The area that I most want to tone (and, well, lift) is my butt, along with my hips and thighs. The trouble is that I have a bad knee and can not do much high impact exercise. I also struggle with squats and lunges, although I am trying my best to work up to doing more. I hope that gradually strengthening my leg muscles will help alleviate some of the stress on my knee.
Are there any other types of exercise that I can do to tone these areas? Will the elliptical help? I mostly feel it in my quads.
I'd also love recommendations for exercise videos that might work for me.
You also may want to play with the crossramp/resistence of the elliptical to see if you can feel it more in your hamstrings, if you happen to change the settings.
Finally, when you do get up to trying lunges or squats again, make sure they are modified. Your knee should never bend more than 135 degrees-ish -- most of the time trainers/instructions tell you to be 90 degrees at the knee and that's bad advice for someone with knee problems.
If you're interested in a workout video, I'd suggest Jillian Mchael's "No More Trouble Zones". Some of the circuits may not work for you- since she does incorproate a lot of squats and lunges. BUT, there are 4 circuits towards the end where she does what she calls "old school mat work" for the abs and lower body. A lot of legs lifts, donkey kicks, butt lifts. Plus a lot of abs work out that you can do too to get themost of out of the video. And you can choose which circuits to do, so you can go right to the work outs you want.
And even the squats and lounges may not be killer to you because they are only done with 3lb weights.