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Glute, Hip and Thigh Exercises

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Leg Lifts
Glute, Hip and Thigh Exercises
Paige Waehner
Leg lifts are one of the most common exercises for the glutes and the outer thighs and a great way to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee. This move can be done while lying down, but I prefer the standing version because it works both legs as well as the core while building balance and stability. If you're a beginner, you may want to practice the exercise without a resistance band or use a light ankle weight instead.
  1. Wrap a resistance band around the ankles, tying it so that you have tension on the band when standing with the feet about a foot apart (you may need to adjust the resistance to find what works best).
  2. Hold onto a wall or chair for balance if needed.
  3. Shift your weight to the right leg and, without tilting the torso, lift the left leg straight out the side until you feel tension on the band and a contraction in the glutes. You may only need to lift the leg a few inches.
  4. The foot should be flexed, and your hip, knee and ankle should be in alignment and pointing in the same direction (to the front of the room).
  5. Lower the leg without resting it on the floor and repeat for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps on each leg.

Tips

  • Don't turn the leg up as you lift it. Instead keep the knee pointing forward. This will shorten your range of motion, but keep the work in the outer thigh and glutes.
  • Avoid tipping to the side as you lift the leg. Use your abs to brace your body or hold onto a chair for added stability.
Related Video
How to Stretch Your Lower Body

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