Celebrity magazines are replete with pictures of women filling out skin-tight jeans and dresses with firm, rounded bubble butts. Whether you want the muscular appearance of tennis champion Serena Williams, the iconic shape of Jennifer Lopez or the bootylicious look of Beyonce, you'll need to work out regularly to build up your butt muscles. Add abdominal exercises such as the bicycle maneuver, exercise ball crunches and captain's chair bent leg raises to tone your waist area for an hourglass figure.
Challenge yourself with difficult workouts to maximize your gluteus maximus. You build muscles through a process called hypertrophy. When you work out, you break down muscle fibers, and as you recover from your workouts, your body rebuilds the damaged muscles with bigger stronger fibers.
Schedule strength-training sessions on two or three non-consecutive days each week. Allow adequate recovery between workouts to maximize muscle growth.
Choose weights or resistance levels that allow you to do eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise with good form. If you can lift a weight more than 12 times, increase the weight by 10 percent for your next session. Although one set is adequate for general fitness, you grow muscles faster by doing three full sets of each exercise during each workout session.
Develop your quadriceps and gluteal muscles on the leg press machine. Position your feet parallel or slightly turned out, and keep your knees pointed directly over your second toes throughout the lift. To protect your knee joints, don't bend your legs more that 90 degrees at the beginning of the lift and avoid hyperextending your knees when you straighten them.
Use the abductor machine to work your outer thigh muscles, shaping the area where some women develop flabby saddlebags.
Develop your hamstrings, gluteals and lower back doing Roman chair back hyperextensions. Squeeze your butt cheeks as you lift for the greatest benefit. If you can do more that 12 repetitions comfortably, hold a dumbbell or weight plate against your chest to increase the difficulty of the lift.
Shape your hamstrings on a seated or lying leg curl machine.
Use a multi-hip machine to develop outer thighs and gluteals. For best results, keep your stomach slightly contracted. Keep the upper body and supporting leg still to ensure the focus is on the hip and thigh muscles of your working leg. Don't rely on momentum to do the work for you.
- Starpulse.com: Female Celebrity Booties We're Thankful For
- Youtube.com: Destiny's Child - Bootylicious
- ExRx.net: Hip Exercise Menu
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises
- ExRx.net: Weight Training Guidelines
- DrMirkin.com: How Muscles get Stronger
- Bodybuilding.com: A Novice Trainer Trap: Overtraining
- MayoClinic.com: What's Better for Strength Training -- One Set or Multiple Sets?
- ExRx.net: Thigh Exercise Menu
- On non-strength training days, do 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise to reduce body fat and increase overall health. Walking, running, stair climbing and elliptical trainer workouts will help tone your hamstrings, improving the appearance of your butt.
- Avoid junk food. It packs on ugly flab. To gain muscle mass rather than fat, eat a healthy diet with adequate amounts of lean protein in each meal.
Carol Poster began writing professionally in 1974. Her articles have appeared in "Outdoor Woman," "Paddler," "Ski Magazine," "Women's Sports & Fitness," "Dance News," "Show Business," "The Athenian," "PC Resource" and "Utah Holiday," among other publications. Poster holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, as well as a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri.