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If You Do Just One Thing... Do Squats

If you think the days of a strong rear view are behind you, think again. Lest you forget, it was J. Lo  who put a perky posterior on the map, and she’s still rocking her best ass-et at 50 — and you can, too!

One of the best ways is to drop it low. In other words: squats. Not only can they improve the way you look in your favorite jeans, squats also work the quads, hips, and even core, making them an effective way to achieve a strong lower body. The best part? There are many variations of this do-anywhere move, so you’ll never get stuck in a booty rut. Here are a few of our favorites. 

 The Basic

Stand with feet hip width apart, bend your knees, and lower your butt into an invisible chair, keeping your knees behind your toes, your chest up, and your weight in your heels. Press through your heels to return to standing, squeezing the core and glutes as you rise. Tip: to increase intensity, hold dumbbells by your sides or a barbell on your shoulders. 

Read about why basic exercises are great.

The Sumo

You don’t have to be a wrestler to love this move. Stand with your legs wide, toes turned slightly out, and push your hips back until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Press through heels to return to standing, noticing the strength of your inner thighs. 

See more booty-shaping moves.

The Curtsey

For a royally firm derrière, try this move that targets the outer thigh. Start in a basic squat position (see above) and, with hands on hips or weights by your sides, step your right foot behind your left leg at an angle and squat as though performing a curtsy, keeping your weight in the front foot and your your hips square to the front. Return to standing and repeat with the opposite leg. 

Discover more ways to tone the outer thighs.

The Goblet 

This variation on the basic squat requires you to hold a kettlebell, dumbbell, or medicine ball with both hands, as though you are holding a goblet in front of your chest (pretend it’s a goblet of wine if that helps). This forces your chest to stay upright and your core to stay engaged, not to mention your arms are also getting in on the act for a total body move. 

See more moves with a medicine ball.

Photo: Kovaciclea

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