Built on booty
If you feel your derrière needs a makeover, the right workout will definitely help give you a lift.
The shape of the buttocks is defined by muscles known as the glutes. That’s the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Walking, running, and climbing all work the glutes. Strength training that targets these muscles can help give you a tighter, more rounded look and adding a some butt-busting moves to your routine is just the thing you need for change.
Do the following routine twice a week, 4-6 sets per exercise, and 8-12 reps per set.
Drop it like a squat!
The squat tops every list of butt-sculpting exercises. It directly works the glutes and you will build bigger muscles by adding hand-held weights, barbells, kettlebells and so forth.
How: Keep feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your hips as if sitting on a chair; then return to standing. Make sure your knees do not push out in front of your toes. Keep your torso tight and back straight.
The lunge also tones the thighs and calves, apart from being a fantastic fat burner, too.
How:With your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, take one giant step forward. Lower your body slowly, bending both knees, and return to standing. Repeat on the other side. Bend your knees no more than 90 degrees. Keep your front knee stacked right over your front ankle. Do not rest your back knee on the ground.
When you step backward into a lunge, it works the glutes somewhat harder. Lunges also add flexibility to your hips. They align your body better, too.
How:Use the same posture as in a forward lunge, but step backward to position the lower leg. Don’t let the front knee push out in front of your toes.
The side lunge targets the muscle on the outside of the hips, the glutes, and tones the inner thighs, the adductors.
How:From a wide stance, bend one knee. Keep the shin bone under that knee straight up from the floor. If the knee falls inside the foot, use a shorter stance. Lean forward slightly, but keep your shoulders behind your knees to keep from hurting yourself. Put your hands where they help with balance.
Swiss Ball Leg Lift
Leg lifts done while you balance on an exercise ball will strengthen your shoulders and abs, as well as your buttocks. As you progress, lift both legs at the same time for a harder move.
How:Keep your abs tight and back flat. Squeeze your glute muscles tight as you lift one leg. Just a few centimetres is fine when you’re just starting out. Do not use your lower back muscles.
Swiss Ball Hip Lift
This small movement focuses on the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body. Once again, do not to use your back muscles; the glutes should do the work.
How:Bend knees 90 degrees, feet together. Squeeze the glutes and slowly move the thighs up off the ball. A small, controlled, 5 centimetre move is ideal.
This classic is a super workout for the hamstring, hips and glutes.
How: Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the tail bone. Tighten the glutes and hamstrings as you do this. When your body has a long, slanted line from shoulders to knees, hold for a few seconds and lower your body down slowly.
Side Leg Raises
This move targets the two smaller muscle groups in the butt, the gluteus medius and minimus.
How:Lift your top leg while lying on your side. Keep hips stacked and the torso still. Both knees should face forward. To work slightly different muscles, you can turn the top leg out from the hip.
Also know as the “fire hydrant”, It targets two of the muscle groups in the buttocks.
How:Keep your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly under your shoulders, elbows straight. Tighten your abs and keep your back in a neutral position. No sagging or arching. Slowly draw one knee up and rotate the hip to bring the leg toward the torso, then away.
Mountain climbers work the shoulders, hips, and core muscles along with firing up your glutes. Do it quickly to burn calories while building muscle.
How:Tighten your abs to protect the lower back. Spread your fingers wide to protect the wrists. Bring one leg in at a time — bending the knee, like you were running. Keep your upper body steady. Repeat as if you’re running in place.
Slim Your Assets
Targeted exercises will give you a firmer behind but not necessarily a smaller one. For more impact, watch your diet, burn more calories, and lose weight. You’ll reduce the fat layer covering the gluteal muscles, resulting in a tight behind.
To the Max
If bigger is better to you, you’ll want to really challenge the glute muscles. Dial up the resistance on a stationary bike or other cardio machine. During strength training, go for more weight that challenges you in 6 to 12 reps. Rest 30 to 90 seconds in between sets. A high-quality diet with enough protein will also help pack on muscle mass.
By Letitia Kleynhans