I’m not happy with my butt’s shape similar to other women, but I’m also not sure what workout I can try . My goal is not to add more bulk to my butt, but to tone and lift what I already have. At the moment, I exercise about three times a week and engage in running, elliptical training and spinning, with a bit of weights and stretching thrown into the mix. Are there specific exercises I should add to my routine to tone my butt?
Answer by Sarah Brown – A Fitness Expert
Unfortunately we cannot target where we lose fat, but we do have the ability to shape the muscles of our bodies to give us the form we are looking for. In doing so, we achieve overall weight loss. With the right moves, your butt will be the kind that you want to look at twice in the mirror.
3 exercises to tone your glutes…
You’ve probably heard people refer to their butt as their “glutes.” Your glutes are actually made up of a set of three muscles: the gluteus maximums, medius and minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles; it is what gives your butt its shape. Aside from making you look good in a pair of jeans, your glutes are one of the muscle groups responsible for keeping the body erect and moving your legs.
There are many exercises that incorporate the use of your glutes. While we could easily add dead lifts, leg lifts, pilates, side kicks and so on, my top three butt-toning moves are step-ups, squats and lunges. All three moves not only help shape the muscles, they also burn calories.
In the battle of the butt, we want to burn calories, shrink our fat cells and firm up the muscles of the buttocks to give us the shape we desire. The more muscle you have, the more energy (calories) your body burns at rest, and the better your results will be.
A Booty-Blasting Exercise Routine
Warm up (5 minutes):
- March on the spot, feet under hips
- March on the spot, feet shoulder-width apart
- Hip circles — five to the right and five to the left (imagine you are using a hula hoop)
- Hamstring curls (heel to buttocks)
1. Step-Ups (Targets glutes, quads and hamstrings)
- Stand behind a 15-inch platform or step.
- Place the right foot on the step, transfer the weight to the heel and push into the heel to come onto the step.
- Do 16-20 reps on the right and then switch to the left.
- Perform 2-3 sets.
Variations: hold dumbbells to increase intensity; increase platform height.
2. Squats (Targets glutes, quads and hamstrings)
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, draw in your abs, hands on hips.
- Bend your knees and squat as if you were going to sit down into a chair. Try to maintain your balance.
- Return to standing position by pushing through your heels.
Variations: Wide squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. This targets inner thighs as well as quads, and hamstrings. You may also want to try a single-leg squat: Stand with your feet together, hands out in front of you. Lift one foot as you complete your squat.
3. Lunges (Targets gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and quads)
- Stand in a split stance, with feet approximately three feet apart. You’ll want both knees to be at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the movement.
- Brace your abs.
- Bending your knees, lower the back knee toward the floor, keeping the front heel down and the front knee directly over the center of the foot.
- Push through the front heel and back to starting position.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 16-20 lunges per leg.
Variations: Hold weights in each hand or place a barbell across the meaty part of your shoulders for increased intensity.
Catch your foot in your hand behind you, and hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
Place your right ankle on your left knee and bend left knee until you feel a stretch in your right buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat, with left ankle on right knee.
Performing this workout every other day will help to change the shape of your butt.
Remember: It takes four to six weeks to make a change in your body, and it will take more than just these exercises to see a change in your overall shape. In order to be successful, be sure to eat a well-balanced diet (free of processed foods and loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables), keep up your regular cardio and strength training routine, and get plenty of rest.