If you have an inverted triangle-shaped body, your bottom half is smaller than your top half, there is little definition between your waist and hips, your hips and bottom tend to be flat and your shoulder line is straight and squared. Your focus in exercise should be to build up your bottom half -- especially your thighs and buttocks -- and define your waist. Stepping, lunging and squatting can strengthen and build your lower body and core. Medicine-ball torso rotations and chest passes can further define your core and provide balance for your body's shape and strength.
Step Into Cardio
Warm-up with a basic stepping pattern. Stand facing a step. Lift your right foot, place it on the step and then push off your left leg to bring your body over the step. Place your left foot on the step next to your right one. Step your right foot down onto the floor behind you and bring your left foot down next to it. Repeat this pattern for five minutes. Alternate which foot you lead with.
Pick up a medicine ball and hold it in front of your belly button with your elbows bent. Press your palms against the ball to engage your core stabilizers. Repeat your stepping sequence. First lead with your left foot -- left up, right up, left down, right down. Continue stepping, left foot first for two minutes. Then repeat, leading with your right foot -- right up, left up, right down, left down for two minutes. Do one to three sets.
Turn so one side faces the step -- with or without the medicine ball. Step the foot nearest the step up onto it, leaving room for the other foot on the step. Then step down onto the floor on the other side of the step with the foot that stepped up first. Go back up and over the step, the other direction -- leading with the other foot. Repeat the up and over stepping sequence for five to seven minutes.
Squat for a Shapely Bottom
Pick up a medicine ball and hold it in front of your belly button with your elbows bent. Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Shift your hips back and lower your bottom into a squat as if you are going to sit down. As you push your hips back, look at a point in front of you, tilt your torso forward slightly, bend your knees like a hinge and feel your weight shift over your heels. While in the squat, exhale, pull your belly button in toward your spine to engage your core and extend your arms, pressing the medicine ball away from your body. Push your heels into the floor, shift your hips forward and bring the ball back in toward your belly button as you return to standing. Repeat one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Stand one to two feet away from a wall with your hips slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Push your hips back into a squat and stay lowered in it. Brace your abdominals and focus your eyes on a point on the wall directly in front of your chest. Push the medicine ball directly in front of your chest toward the point on the wall and then catch it as it rebounds. Be careful to stabilize your core and lower body as you catch the ball in front of your chest. Repeat one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions standing up out of the lunge between sets.
Stand with one side facing a step and place the foot nearest the step onto it, with both toes and knees facing forward. With or without a medicine ball, push your hips back into a squat then stand upright. Repeat eight to 12 times then turn so your other leg is on the step and squat eight to 12 times. Do one to three sets.
Lunge for Powerful Legs
Hold the medicine ball in front of your belly button. Step your right foot forward into a lunge, lifting your left heel off the floor and lowering your left knee toward the floor. To work your core muscles, rotate your torso while in the lunge -- turning your ribcage until the medicine ball is over the outside of your right leg and you are looking over your right shoulder. Rotate your torso to face forward, spring off your left leg in the back and bring it forward. Step into a forward lunge onto your left leg and twist your rib cage to the left. Continue doing walking lunges forward for about 24 steps. Do one to three sets.
Hold the medicine ball in front of your belly button and stand with your feet parallel. Lift one leg and open it to the side, stepping down into a side lunge. Shift your weight over the stepping leg then spring up off that leg to return to the starting position. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each leg.
Stand about four feet away from a wall. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Step into a forward lunge, and as your foot hits the floor in front of you, throw the ball from your chest to a point on the wall. Catch the ball on the rebound and step back out of the lunge. Repeat lunging forward onto the other leg. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each leg.
Things You'll Need
Always warm up your muscles before exercising with five to 10 minutes of light cardio, like walking.
During the step-ups, use the rating of perceived exertion. On a scale from six to 20, step fast enough that you feel like you’re working between 12 and 14.
Choose a medicine ball weight that allows you to complete between eight and 12 repetitions with good form.
Stop if you feel lightheaded or dizzy or experience pain.
When lunging and squatting, make sure you can always see your toes on the front foot. If not, you are using incorrect form and may injure your knees.
Include a day of rest between your strength-training workouts for muscle recovery.
- American Council on Exercise: Exercise Library by Body Part
- Daily Mail: Are You a Scarlett, Christina or Dawn? Women Are a Neat Hourglass in Their 20s, Full Hourglass in Their 30s and an Apple in Their 50s: How Body Shape Changes With Age
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Perceived Exertion (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale)