All women want it: That shapely, sculpted, and defined butt we see in the magazine ads for cellulite cream. Closets full of skinny jeans and miniskirts have us focused more than ever on lifting, tightening, and shaping our behinds.
Yet our glutes do more than just help us look good in our clothes believe it or not ! The butt consists of three main muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They work together to help us move our legs in all directions. Because they’re connected to the hips, the lower back, and the legs, strengthening the glutes can help to stabilize the back.
So now that you have a little history on why building a strong gluteus plays a role in having a healthy fit body, were going to give away 6 GREAT Glute exercises !
Aerobically, walking hills is a great butt workout. Indoors, use a 5% to 7% incline grade on your treadmill. Climbing stairs is another great choice for working the glutes. Find a stadium, or use a stair machine, elliptical, or arc trainer to help define the butt. For variety, dust off those inline skates and hit the pavement.
After working up a sweat aerobically, try these six butt-busting strength exercises recommended by our experts (aiming for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of each):
1. SQUAAAATS : One of the best exercises you can do for your butt, hips, and thighs is the squat. Stand with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your hips, making sure not to let your knees go out past your toes.
Plie squats : To do them, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, legs turned out. When squatting, keep knees over ankles; press through the feet and squeeze the glutes as you come up to standing.
For an advanced version , progress to squat jumps… each time you come out of a squat leap off the ground !
2. Lunges : Beginning with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, take a giant step forward or backward. Slowly lower your body, bending both knees. Bend your knees no farther than 90 degrees, keeping your front knee aligned over your front ankle. Step together and repeat.
Alternate legs or do all sets on one leg and then switch for a greater challenge, your cutting the rest time in half and even though your doing the same amount your legs will be working harder !
Beginners should stay in the lunge and just lower and lift by bending the knees.
Tweaking a forward lunge to really target the glutes: While lunging, reach both arms down toward the floor outside the front foot (hold a medicine ball or light dumbbell for added challenge).
Add a hop to alternate feet for the advanced client.
3. Bridges : Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the bottom, one vertebra at a time, tightening the glutes and hamstrings (backs of the thighs) until you’ve created a diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees. Return to the floor slowly, one vertebra at a time.
The one-legged bridge: Hold the knees tightly together and extend one leg at knee level while in the bridge position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch.
To take it to the next level, try the bridge on a stability ball. With the head and tops of shoulders balanced on the ball, lift the hips into a tabletop position, level with the shoulders, then lower slightly and repeat.
Advancing from there, lift into the bridge position on the ball, then take two baby steps to your left, changing the line of gravity so you’re off-center, then drop and lift the hips. “The left glute should work a bit harder than the right. This exercise requires good core balance and takes only a very small shift (2-4 inches) in lower body position. Do all the repetitions on one side, then switch.
4. Step-ups : Using a weights bench or a step works too, step one foot on top, then push through the top leg and glute to lift the bottom leg up and tap the bench. Lower and repeat using the same leg. Add hand weights a greater challenge!
5. Leg/hip extensions : Reaching a leg behind your body is a great way to work the glutes. In Pilates, it’s done while lying on your side, but you can also do it while lying over a stability ball or standing. Using a slow, controlled motion, extend the leg behind the body while squeezing the glutes and keeping the torso stable. Do three sets of 15 repetitions, then switch legs.
6. Skater plyos : Try this plyometric side step ! Standing with feet under hips, take a lateral (sideways) hop to the left on your left foot while coming down to touch your right hand to the floor. Alternate sides and try to complete three sets of 20.
Thanks for reading, let us know how this workout works for you !!
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