A big part of the shape of your butt and thighs is dictated by the layer of fat that covers them. If excess fat is weighing you down, you'll want to do exercises that work your largest muscle groups. They burn the most calories, so you'll shed inches from your entire body, including your butt and thighs. Fuel yourself up with a diet of nutrient-rich, low-calorie natural foods, since you'll need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day to slim down.
Plyometric exercises are effective for slimming your legs because they burn more calories than typical strength-training exercises. That's because they engage all the muscles in your body at the same time and challenge your largest muscles by requiring explosive power. To do a plyometric squat jump, bend into a low squat with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Jump straight upward as high as you can and land back in your squat. Try tuck jumps, doing squat jumps side to side, and jumping from a lunge and landing with the opposite leg in front. Do three sets of eight reps, jumping as high as you can every time. Give your legs at least 48 hours of recovery time before doing plyometrics again.
Cardio With High-Intensity Intervals
Pick a cardio activity like running or swimming, and add high-intensity intervals to it as you go at a steady pace. Every few minutes raise your intensity up to 75 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate for about 30 to 90 seconds, then go back to your original pace. You'll burn more calories in less time and you'll continue to burn more calories from a 24-hour post-workout metabolism boost. Doing endurance cardio at a steady pace can work your cardiovascular system at the cost of muscle loss. High-intensity interval workouts, however, help you maintain and build muscle mass while losing fat.
If you want to burn more calories to lose weight, focus on working out your body's largest muscle groups, since they burn the most calories. Building these will also get you more muscle mass faster so you can boost your metabolism and burn more calories even at rest. Hold dumbbells or a barbell to add weight to your squats, lunges and deadlifts, which are big fat burners and muscle builders. With machine weights at the gym, do the hamstring curl, leg extensions and leg press for a slimmer butt and thighs.
Running is the biggest calorie burner, so it can slim you down the fastest, and it also works your legs and butt. Include other sports and activities to challenge your muscles and keep it fun. Tennis, basketball, flag football and racquetball are big calorie burners. If you're not the competitive type, fun activities like ice skating and rollerblading burn about the same number of calories as these sports, according to Mayo Clinic. You can also try a fitness class at your gym. A one-hour high-impact aerobics class burns about 530 calories for someone weighing 160 pounds. Boxing is a challenging class that burns lots of calories and strengthens all your muscles.