Chances are, you're sitting all day at a desk — and wondering if all your meals are going straight to your thighs and butt.
But contrary to the popular belief, specific foods don't go straight to these areas, and toning your butt and thighs is not harder than other parts of your body, says Tiziana Ienna, personal trainer and owner of Fisico, based in Vancouver.
"You can do a lot of hip exercises and reduce fat in this area, but for certain people their bodies will always be shaped a certain way — as a pear, for example," she tells The Huffington Post Canada, adding that if you are a pear shape, losing weight in these areas will just decrease your pear-shaped body and not actually change your overall shape.
Ienna also adds that for most women, these regions tend to be "trouble areas" because of fat deposits, while diet can also contribute to weight gained there. Rather than eating processed carbs, Ienna says, stick to fruits, veggies and non-processed grains like steel oats.
If you tell others you got it from your mama — you probably did. Some reports suggests that genetics can play a part in why a woman may have difficulty losing weight on her thighs, according to LiveStrong.com. And if that slice of cake "always goes right to your butt," it may be harder to lose weight in the long run. According to the American Council on Exercise, parts of the body that gain weight first are often the last place you will lose it.
To work these key areas, Ienna has given her top 10 exercises that will work out all of these areas together. Often, she says, the biggest mistake is not adding any intensity to a workout.
"With some of these exercises, like the squat jump, you're throwing so much in that area and the intensity is really the key factor," she says.
For beginners, start with a weight level with which you are comfortable and don't try all of these exercises in a row — you probably won't be able to walk the next day. Ienna suggests starting with five or six and doing two sets first, before mixing in others to your routine.
Ready to feel the burn? Check out the 10 best exercises for your butt, thighs and hips:
Squat With Weights:
Hold a squat position and bring a dumbbell down between your legs. Squats work out your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your core, says personal fitness trainer Tiziana Ienna of Vancouver. To feel the burn, push up by bringing all your weight on your heels.
Curtsy lunges (also known as skater lunges) are similar to regular lunges, but with a little more intensity, Ienna says. For these lunges, step back with one leg and cross it behind your opposite leg. The curtsy lunge works out your legs, glutes and thighs. Remember, always keep your torso and shoulders as straight as possible.
For this exercise, hold dumbbells in both hands (again go at your own pace and weight) and use a step-up box or even the first step in a set of stairs and step up and down, focusing on one leg at a time.
Single Leg Deadlift:
For the single leg deadlift, hold two dumbbells (with weights you are comfortable with) and reach forward and extend one leg up. This exercise will help tone your butt and thighs, but remember, always aim for a straight back.
For more intensity, Ienna recommends holding a medicine ball or sandbag for this one. Jump squats are simple squats with an added jump before falling into a squat pose. For the best results, touch your hands over your head and try not to swing your body back and forth as you land.
Side Lunge With Resistance Band:
For this move, start with your legs shoulder-width apart and go into the lunge position on the side. You can also reach your arms over your head and bend your torso to the side — keeping in mind to keep your back straight. For this lunge, Ienna recommends using a resistance band around your ankles or inner thighs to help with balance and control.
It's exactly what it sounds like. Instead of moving your feet to get into your lunge position, jump into it, switching opposite feet back and forth. Again, remember to push with your heels, keep your head facing straight and avoid falling forward with your torso.
This exercise can even be done at home. Using weights, step over a bench facing sideways to work out your glutes and thighs.
Also a great workout for your lower back, lay on your stomach and lift one leg with the opposite arm up, stretching both body parts. Try to hold the position for more intensity and keep your neck up for support.
Side Leg Lifts:
This exercise is specifically designed for your thighs (as opposed to the others that will work out all key areas). Lay on your side and lift one leg up and down, keeping your body balanced with your elbows and hands. For more control, move your eyes with the leg that is moving, Ienna says.