Booty Work: The Ultimate Women’s Butt Workout
Everybody wants it…some people have got it…many people working for it in the gym are going about it all wrong. What am I talking about? The tight round booty, of course! If you’re tired of fiddling around with this exercise and that exercise and not getting the results you want, this article is for you. If you’re tired of sweating it out on butt-oriented gym machines with nothing to show, this workout is for you. If you’re ready to get those glorious glutes you’re after, this article is for YOU!
The best butt workouts will burn out the tush musculature from multiple angles to ensure an even and balanced butt. Rather than isolating the glutes, a truly effective butt workout will also target the hamstrings, quads, adductors, calves, and core to get you full-body strong and maximize your calorie burn while you’re exercising.
A disclaimer is in order: NO BUTT WORKOUT IS GOING TO SPOT REDUCE/BURN FAT directly off of your butt. Anybody that tells you otherwise is selling something! That’s not how fat loss works. When you lose fat, you will lose it from your entire body. In many women, butt and thigh fat is the last to go even when you are in great shape. Frustrating, I know. Fat loss is going to come from full-body workouts and most importantly, smart nutrition including a calorie deficit. That being said, this butt workout is still a great choice to tone up the butt area. The more muscle you have, the more toned up you will be AND the more calories you will burn. So if you are trying to lose weight, make sure you also prioritize nutrition and full body workouts, not just butt workouts.
Got it? Great! Keep reading to learn a killer butt workout routine to blast your glutes and get you to your goals, as well as tips for maximizing your butt workouts, and nutritional considerations for butt-building. But before we get started, let’s talk about THE SQUEEZE.
If you ain’t squeezing it right, you’re missing out. To maximize each and every butt exercise, you need to think of each contraction as a squeeze. When the glutes contract, they move inward and upward. If you’re not sure what I mean, stand up right now and squeeze your buttcheeks together. Go ahead and put your hands on ’em to make sure they’re contracting. I’m serious, grab your own butt and flex, squeezing the cheeks together like you’re trying desperately not to pass gas. That, ladies, is THE SQUEEZE. That’s how you want the glutes to contract at the top of squats, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, etcetera. You can go through the motions of the exercise and leave progress on the table, or you can SQUEEZE your cheeks and get a lot stronger a lot faster. What’ll it be? OK, let’s get going on the workout proper.
The Glorious Glutes Butt Workout for Women
Here it is. These are the butt exercises you need to be doing, the order do them in, and tips for getting them SO RIGHT. Do the main events, the finishers, and top it all off with the cardio. Let’s build those glorious glutes!
- Do the Main Events as a circuit at least twice through and up to four times through
- Do the Finishers twice through only after completing your desired number of circuits of the Main Events
- Rest no more than 30 sec – 1 minute in between each exercise, just long enough to let your glutes and legs recover
- Pick a weight that will THOROUGHLY FATIGUE your muscles thoroughly by the end of the set while allowing you to MAINTAIN FORM AND CONTROL
- If the set was too easy, pick a heavier weight next time, and if you couldn’t make it through without sacrificing form or stopping to rest, choose a lighter weight
- Do this workout 2-3 times weekly for maximum results!
First and Foremost: 5 Main Events
#1. Kettlebell Swings x 30 seconds
A calorie torcher AND butt lifter if there ever was one. The basic kettlebell swing will tighten and tone your butt, hamstrings, and low back in short order. This is a nice lead-off into the other exercises because it will get your heart rate up.
To perform a set of kettlebell swings:
Get your kettlebell ready between your feet. Your stance is hip-width apart or slightly wider. You’re going to swing the kettlebell like your whole body is ringing a bell, NOT lift it up and down using your arms. Grasp the handle with both hands and stand up. Keeping your shoulders strong, sit back into your hips letting your knees bend, then quickly SQUEEZE your glutes as you allow the kettlebell to swing upward. Use your arms to guide the path of the kettlebell, but don’t actively lift or lower it with your arms. As the kettlebell swings down, bend your knees and let your chest go downward, keeping a flat back. Feel your hamstrings stretch a bit, then SQUEEZE quickly to pop your hips forward and swing it again, letting it build up some momentum each time. WooHoo! You’re swinging a kettlebell!
#2. Deadlifts x 12 reps
Everybody’s always saying “SQUATS SQUATS SQUATS” when it comes to butt workouts. The deadlift never gets its propers, which stinks because the deadlift targets the butt and hamstrings hardcore while squats target quads hardcore and the butt and hamstrings to a lesser degree. Let’s give the deadlift its due!
To perform a deadlift:
Get a barbell, kettlebell, or two dumbbells ready in front of you. Get in close to the weight, as close as you can (if it’s a barbell, put your shoelaces under the bar). Sit back into your hips as you reach back with your butt and hamstrings. Keep a flat back, a tight core, and shoulders back as you grasp the weights and pull yourself up to standing using your hamstrings and glutes. SQUEEZE your glutes as you stand all the way up. If you’re using a barbell, the bar should almost bruch your straight up-and-down shins as you stand up. The weight will finish at hip level. Don’t shrug your shoulders or pull up with your elbows at the top. Set the weight down in exactly the same fashion. That’s a deadlift! Deadlift EVERYTHING, it’s the safest way to pick up anything of any weight (even flower pots, cats, and dropped pencils).
#3. Squats x 12 reps
OK, I know I was down on squats just a second ago. Squats are awesome. You should do them. I was just mad because I like deadlifts better.
To perform a squat:
While a deadlift is a pulling movement, a squat is a PUSH. You are going to screw your feet into the floor (use your imagination) and PUSH the floor away from you. Get your weight in position (barbell in front or back, dumbbells at shoulders, kettlebell goblet-style, bodyweight…whatever you like). Keep your chest up and your knees right over your toes both from front to back AND side to side as you sit back into your hips, reaching back with butt and hamstrings. Get your hip crease to match your knee height (that’s 90 degrees) and then tighten your core even more as you push the ground away and stand with a SQUEEZE. Keep an eye on your knees: many people mistakenly bring their knees forward instead of sitting back into their hips. Also, many women’s knees try to cave inward when they squat down. Don’t let this happen! Keep your knees actively pushing outward if you have this tendency. It’s better to have your knees bow slightly outward than to collapse inward.
#4. Another Set of Kettlebell Swings x 30 seconds
Second verse, same as the first. 30 second interval of aggressive kettlebell swings. Get your heart pumping and your glutes burning. Don’t forget to SQUEEZE at the top of each swing!
#5. Sumo Deadlifts x 12
A special kind of deadlift with a twist: they blast your inner thighs and squeeze the glutes from a different angle, giving you a boost in tone in multiple areas while improving your strength and balance.
To perform a sumo deadlift:
For a sumo deadlift, you will begin standing with your weight already in your grasp, not on the floor in front of you. Also in contrast to the regular deadlift, your stance is much wider than hip width and your feet are turned outward. Knees must track over top of ankles and point the same direction as your feet as you lower your center of gravity toward the floor, keeping your chest higher than you would for a normal deadlift. Sink to a maximum of 180 degree angle from knee to butt to other knee. This will depend on your flexibility. Don’t push it, and try it with bodyweight at first!
#6. Walking Lunges x 10 each leg
Lunges are great for butt building as well as toning the legs and solidifying the core. You can add weight by holding dumbbells at your sides, a barbell on your shoulders, or go for just bodyweight to start. They’re kind of like a giant goofy-looking walking step. Alignment is essential to maximize muscle engagement and avoid injury.
To perform walking lunges:
Clear a path! You’ll be moving forward quite a ways. Take a big step forward with one leg, keeping your torso completely straight as you sink toward the ground. Your front knee MUST NOT go beyond the toe. Press into your front foot, SQUEEZING the glutes as you bring the back leg up to stand flush with the front leg again. Switch legs and repeat. Count to 10 going one direction, then turn around and count ten coming back. That adds up to twenty total, or ten for each leg.
Next: 3 Burning Glute Finishers
ONLY do these Finishers after your desired number of Main Event circuits are all done (that’s why we call ’em Finishers). Do two circuits of the Finishers. These finishers will make sure your glutes are completely juiced and fatigued from all angles.
#1. Cable Hip Extension x 15 each leg
Get thee to the cable machine and attach ankle straps to both ankles. With the cable attachment point set all the way at the bottom, attach one ankle. Facing the cable origin, lift one foot behind you, keeping the leg straight and leading with the heel. You’ll need to lean forward a little and keep your hand on the cable machine to maintain balance. Keep your core tight! Lower to the starting position slowly, resisting the weight all the time. You may find it helpful to stand on something like a yoga block or weight plate to give the working leg a little extra clearance. Just watch out for anything that will be slippery on the floor.
#2. Cable Hip Side Raise x 15 each leg
Similar to the first finisher, but dialed into the gluteus medius (side glute). Same set up as #1, but turn your body 90 degrees so the side of your body is facing the cable machine and the working leg is on the outside. Lift your leg up and out to the side, again keeping the leg straight. Tighten your core. You may want to reach out to your side and touch/hold the cable machine with the arm next to it. Feel the burn in your gluteus medius!!
#3. Glute Bridge x 15 lifts + 30 second static hold
Oh, this is gonna hurt after everything we just did! Oh, it’s gonna be SO worth it, though! Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor as close in to your butt as they can comfortably go. Align your toes, heels, knees, and hips so they all form a straight line. Thrust your hips upward slowly with a SQUEEZE until you have a straight, diagonal line going from your knees down to your shoulders. Keep your abdominals engaged to avoid arching your back. Lower under control and repeat for 15 reps. On the last rep, hold that perfectly aligned top position…and keep holding for 30 seconds. It will hurt so good. If this exercise proves too easy with body weight, hold a weight plate on top of your thighs or a barbell or dumbbells on top of your hips. That will make the exercise harder in a big hurry!
Drive it Home: CARDIO for the Booty
20-25 minutes of intense booty-oriented cardio is going to accelerate your results, so set aside this time after your main events and the finishers to really cap it off right. I highly recommend doing the cardio portion at the very end. You want to save your strength for the main events rather than tuckering your muscles out early by doing cardio first. So what cardio should you do? You’ve got two choices: incline treadmill walking, or a challenging climbing-type program on an elliptical machine or ARC trainer machine. DO NOT go for the exercise bike; that’s going to use your quads more than we want. We gotta directly address the glutes!
Personally, I prefer to keep it simple and go with a nice treadmill incline walk. Set the incline as high as it goes (or lower if you need to regress) and GET TO WORK. The higher the incline, the more your glutes will work rather than other muscles. Don’t hold the handle supports; keep your arms pumping naturally to propel you forward. Keep your core tight to protect your back and give you more power. DO NOT slump or sag side to side as you climb. As for speed, don’t feel pressured to jog or run. Go for a strong walking pace that allows you to maintain postural control while you demolish the incline. Squeeze, squeeze, SQUEEZE your glutes as you climb! If you need to take a rest, put the incline lower and allow yourself to recover, then get back to climbing.
When you’ve done your 20-25 minutes of booty cardio, give yourself a major high five/fist bump/pat on the back. You’re done (for today)! Remember to do the entire Glorious Glutes Workout 2-3x weekly to see the most awesome results!
Nutrition Notes for Butt Building
If you’re like most women, you would like to lose some fat off the butt while maintaining and building up the muscles. If that describes your goals, nutrition is going to be extremely important. Sometimes women will work out their glutes, doing everything right throughout the workout, and then get frustrated by their “lack of progress”. Their stumbling block is this: although they are building the muscles, the fat layer is still there and its hiding whatever progress they HAVE made. This will not be you, not this time!
To ensure that you’re losing butt fat while toning up and building the muscles, you need to be (1) working with a calorie deficit. Simply put, that means you are burning more calories than you are eating. There are no magic foods or magic pills that will do this for you. It’s about discipline, dedication, and portion control! You can still have your favorite foods, in moderation. I would highly recommend looking at your macros to ensure you’re getting proper nutrition while you are working the deficit. You also need to be (2) eating sufficient protein! Especially when you are in calorie deficit, protein is absolutely essential to maintain and build your muscle mass. Otherwise, your body might start using your muscle as fuel, which is the LAST thing you want. That’s one of the main reasons why a lot of “cardio bunnies” are skinny but still look flabby instead of toned.
If you’re not trying to lose fat, just trying to maintain body fat where it is while building muscle, nutrition is still super important. You don’t need to worry about creating a calorie deficit, but you do need to eat to maintain energy levels and get plenty of protein to give your muscles the building blocks they need to get bigger. You may even want to work with a slight calorie surplus (eating more calories than you burn through basal metabolic rate and exercise) if you’re looking to pack on lots of muscle. The downside to this is that you may put on some fat as well along the way. If you’re not concerned about that, or you plan to cut the fat after packing on the muscle, working with a slight calorie surplus would be a good choice for your goals.
Glorious Glutes Butt Workout for Women: The Bottom Line (pun intended)
Give this workout a shot and then give us a shout to let us know how it works for you. Did we miss any of your favorite butt-building exercises or key tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Build Your Best Booty with this Killer Butt Workout!
Do you want to lift and sculpt your booty? Enhance your strength and athletic performance? Improve posture and relieve pain in the low back and extremities?
No matter what your fitness goals are, the glutes are going to be key players. Stop wasting time on ineffective exercise machines and time-wasting workouts found in fitness magazines. Get down with these basic, highly effective exercises proven to truly blast the booty and build great glute musculature.
This awesome butt workout also addresses the quads, hamstrings, calves, and inner thighs. You don’t necessarily need to add any other moves; it’s got everything you need to work the whole lower body!
We’ll start by covering the moves in the workout itself. Keep reading to find out key tips for maximizing this butt workout as well as guidelines for improving your full-body fitness and accelerating your fat loss.
Kick-Ass Butt Workout for Women: Exercises
1. SQUAT — 2 to 4 sets
The squat is the mother of all butt exercises! If you’re not squatting yet, you gotta get started! When you squat with good form, you’re exercising your butt, quads, hamstrings, calves, and even your core.
How to squat: Make sure you master the form of the bodyweight squat before adding additional weight. Perfect form is essential to protecting the knees, hips, and low back. To squat with perfect form, stand with feet pointing straight ahead about hip width apart. Sit back into the air, hinging through the hips by sticking your butt out behind you as you keep your chest high.
Imagine you are hovering above a gross public toilet you don’t want to sit down on! Make sure your knees stay above your ankles the whole time, never coming forward beyond the toes. Pay special attention to engaging your core to protect your lower back. Sink down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then stand, clenching your glutes as hard as you can as you reach the top. Using a mirror, observe yourself from the side and the front to make sure you’re getting the form down.
Once your bodyweight squats are perfect, add your desired amount of weight by holding a barbell resting on your traps behind your head, dumbbells held above your shoulders, or a kettlebell held to your chest.
2. DEADLIFT — 2 to 4 sets
The deadlift is another excellent leg and butt exercise to add to your arsenal. This is one of my favorite body-sculpting and strength-building exercises of all time. The deadlift works the whole posterior chain of the body, including the glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, and traps. You’re also working your core and gripping muscles when you deadlift as well as increasing your shoulder stability.
How to Deadlift: A deadlift is quite similar to a squat, except you’re picking something up off the floor. Set up by getting a barbell or kettlebell. Get in close to the weight; if it’s a barbell, the bar should be right over top of your shoelaces. If it’s a kettlebell, picture where the bar would be if the handle was extended into a barbell and place your feet accordingly. Starting with feet shoulder-width apart, hinge in your hips and bring your chest parallel to the ground as you grasp the weight either with an overhand or an alternating grip. Keep your shoulders engaged back, your core tight, your back flat, and your gaze straight ahead as you stand up, keeping the bar close to your shins. Clench the glutes as firmly as possible as you stand completely straight. Deadlift the bar down and lift it up again for your desired number of reps.
This is KEY: Never round your back; you’re lifting with the butt and legs, NOT the back.
3. STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT — 2 to 4 sets
Sometimes erroneously called the “straight-legged deadlift”, the stiff-legged deadlift works your butt while placing additional emphasis on your hamstrings.
When performing the SDL, you will keep your legs fairly stiff but not completely straight. You keep a slight bend in the knees. Rather than sitting back into the hips like you do in a regular deadlift, your hips stay pretty much fixed in place. Use a lighter weight than you would for a normal deadlift. Other than that, you will perform essentially the same movement described above for the RDL. Pull with your hamstrings as you grasp the weight and stand up. Lower the weight back to mid-shin level and repeat for the desired number of reps.
4. SUMO DEADLIFT — 2 to 4 sets
Excellent for the butt and legs, with the added benefit of working the adductor muscles of the inner thighs.
The sumo deadlift is very similar to the regular version form-wise, except you will take a wide stance with feet angled outward like a sumo wrestler ready to rumble.
As you grasp the bar and stand up, squeeze through the inner thighs. You may find an alternating grip to be helpful when gripping the barbell; one palm up and one down as you grip the bar. You can also do sumo deadlifts with a kettlebell.
5. HILL CLIMBING
Hill climbing doesn’t have to be part of the above workout routine, but if you’re serious about building an excellent booty, you will want to do some hill climbing on cardio days. You can also use hill climbing as a finisher to really burn out the lower body after completing the above workout.
Hill climbing is simple…find a hill, and climb it! Then find another hill, and climb that one! Repeat until your glutes are good and tired. Alternatively, you can use a hill climb setting on your choice of cardio machines. To activate the glutes, push into the heel of your stepping foot as you climb and give your glutes a good squeeze as you complete each step. Stair climbing is also a good choice if you don’t have a hill or a cardio machine handy.
When to Do Butt Workouts
You’ll get the best results if you do this butt workout three times per week. Make sure you allow 48 hours in between sessions to allow the muscles to recover and rebuild. You can do the butt workout on its own if you’re working with a split routine (for example, doing lower body certain days and upper body on other days), or you can do it as part of a full-body workout including the upper body and core.
How Many Reps? How Much Weight?
How many reps to do and how much weight to add will vary based on your fitness goals and what phase of training you’re in. To build endurance and stability, do 12-20 reps with a weight that fatigues your muscles within that rep range. To build strength and muscle size, you will want to lift heavier weights for less reps, typically within the 8-12 rep range. The key is to select a weight that will fatigue your muscles within the desired rep range. If you fly through the set without fatiguing, use more weight, and if you can’t complete the set WITH GOOD FORM, use less weight. When you’re just getting started with weight training, it’s a good idea to start working on endurance and stability before progressing to strength and muscle size.
Butt Exercise Tips
Although a leg/butt workout routine is absolutely essential to a balanced workout plan, it doesn’t stand alone as the only thing you need to do to define your butt and legs and get in the best shape. If weight loss is your goal, make sure you are doing a minimum of 90 minutes of vigorous cardio every week and eating right. No amount of squats and deadlifts will define your butt if you don’t do your cardio and dial in your nutrition plan. In fact, you may notice your butt getting bulkier as you build muscle underneath the still-present fat layer. That being said, butt exercises DO burn a ton of calories since the butt/legs makes up such a large muscle group. So they are a vital part of a fat loss program, but they will work best when combined with cardio and nutrition.
I hope this article has given you some good ideas for your butt workouts! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns at [email protected]
Now, get out there and burn that butt, ladies! What’s your all-time favorite butt exercise? Let us know in the comments below!
Build Strong, Sculpted Glutes with the Best Butt Exercises for Women
I have always thought that a pair of well-developed glutes is the best accessory for any outfit. A curvy derriere will draw gazes ranging from admiring to envious wherever you go. And of course, strong glutes are absolutely essential for functional movement and for high-powered athletic performance.
In our sedentary culture, many people’s butt muscles are weak and elongated. No, your butt doesn’t get a workout when you sit on it. Strengthening the glutes can help correct muscle imbalances and postural problems, which means butt workouts have the additional benefit of helping to prevent injury.
While few body parts are higher on the priority list for most women than the butt, many of us still have no idea how to get the butt we want. Read this article to finally discover what you must do to get the glutes you are wishing for. You will learn all about basic butt anatomy, butt exercises and the myth of spot reduction, tips and exercise guidelines for maximizing butt workouts, and the best butt exercises for women.
Jump to the Videos of the Best Butt Exercises for Women or continue reading to learn more.
Basic Butt Anatomy
The most important butt muscle with which we will concern ourselves in this article is gluteus maximus. Gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body, and combined with adipose tissue, forms the bulk of the butt.
Gluteus maximus originates on the sacrum, the ilium (posterior hip bone), the lumbar fascia, and the sacrotuberous ligament (a strap of connective tissue bridging the sacrum and the bottom hip bone). Much of gluteus maximus inserts into a rough area on the top backside of the femur. A significant yet more superficial portion inserts into the IT band.
You would be correct in assuming that such a large muscle covering such an important area has many functions. Gluteus maximus’ main function is to extend the hip (pull the leg backward), but it also works to externally rotate the hip and adduct the leg back toward the midline of the body. Additionally, gluteus maximus plays a large role in stability and posture, stabilizing the sacroiliac joint through its origin point in the sacrotuberous ligament as well as the lateral knee through its insertion into the IT band.
There are a host of other muscles in the butt area performing various functions which may augment the action of gluteus maximus. Other butt muscles include gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and piriformis. Click the links to read up on these butt muscles.
The best butt exercises for women work out many other lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
Butt Exercises and the Myth of Spot Reduction
You must understand the following disappointing-yet-true information regarding butt exercises and spot reduction. Strength training exercises (including the best butt exercises for women) WILL NOT burn fat from specific areas. Spot reduction is a myth used to sell fitness magazines and exercise equipment.
In other words, no amount of squatting or lunging will melt fat off your butt specifically. Sorry, ladies, I sure wish it was easier. However, fat loss is pretty simple when you get down to it: you need to burn more calories through exercise than you consume through eating. Of course, that’s easier said than done!
Strength training is great for burning calories, but it works best when combined with an integrated fitness program combining nutrition, strength training, and cardio exercise.
If you have a low body fat percentage in the lean or ideal category, these exercises will define your butt muscles and tone up your whole butt area. If you have a higher body fat percentage and you don’t focus on fat loss while strength training, these exercises may bulk you out more, since adding muscle under fat means the muscle will push the fat outward.
All that being said, you’ll be happy to learn that many of the best butt exercises for women I’ll go over below are GREAT for encouraging fat loss while toning muscles. This is because the best butt exercises for women work on large muscle groups that eat up lots of calories.
Exercise Guidelines and Tips for the Best Butt Exercises for Women
The best butt exercises for women can be combined to form a complete butt workout, or you can pick and choose one or two to add to your exercise routine. Of course, you’ll see the best results from using all these exercises together as a full-on butt workout.
Virtually all of these exercises are a great exercise for the thigh muscles as well, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings. Calf muscles also come along for the ride, giving you a great lower-leg workout. This should come as welcome news to those looking to lose weight, since the more muscles get involved in any one exercise, the more calories are burned.
Bear this in mind as you consider the overall structure of your workout routine. You need to allow muscle groups 48 hours to rest and recover between strength training sessions. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get all your lower body work knocked out on the same day instead of doing butt one day and legs the next day.
You will get the most out of the best butt exercises for women if you perform more than one set. I recommend doing at least two or three sets consisting of at least 20 reps of each exercise. To save time, do the exercises one after another circuit-style instead of doing one set, resting, and then doing another set. If you’d like to find out more about sets & reps, weight training set structure, and lots more, visit our section on strength training.
For the best results, train your lower body with the best butt exercises for women three or four times weekly. Remember that to experience the fat loss likely required to reveal your newly toned and sculpted rear, you will want to focus on a solid nutrition plan and several cardio sessions per week in addition to your strength training routine. To learn more about fat loss, visit our weight loss section.
Best Butt Exercises for Women
Here we have four of the best butt exercises for women, including a couple variations for different situations. It may sound simple, but these four exercises are the key to getting the best butt ever. You don’t need any fancy gym equipment to get your butt into excellent shape; in fact, I recommend staying away from any glute-building machines in the gym since they are a waste of your time when compared with the highly effective butt exercises described below. Those looking to lose body fat should take note that weight machines also burn far fewer calories than freeweight or bodyweight exercises.
Bodyweight Squats, also known as air squats, are fantastic exercise you can perform anywhere, anytime since they require no equipment whatsoever. Squats work the butt, the thighs, the calves, and the core.
To perform a basic Bodyweight Squat, stand with feet hip width apart and squat back as if you are going to sit in an invisible chair behind you. Attempt to sink down until your thighs are parallel to the ground or even lower if you can do so without sacrificing form. See the first video for exercise instruction.
9 Essential squat form tips YOU MUST FOLLOW to avoid injury and get the most out of your squats:
1. Toes pointing straight ahead at all times
2. Full foot in contact with the floor from heel to toe
3. Knees never passing the toes as you squat down: keep the knees stacked above the ankles
4. Knees in alignment with the feet, not caving in or bowing out
5. Top of pelvis tilted slightly forward
6. Low back neutral, not excessively arched or rounded
7. Arms can be out in front for balance, crossed over the chest, overhead, or hands braced on the thighs if you need more support
8. Gaze straight ahead, not at the floor or the ceiling
9. Squeeze the glutes firmly and exhale on the way up
Do a set of 20-30 Bodyweight Squats.
Bodyweight squats are plenty of work on their own, especially for beginners. If you really want to challenge yourself with squats, you need to add weight. Hold dumbbells above your shoulders as shown in this video (the shoulder press portion where you press the dumbbells upward is an optional upper body add-on to the squat exercise). See the second video for exercise instruction.
When you start to need more weight to keep the challenge going, it works well to add weight to your squats with barbell held on your shoulders behind your head as you see demonstrated in the last video.
The basic Bodyweight Lunge is another fabulous anytime, anywhere exercise that works the butt muscles alongside the thigh muscles. Like the squat, there are a great many versions of the lunge. We will focus on the basic version, which is an excellent lower body toning exercise in itself, requiring only your body weight for resistance.
To perform a lunge, step forward a couple feet and stabilize your core while you lower your back knee toward the ground. Keep the weight in the front foot toward the heel and off the toes. As you sink into your lunge, make sure that the front knee stays stacked right above the ankle, never passing the toes. At the bottom of the movement, your back knee should be hovering an inch or so off the ground. To rise back up, push your hips forward and squeeze your glutes while bringing your back foot up alongside the front foot. Perform a set of 10 lunges for each leg.
In the video, you will see that the exerciser is holding resistance by his sides to make the squats more difficult. This is definitely an option, but bodyweight is enough for most beginners. As you get stronger, you will want to add resistance. Hold dumbbells or kettlebells in each hand.
To learn more about lunges, including many intermediate and advanced variations with accompanying videos, read our article dedicated to the tremendous lunge exercise.
Stability Ball Bridge
The stability ball bridge is an excellent exercise combining elements of core strengthening with glute strengthening.
To do a stability ball bridge, sit on the stability ball and roll out until only your shoulders and head are resting on the ball. From this supine position, engage your core muscles while contracting your glutes, pushing your hips up toward the sky. Hold for a beat, then lower your hips down. Keep your core engaged at all times to help protect your back. You should feel your butt and core working, not your lower back or hamstrings. Perform a set of 20 reps of the Stability Ball Bridge.
When you’re finished, walk your feet toward the ball until you’re sitting up in the starting position.
A stability balls is a wonderful and inexpensive piece of equipment to have around. To learn more, read our stability ball article and browse the Top-Rated Stability Balls Online.
If you don’t have access to a stability ball, this exercise can be performed on your back on the floor with no equipment. The stability ball adds to the challenge, but Floor Bridges are still an effective exercise.
Watch the second video to see a Floor Bridge exercise demonstrated.
The final exercise to add to your butt-building routine is very simple: Stair Climbing! Any exercise where you are climbing up an incline (think hill-walking, hiking, etc.) is great for your butt, thighs, calves, and cardiovascular system.
You can use the stair stepper machine at the gym for your Stair Climb exercise, or simply find stair cases out and about in the world. Choose stair cases that have good traction for your feet to avoid slipping. As you climb, always keep your core engaged to maintain good form, and squeeze your glutes to keep the majority of the work in your butt.
Glorious Glutes! The Best Exercises to Lift and Tighten Your Tush!
We all know that a firm and lifted rear-end is not only a good way to fill out your jeans, but it’s a look that is coveted by women around the world. Whether you opt for a gorgeous curvaceous bum or something a little slimmer, all women crave a well-rounded and lifted look for their backside. But sometimes we need a little reminder as to what specific exercises target this area, as well as what aerobic activity lends itself to toning this trouble spot.
Three sets of muscles make up the brunt of our backside; the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. We refer to these as simply, “the glutes”! Targeting these muscles will create the lift and firmness that you desire, thus creating that well-rounded coveted look that every women is after! Let’s first take a look at the main muscular movements that hit this area, and then talk about cardiovascular activity that can lend a hand.
Start by doing these 6 moves in sets of 10-20, depending on fitness level. Do one to three sets in each workout and try to do the workout 2-3 times a week on nonconsecutive days. You should be fatiguing the muscles being worked, so look for a slight burning sensation during the last few reps of each move. If you do not feel this, then add on sets to your workout or add some weight such as hand weights for the standing work or ankle strap weights for the floor work.
Squats are one of the fundamental muscle-toning moves that everyone has in their “tool box” The reason being, this one simple move works just about every muscle in your lower body, especially the quads, hamstrings, and of course, the GLUTES!
Start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Now sit back as if you are going to sit in a chair behind you. Make sure your weight is in your heels, not your toes, and that your knees are not jutting out over your toes. Sit back to about a 90-degree angle or less, and then come back to a standing position. Try some basic squats and then add a little variation for a few of your sets. Try coming down to sit in a squat and then pulse for a few counts before coming back up. This REALLY stets the glutes on fire!
You can also add an alternating side leg lift when returning to the standing position to work those outer thighs along with the backside. Mix it up a little and add some variety to your squat sets for the best effect!
Walking Lunges/Duck Walk:
Take your lunges to the next level by adding some movement across the room! Step forward into a lunge with your right leg stepping out in front and your left leg behind. Left leg steps up from behind and then moves forward into another lunge position. Continue to walk this way for several steps moving across the room. When you get to one side, turn, and start duck walking back the other direction. Remember to keep your front knee behind your toe; you don’t want to lean forward over the foot.
Remember all of the step aerobics classes that were so popular in the 80s and 90s? Well stepping happens to be one of the best exercises to lift and tone your rear view! Simply use a step bench, the bottom step of a staircase, or a low weight bench to target the glutes. Use a simple “up, up, down, down” motion. Leading with your right foot step up, your left foot follows, then step back down with the right and follow with the left. Do the right leg lead for 10 and then switch to the left leg lead. Having a higher step will challenge you more and create a lifted look; however, be sure not to go to high. Your knee should never lift up beyond your hip in order to step up. If you do choose to challenge yourself beyond the regular step height of 4-8 inches, keep the platform several inches lower than your hip to avoid injury.
Now we bring our moves down to the floor and begin by positioning ourselves on our hands and knees. The donkey kick is a classic hamstring and glute exercise that moves into a leg extension as you go towards the ceiling. Start with one leg drawing inward toward your ribs, then extend outward and upward as if you are a donkey kicking back. Squeeze your glute muscles as your leg extends up towards the ceiling. (Be careful not to arch your back when you do this.) Continue doing your reps on that same leg, and then switch. People with knee issues can either put extra padding under the knees or avoid the move altogether.
This classic mat move is normally thought of as one of the thigh trimmers, but your glutes get a major makeover as well! Lie on your side making sure your head is down on your arm and in line with your spine. Keep both knees bent, legs stacked on top of one another. Now, here comes the clam shell; keeping your feet together, open up the top leg upward as if the “shell” is opening. Continue to do this for the intended amount of reps, and then lie on the other side to switch legs. Keep in mind that you should not lay your head into your hand creating a “crooked” neck. This puts too much pressure on the cervical vertebra.
There are several variations to the basic bridge that really zero in on the tush, but let’s get the basic move down first. Laying on your back, keep both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, or lift the toes and balance on the heels. Arms can remain by your sides on the floor or crossed over your chest. Begin to lift your buttocks, hips, and finally lower back off of the floor until your hips are in-line with the knees. As you come to the top of the move really squeeze your glutes to engage them. Try the recommended 10-20 reps for your first set and then decide how many sets you will do. Variations to intensify the bridge include doing a single leg bridge by placing the opposite ankle on top of the working leg, or to come up onto your heels and walk the feet out a few inches while doing the double leg bridge. Burn baby burn!
All cardiovascular activity will help to burn calories to burn off the extra layers of fat that lay over top of your newly toned muscles, but there are two that stand out as true booty-toning bad asses!
The stair climber and step aerobics!
There are a slew of step aerobics DVDs available online as well as step classes that still exist at the local gym. You can do a simple “up, up down, down” movement as described above and simply add some music to it to make it more interesting, or you can try a class or two to see how you like it. Make sure you go to a beginner’s class if you have never done step aerobics before; more advanced classes have more difficult choreography that can leave you feeling confused and frustrated rather than excited about this incredible firming workout.
Stair climbing has been around since the early 80s. The stair climber was one of the first cardio machines that gained popularity due to the smooth rhythmic motion of continuous “steps” with very little impact. The movement targets key areas such as the glutes and calves, while at the same time delivering a super cardiovascular workout! The stair climber is a bit tricky to get used to and in order to derive the most benefit from this machine there are a few pointers to keep in mind.
- Make sure to keep the foot pedals in the middle range of the motion when stepping. Do not stay all the way at the top of the range with tiny stepping movements, and do not go all the way down to touch the floor with each step. (Note: When you first step onto the machine and are using the buttons on the console to begin your program, continue to take little steps to prevent the pedals from going all the way down to the floor.)
- Maintain an erect posture. Do not lean forward on the console, thus supporting your weight on it and lessening the effect of the activity.
- Choose a stepping speed that allows you to stay in the middle range of the pedal motion. Be sure to exercise at a level that is consistent with your fitness level.
Follow the same guidelines given in past articles to reduce bloat and weight gain, and to give you that tight and toned look no matter what muscle group you are focusing on. Here is a recap:
Sip lemon water throughout the day. The more water your body has going through it, the more it will release what it is holding in reserve. Lemons are a natural diuretic, so adding this to your water will help to release any stubborn water retention that you might be experiencing. Not only is it refreshing and hydrating for your body, it aides in digestion and cleanses the system. Lemons are also known to curb the appetite!
Get your fill of fiber with plenty of fruits and veggies! If your diet consists of mostly fruit and veggies, you are less likely to get bloated and feel that “thick around the middle” feeling. Pineapple and parsley are two of the most well-known bloat busters. Keep in mind that some veggies produce a little more gas, especially broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Highly processed foods tend to be high in sodium and low in fiber, both of which can contribute to becoming bloated. Get in the habit of reading food labels; food choices should have no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving, with a total of only 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
Try probiotics! Whether you are using an over-the-counter supplement or eating specialty yogurt that had added probiotics, these can really help to clear out your intestinal track from unwanted bacteria that can cause gas and bloating. When used appropriately, probiotics (good bacteria) can really help to deflate a bloated stomach!
The Wrap Up
So, there you have it ladies! Work your glutes with focused muscle-toning exercises and specific aerobic activity, and your rear view will be toned and lifted in no time! By following these recommendations you will be well on your way to achieving your ultimate booty-luscious body!
Lastly, remember to begin all exercise at a slow pace, make sure to follow the recommendations on form and technique, and progress only when you feel confident in your abilities. Good luck!
- StiarMaster Sports/Medical Products, Inc.(1995).The StairMaster Fitness Handbook. St. Louis: Wellness Bookshelf.