What's the best exercise to firm the buttocks and prevent a "cottage cheese" behind?
I would also like some ideas - also for the hips. This is really my only problem area.
We have a ski machine and a Nordic Track Gold but not sure if either would be of any benefit to this "area."
For this area I do a mixture of yoga, aerobics, and some calisthenics. For example, most leg stretches effect the behind. There's an exercise where you get on your knees and only your hands in front on the floor (kind of like the cat stretch in the beginning), then you lift one leg back and up, keeping it bent in a 90 degree angle so that the thigh is in line with your hip, but below the knee is bent up towards the ceiling, you can gently lift a few inches up and down to use the weight of your leg to isolate and tone the butt. Also, I have used a tension band around my ankles to do similar moves while standing up - kick leg back, to the side, and even cross the leg to isolate the inner thigh muscles. HTH.
Try squats and lunges.
try Diva Derriere, a great little 5 minute movement featured for free at betterbodybasics.com under their article section. lots of photos and detailed instructions make it easy to follow. no equipment or jumping. really effective!