The Best Exercises to Firm Up the Gluteus and Inner and Outer Thighs

The Best Exercises to Firm Up the Gluteus and Inner and Outer Thighs

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Always focus on proper form in order to protect your knees.

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The gluteal and thigh muscles work together to enable movement of your lower body. Exercising these muscles regularly can allow you to maintain or even increase their size and strength. Fortunately, there are exercises that target both the glutes and the thighs that you can do at home or the gym. Remember, though, that working your glutes and thighs is only part of a complete fitness program that should include a healthy diet and regular exercise of all parts of the body.


A squat can be a challenging exercise but it is also a very effective way to work the glutes and thighs, with benefit for your abs and lower legs thrown in. To start, stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. To perform the squat, slowly bend at the knees and the waist, as if you are sitting down in a chair. While you are bending your knees, focus on keeping your heels on the floor and your lower legs vertical. It is extremely important that your knees never extend beyond your toes as you squat, in order to prevent damage to your knees. Your target is to get low enough that your thighs are parallel with the floor, but you should only go as low as you can while still keeping your heels on the floor and your back straight. If you have trouble balancing, hold your arms out in front of you. Once you've gone as low as you can, use the strength in your thighs to return to the starting position and repeat the exercise six to 12 times. After finishing one set, try to complete another one or two, for a maximum of three sets.

Forward Lunges

Like squats, lunges hit both your gluteal muscles and your thigh muscles. Start by standing up straight with your feet slightly apart. Step forward with your right leg and allow your left heel to lift up. Keeping your body upright and your back straight, lower your hips, bending your knees until your left knee is close to touching the floor. Your right thigh should be close to parallel to the floor, but your lower leg must remain vertical so that your knee doesn't extend beyond your toes. Try to complete six to 12 lunges on each side, alternating between right and left, and repeat for a total of two or three sets.

Side Lunges

The side lunge is similar to the forward lunge but you can feel your inner thigh being worked more. To start, stand up with your feet apart and then take a large step to the right, keeping your toes pointed forward. Bend your right knee and push your hips back, keeping your left leg straight and both feet flat on the floor. As you bend your right knee, make sure that your knee does not extend beyond your toes. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side. Alternating sides, complete six to 12 side lunges on each side, then repeat for up to three sets.

Glute Bridges

Also known as hip lifts or hip raises, glute bridges are a simple exercise but one that you feel in both your glutes and your thighs. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor and slightly apart. Tighten your stomach and gluteal muscles and lift your hips off the floor, pushing into the floor with your feet. Lift your hips until your back is flat but not arched. Hold this position for five seconds then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Twelve to 15 repetitions is considered a set for this exercise. Start with one set and work up to three over time. You can make the glute bridge more challenging by extending one leg toward the ceiling when you are in the bridge position.