Transforming the Female Stubborn Areas in the Lower Body

Two women weightlifting in the gym

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In women, the stubborn areas tend to be the buns, thighs, and the back of the legs. Typically, one achieves a very lean upper body displaying incredible abdominal definition before all the fat in the lower body is burned. Consider that another unique trait of women.

However, don't despair! The tips below will arm you with the information necessary to incinerate the stubborn fat on your lower body.

1) Watch Your Diet

Diet is the most important ingredient in changing the appearance of your lower body. You can lift hard and do cardio, but you will never see the bodybuilding results that you desire without cleaning up your eating habits. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be dreadful and boring either; educating yourself on the proper foods to eat leaves a long list of delicious choices. Experimenting and learning the best food choices for your body and activity level will almost always leave you satisfied. Make sure that you do not exclude any of the major macronutrients because they all have a benefit to the body.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are essential to any good eating program. Try surviving without one of them and you are guaranteed to be a miserable person. If you are absolutely starving, eat some fibrous vegetables; nobody ever got fat eating their greens. Last, but not least, don’t totally deprive yourself of everything you love; have a treat on occasion, but don’t make it a regular habit.

2) Lift Challenging Weights and Do Essential Lower Body Exercises

Weight training is crucial in transforming your lower body. The biggest misconception that women have is that they will become big and bulky if they do any sort of weighted exercises. Wrong! The complete opposite is true; in order to get rid of body fat and attain a sculpted lower half, you need to challenge it through a constantly changing weight routine.

Don't be frightened, but if you are carrying a significant amount of body fat, you may actually slightly increase in size for a short period of time before becoming smaller. This is a common occurrence that scares many females away from the weight room; knowing ahead of time that this could happen and pushing through this brief period of time will be the best thing that you do. Once the body realizes that you are going to continually challenge your lower half, it will adapt and become leaner and firmer.

The best exercises that any woman can choose to do are:

  • Squats—Full squats and parallel squats alone will leave you in awe at how much you can change; your entire lower body will feel the effects of this powerful exercise. Note: It is recommended to use the squat rack over the smith machine. The squat rack prevents pattern overload syndrome, which can cause chronic injury due to the body constantly recruiting the same muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Lunges—Walking, stationary, and cross-over lunges are guaranteed to make everything feel firmer.
  • Step-ups—After you master the coordination of this exercise, you will notice a difference in your quads and glutes.
  • Deadlifts—Mixing up the different variations of deadlifts will target your hamstrings, a place where many women are blessed with cellulite.

Obviously, there are benefits to doing many other exercises for the lower body, but we recommend focusing on these four in order to get the most out of your routine.

3) Cardio Should Be Incorporated Into Your Routine

Cardiovascular exercise is important to any workout regimen as well. The problem is that women think that doing cardio is the key to becoming looking and feeling leaner. Wrong! we highly recommend cardio, but it should be used for putting the final touches on your physique. After you master the diet and the weight training program, then your cardio should be tweaked.

Start off with only about 3-4 days a week worth of cardio. Some of us may need more and some of us less. A good rule of thumb to go by is no longer than 30-45 minutes at the most. Anything longer than that is actually hindering your progress because then you start releasing too much cortisol (an adrenal gland hormone that is released in the presence of too much stress and whose purpose is to store fat and use muscle for fuel!).

Obviously, choose the activity that is most enjoyable to you. By picking a cardiovascular activity that you don’t absolutely dread, you will find it easier to stick to your program. Choose some good music too or a good partner.

We have found the most effective butt-blasting cardio activities to be the:

  • Stairmill: This machine hits just about every single muscle in your lower body; even after continued use, you will feel the benefit of this equipment. Focus on squeezing your glutes and hamstrings with each step. You can also alter body positions in order to target certain areas. Step facing forward, sideways, and also change stride length and foot positioning.  Note: Not recommended for someone with knee problems.
  • Treadmill set at an incline: Walking alone is a great cardiovascular exercise; however, when you set the treadmill at an incline, you are going to get more bang for your buck. By doing this, you are forcing your lower body to work much harder. Set the machine as high as you can tolerate and at a speed that you can maintain without holding on. When first starting out, this might seem awfully difficult but work towards a goal in small steps. Walk for as long as you can without holding on and then you can grasp the top of the treadmill in order to gain your composure and repeat for as long as necessary. Concentrate on tightening your lower body each time you take a step; by doing this, your glutes will become lifted and your legs will become more lean and defined.
  • Elliptical: This piece of equipment is definitely going to make you work hard. It is much easier on the joints than running and will help you to reach your physique goals by constantly challenging almost every inch of your body. You can use this machine and stay at a steady state pace or even throw some intervals into your routine.

4) Move Out of Your “Comfort Zone” and Try New Things

If you have stopped progressing and stopped seeing bodybuilding results, it is time to take a risk and change things up. How many times have you seen someone consistently go to the gym, yet look the same month after month? A lot! It might even be happening to you, but you can easily change that. We fully understand the mindset of thinking that certain exercises are bad for you or won’t work for your body type, but how do you really know for sure until you give them a fair chance?

We usually suggest changing your routine every 4-6 weeks depending on your progress. The body adapts to its environment very quickly and constantly needs change. Choose some exercises that you have never done and see how your body reacts; if you don’t like how you are looking or feeling, you can always go back to exercises that are more beneficial to you. The beauty of taking that risk is that you might find certain exercises that take your physique to the next level. You might not benefit from some exercises, but you always have the freedom to stop something if you don’t like it.

We recommend not only taking a risk with your weight training routine, but with cardio as well. Far too often gym goers stick to the same machine day after day because of fear that they won’t see results from another piece of equipment. Hop on another machine and it is almost guaranteed that you will see some results. The human body loves a good challenge and usually rewards you with a changing figure.

5) Be Patient; the Best Results Never Happen Overnight

Now that you have some suggestions on how to fight the female “stubborn area,” challenge yourself to try at least one new thing at the gym this week. You might not notice changes right away, but stick with it for a few weeks and then assess your progress. It took time to add the unwanted weight to your figure so it will definitely take time to achieve results. It is better for you both mentally and physically to gradually slim down; if you attain results slowly, you are more likely to keep the weight off over time. If sculpting a sexy lower half was easy for us women, it wouldn’t be called the “stubborn area.”

6) Last, but Definitely Not Least, Ditch the Scale

Don’t get caught up in trying to lose pounds; focus more on losing body fat and trimming down areas of your body that you aren’t completely happy with. Who really cares how much you weigh; for example, you can weigh 140 pounds yet look like someone else that weighs 120 pounds. Your body composition is far more important than that meaningless number on that piece of metal or plastic sitting in the bathroom. The scale doesn’t know if you have fat or muscle so why bother playing mind games with yourself. If you absolutely must weigh yourself, don’t do it more than once every two weeks. Use your clothing and the mirror to assess your progress.

Remember, it doesn’t always have to be called your “stubborn area!” Work hard and believe; your lower half may eventually end up being your best asset!

Sample Female "Stubborn Area" Workouts

Beginner Buns and Thighs Routine

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

  • Leg Extensions 2 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Leg Curls 2 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Full Squats 2 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Lunges 2 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)

Intermediate Buns and Thighs Routine


  • Leg Extensions 3 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Leg Curls 3 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Full Squats 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Lunges 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)


  • Full Squats (Using Wide Stance) 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Leg Extensions 3 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts 3 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Step Ups 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)

Advanced Buns and Thighs Routine


  • Leg Extensions 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Standing Leg Curls 4 sets of 10-12 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Full Squats (Using Wide Stance) 5 sets of 10-15 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Hack Squats 4 sets of 10-12 reps close stance followed by 10-12 more reps using a duck stance (1-minute rest)


  • Full Squats 5 sets of 8-12 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Leg Extensions 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts 4 sets of 10-12 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Walking Lunges 4 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)
  • Step Ups 3 sets of 15-18 reps (1-minute rest)