Shaping your butt doesn’t require the use of specialized gym equipment. You can lift your derriere by performing exercises in the comfort of your home or at the gym without equipment or weights. It’s easy to forget about strengthening your butt, and it’s often neglected during both cardio and strength-training workouts. In general, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends including at least 150 minutes of cardio exercises per week and two to three strength-training sessions per week with each session lasting 20 to 30 minutes.
Standing leg exercises are useful and can be done easily without weights. You can target your glutes along with your quadriceps, calves and hamstrings with squats, lunges, single-leg deadlifts and leg kickbacks. There are variations in squat exercises that will spice up your normal workout. One powerful butt-shaping exercise is the sky squat, according to Fitness Magazine. To perform a sky squat, do a normal squat, but immediately rise out of the squat position, lifting both heels off the floor, rising on your tiptoes and raising your arms overhead. Stay on your tiptoes for two seconds and return to a squat position.
To localize your glute muscles, get out a mat and perform floor exercises. There are several exercises that work the glutes, thighs, hips and core muscles. Perform exercises such as glute bridges, superman, leg lifts and hip extensions. A study by the University of Wisconsin, commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, showed that hip extensions were most effective for targeting the glutes. To perform the hip extension, start on all fours, tighten your ab muscles and lift the right knee off the mat. Keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle and turn the right foot so the bottom is facing the ceiling. These leg and foot positions should be held throughout the exercise. Push the right leg straight back so the right foot rises toward the ceiling, and stop when the knee reaches hip level and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower the knee to the floor and repeat. Perform the same number of hip-extension repetitions with the left leg.
Exercises with Equipment
You don’t need weight to get a great workout for your butt, but you can use other equipment to get the most out of your exercises. Exercise balls, resistance bands and even workout benches can be used for glute exercises. Use the exercise ball to perform glute exercises such as reverse extensions, leg raises and hamstring curls. Resistance bands can be used to increase the intensity of your floor glute exercises, and workout benches can help you perform step-ups, push-offs and box jumps effectively.
It’s important to warm up before performing glute exercises to get the most from your workout and reduce the risk of injury. You should do five to 10 minutes of gentle aerobic activity or stretching, according to Mayo Clinic. Once you’ve warmed up your muscles, choose five to six glute exercises to perform during one session. Start by performing 12 reps of each exercise. The 12 reps should be difficult to complete, and if they are not, perform additional reps. The last rep needs to be challenging, but shouldn’t compromise your form or posture. To maximize the benefits, maintain proper form and give your glute muscles at least one day to recover after an exercise session before performing more exercises.
- The American Council on Exercise: Butt and Hip Exercises
- Fitness Magazine: 15-Minute Bootylicious Butt Workout
- Mayo Clinic: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- The American Council on Exercise: Glutes to the Max
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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