home fitness
November 6, 2007 1:55 PM   Subscribe

What can I do at home to improve my butt and thighs in a very short time? Even slight improvements are better than nothing...

I need a home workout! I'm going on a cruise on November 18th. I had a baby 10 weeks ago! My middle is regaining shape nicely- but my upper thighs and butt need help!

My constraints are that I am working from home, I have an infant in my care, and a 5 year old as well.... no time for gym, running, or even walking! But, I can squeeze in floor exercises between parenting, working, cooking, cleaning etc....

I am looking for exercises that I can aggressively pursue in my home- ie squats and I am looking for the most effective ones for toning upper thigh (inner and outer) and butt. I am hoping that there are maybe 5 really good isolating exercises that I can do whenever possible to get some tone back...thanks.
posted by ohdeanna to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Joyce Vedral has some nice workout books you might find in your library, including this one. Basically, yeah, your squats, lunges and those wonderful butt kicks or donkey kicks, and she'll add a couple more for you.
posted by Listener at 2:12 PM on November 6, 2007

Buy resistance bands. I do an an exercise where I simulate one of the machines at the gym. I guess it is called a butt blaster.

Kneel on floor w/tube wrapped around your right foot and the handles under your hands. Kick your right leg straight back behind you (without arching your back) and then back in again.

You can also do something similar to this but instead on your back. I have also found some good exercises on youtube and sparkpeople has some good exercises as well.
posted by hazyspring at 2:16 PM on November 6, 2007

Do air squats. There's a good movie on doing Air Squats on CrossFit's demo page.
posted by phoebus at 2:18 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Walking lunges.
posted by LoriFLA at 2:21 PM on November 6, 2007

Boy those walking lunges look tough on the knees, but they will probably work. A bench step routine would be easier on your knees, but even here you want to take it easy.
posted by caddis at 2:28 PM on November 6, 2007

Yes, walking lunges! Nothing provided more improvement faster than those suckers. You don't even need to go as far down on your back leg as the guy in the video, and I wouldn't let my front knee go past my ankle.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:30 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

You can't really target fat loss. Exercise will strengthen the muscles, but if you're overweight, those great muscles will still be buried under a layer of fat. Bottom line, you'll need to lose the weight.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2007 [3 favorites]

Lunges and squats. When you're carrying things around the house, do a couple lunges. Do squats when you get to your destination.
posted by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2007

Yeah, and chrisamiller is right--squats and whatnot will provide some lift, but you really need to burn the fat. You could start something like the Zone or Paleo right now, those are the best (healthy) fat-loss diets I know.
posted by Anonymous at 2:50 PM on November 6, 2007

Response by poster: thanks for the tips, keep em coming

I'm not very fat at all- but could use shaping and tone- fast. Could probably stand to lose 10-15 lbs...

I should have said in my post- my knees have patella femoral syndrome from running in my past life.. so lunges are painful- I probably can't do them until I strengthen and stretch out my tendons some time in the future...
posted by ohdeanna at 3:07 PM on November 6, 2007

Response by poster: Also- that air squat video is great!
posted by ohdeanna at 3:10 PM on November 6, 2007

In that air squat video -- what is the "butt wink" (yikes) woman doing wrong? (And why does the guy need a hat if it's too hot to wear a shirt?)
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:23 PM on November 6, 2007

Unless there is a reason the five year old can't walk, stick the baby in a buggy and go for a walk together. Or stick the baby in a sling, to get that bit more exercise while walking. Maybe you won't get as far as if you were power walking in the snazziest running shoes you own, but it'll be further than nothing.
posted by Lebannen at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2007

Add some ankle weights while doing all of the above and errands.
posted by 6:1 at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2007

Callanetics. Her butt exercises are small, gentle movements - and they work very well. You can see improvement almost immediately, and definitely after doing them a few times. Get the book from the library if you don't want to bother with DVDs, you can just do the few specific butt/thigh exercises from the 1-hour full routine if you like.
posted by Melinika at 4:15 PM on November 6, 2007

The corpse in the library, look at her lower back - it's rounding slightly towards the bottom of the movement. (Her butt drops distinctly, too, hence the name.) Rounded lower back usually = much pain later.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:27 PM on November 6, 2007

This is going to sound hilarious, but don't sit down when you pee. Even when at home. I traveled this summer to an area without the greatest hygiene, toilet-wise, and took to squatting - after a month I saw a noticeable difference in my butt, thighs, and upper-calf/knee area. It wasn't overly comfortable, but man, what an easy way to sneak in some toning!
posted by AthenaPolias at 6:26 PM on November 6, 2007

Importantly, (moreso than exercise). Mitigate your diet(don't get neurotic, just eat less). You can do all the reps you want but if you keep eating the same, you'll find you were busting your ass for squat. :)
posted by Student of Man at 7:17 PM on November 6, 2007

The corpse in the library, re the "butt wink": when the woman comes down, she loses the curve in her lower back. The butt should stick out the whole time, but when she gets to parallel her pelvis tilts forward dramatically. It's most noticeable in the last two squats.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 7:53 PM on November 6, 2007

Best answer: Posted too soon! Here is a fantastic at-home fitness program:

Turbulence Training

It's a whole-body program, but you can select only the lower-body exercises if you'd like...he has some really ingenious moves, and almost all of them use just your body weight. Be warned that he is an evil genius. Your new butt will thank you.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:00 PM on November 6, 2007

This is going to sound hilarious, but don't sit down when you pee.

That actually sounds like a really good idea, and a good way to sneak a strength-building exercise. I can well believe that after a month of doing this you saw a noticeable difference. Squats, in whatever from you choose to do them, are a key exercise for all kinds of training, for men and women.
posted by ob at 8:29 AM on November 7, 2007

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