Flat or Hard, we should all love our genetic cushions. They are always there for you to ease long trips or sitting on a church or recital with hard wood benches.
Sadly, our booties are not always on the shape we want. The good news? This is an easy fix. It takes work, but results can be noticed after the first week. Here are some effective exercises to left and harden your butt before summer arrives.
Squat and Tone
Squats are the holy grail of butt-sculpting exercises. Squatting works the glutes directly. For a better performance add hand held weights to build bigger bottom muscles. Form: Keep feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the hips as if sitting in 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.
2. Ball Squat
If you’re just starting out, a large ball can help with balance while you master the form. For each exercise on our list, aim for three sets of 15 reps. Try to do each exercise three times a week with cardio or exercises focused on other body parts on other days.
Form: Keep the ball between your low back and a wall. Slowly perform the classic squat. Walk your feet out in front so the knees stay behind your toes.
3. Forward Lunge
This butt builder also tones the thighs and calves. It’s a pretty good fat burner, too.
Form: 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.
4. Backward Lunge
When you step backward into a lunge, it works the glutes a little harder. Your workout gets variety, too. Lunges also add flexibility to your hips. They align your body better, too, something that can suffer when people spend long hours sitting at a desk.
Form: 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.
5. Side Lunge
The side lunge targets the muscle on the outside of the hips, the glutes, and tones the inner thighs, too.
Form: From a wide stance, bend one knee. Keep the shinbone under that knee straight up from the floor. If the knee falls inside the foot, use a shorter stance. Lean forward slightly. Put your hands where they help with balance.
6. On the Ball: Leg Lift
Leg lifts done while you balance on an exercise ball will strengthen your shoulders and abs, as well as your glutes. As you get more fit, try lifting both legs at the same time for a harder, beautiful-butt move.
Form: Keep your abs tight and back flat. Squeeze your glute muscles tight as you lift one leg. Just a few inches is fine when you’re just starting out. Be careful not to use your lower back muscles.
7. Hip Lift
This small movement focuses on the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body. Be careful not to use the back muscles; the glutes should do the work.
Form: Bend the knees 90 degrees, feet together. Squeeze the glutes and slowly move the thighs up off the ball. A small, controlled, 2-inch movement is the goal.
8. Floor Work: Bridge
This classic is a super workout for the glutes, as well as the hamstrings and hips.
Form: Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the tailbone. Tighten the glutes and hamstrings as you do this. When your body has formed a long, slanted line from shoulders to knees, hold for a few seconds. Then lower slowly.
9. Floor Work: Side Leg Raises
This move targets the two smaller muscle groups in the buttocks, the gluteus mediums and minimums.
Form: Lift the top leg while lying on your side. Keep the 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.
Tada! Beach time!