If a jiggly butt and flabby hips are keeping you from wearing your favorite bikini or short-shorts, it may be time to recommit to your fitness plan. The fastest way to tone your lower-body trouble zone is with a combination of cardio and strength-training exercises targeted toward your butt and hips. The butt and hips are a challenging part of the body for many women. The area consists of numerous muscles, each of which should receive attention when training.
The Butt and Hip Muscles
The muscles of the butt and hip work together to help your body move forward, backward and side to side. The two lower-body muscle groups also assist with stabilization during movements like walking, running and jumping. The glutes consist of the gluteus minimus, medius and maximus, the latter of which is the largest muscle in the body. The muscles surrounding the hip joint include the abductor, which pulls the leg out to the side, and the iliopsoas, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Strength training is one of the most efficient ways to build lean muscle mass. Tone your troubled areas by performing exercises two to three times per week that specifically target your butt and thighs. For example, leg curls will work the gluteus maximus, and bridges and plie squats will tone the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Side movements, such as standing sidekicks, side-to-side jumps and side lunges, are effective for toning the outer hip abductors, glutes and iliopsoas. You may perform these exercises using your body weight as resistance, or add weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells for an increased challenge.
Along with helping to tone your lower body, cardio helps to burn the fat that lies on top of the muscle so you’re able to see the rewards of your work. Include at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in your training program per week, broken out over three to five days. Cardio comes in numerous forms and ways; consider choosing a type that you enjoy and one that will also target your butt and hips. For example, running engages both the fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers in your glutes, climbing stairs relies on your glutes for power and your hips for stability and swimming freestyle and breaststroke tones both your glutes and hips.
Talk with your doctor before starting a new workout program and be extra conscious if you have endured any recent lower-body injuries. Follow proper form during both resistance and cardiovascular training to minimize your risk of injuries. When strength training, pick resistance levels that allow you to fail between eight to 12 repetitions; failure occurs when you're not able to perform another rep with proper form. Always allow 48 hours between strength-training sessions for rest and recovery; working fatigued muscles can result in injuries.