulses. Pulses are simply smaller, faster movements of the same exercise. Be sure to pulse from the muscle itself, engaging your glutes, not using your lower back.
  5. Hold the raised position and return your body back to the mat.

Repeat this entire series one more time, including both the full exercises and controlled pulses.

This next series of Pilates exercises for your hips and buttocks, called the Book Series, primarily targets the outer thigh muscles, but it also helps to create a more shapely rear. For this exercise, turn onto your right side and bring your knees in toward your body.

  1. Keeping your heels together and abs in, lift your left knee up.
  2. Lower your left leg back down to touch your right, and repeat.
  3. Next, lift the entire left leg up about hip-high, no longer keeping your heels together. Repeat several times.
  4. For the next variation of this series, hold your left leg up at hip-height, and circle it around in small, controlled circles, performing little exhales as you go.
  5. Keep your abs in and reverse the circle. Relax your leg down.

Turn to your left side, and repeat the Book Series with your right leg. As you move through the variations of this series, you'll get deeper and deeper into the outer thigh muscles, for ultimate tone and more sculpted buttocks.

The last of these exercises, called the Belly Frog, targets the back of your thighs and your glutes.  It's performed lying on your stomach, with your hands under your forehead and your legs about hip-distance apart. Bend at the knees, so that your heels are up in the air and together.

  1. Exhale and raise your knees up off the floor about two inches, keeping your heels together. Keep your abs in and hips pressed into the mat.
  2. Inhale as you return your knees to the mat.

Repeat several times and rest. When performed as a series, these Pilates exercises for your hips and buttocks collectively provide a workout for your outer thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Performed consistently, you’ll start to see a visible change in the shape of your hips and buttocks.

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